The Putnam County School System is working to build connections between the PEP Foundation and local businesses to provide resources for students and teachers.
Director of Schools Corby King told members of the Joint Economic Development Board Tuesday that the Putnam Education Partnership functions almost like a booster club for the entire school system. King said the Foundation has worked with local businesses registered as school “adopters” to provide funding and support for students. King said in addition to providing for students, the Partnership has allowed the school system to take better care of their teachers.
“If we collect money from students, fundraising, whatever that may be, you still can’t do things for teachers with that,” King said. “So, we don’t have a lot of, whether it’s lunch or a breakfast, or maybe a dinner sometime, you just don’t have things like that that a private employer has. A lot of our adopters step in and provide a lot of that support for us.”
King said the Foundation is currently focusing on working with school adopters to stock Care Closets, making clothes available for students in need.
“Especially at the elementary schools, we try to keep clothes on hand, whether it’s an accident, a tear, or they just don’t have clothes sometimes, so we keep those things on hand,” King said. “When you get into the middle schools, it’s more hygiene products, things like that.”
King said the Foundation is looking to partner with businesses and organizations that can provide more than just clothes and basic needs. King said they are working to develop partnerships that can provide resources for students in classes and school organizations where the needed materials are harder to come by.
“Also then, partnering with the Fine Arts, providing instruments so some students have access to band programs or chorus,” King said. “You know they have to have the certain attire and things like that. Making sure students have those needs.”
King said adopters can even partner with schools for volunteer projects.
“They’ll come in and take a campus project on,” King said. “They might paint a building or they do some landscaping around one of the schools. Things like that.”
King said he plans to roll out more about the PEP Foundation and strengthen their connection with school adopters over the coming months.