Archive for March, 2012

March 6, 2012

Tesla visits McNicol Middle School

Sometimes the only way to change the future is through the kids, and Tesla Motors is working with Broward Schools to do just that. Tesla, the maker of top-notch, stylish all-electric cars has partnered with McNicol Middle School in Hollywood to do just that. The magnet middle school with a heavy emphasis on STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) recently began an Alternative Energy program at the school for students. As part of that program, McNicol Middle School and Partners In Education put together a partnership with Tesla Motors. The company, most recently noted for its new Model X, an all electric SUV whose doors open like wings and is supposed to be faster than a Porsche, will be actively engaged in teaching the kids about alternative technologies for automobiles. Tesla started the partnership with a seminar held at the school to discuss the company’s all electric automobiles.
“I am just thrilled that Tesla Motors is involved with one of our magnet schools–the children are drawn to the sports car,” said Nina Randall, executive director of Broward Partners in Education (, about Tesla partnering with the alternative energy magnet school. “And it’s a great opportunity to learn about the environment and alternative energy at the same time.”

March 5, 2012

Local businesses in Coral Springs invest time and money helping students

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At Park Springs Elementary, it’s the local business partners that really help the school raise the bar for students. Whether it’s integrated activities or incentives, Assistant Principal Katie Policastro said she relies on her business partners to bring that extra level of support.

“We had a lot of parents involved, which we love too, but when I became the school liaison for Partners In Education, I really developed a relationship with our businesses,” said Policastro.

For students at the Coral Springs school, business partners such as Winn Dixie help teachers create a richer experience such as during “Go Math Night” where students get real world problems to solve at the store.

“They hosted 160 families when they came out for math enrichment activities,” said Policastro adding Winn Dixie helps with treats, incentives and treasure box goodies on a regular basis, helping reward students for good work.

Another Partner In Education that Policastro has successfully embraced at the school is PNC Bank who is highly active in creating a student banking program that teaches them how to save, how to count, how to manage money and set financial goals for themselves.

Recently, PNC Bank, along with Winn Dixie participated in Career Day at the school as a part of their partnership.

“Tangible, hands-on demonstrations and projects by businesses bring meaning to classroom learning,” said Nina Randall, Partners In Education, executive director. “They help answer the age old question, ‘Why do I need to learn that?’ and can help students explore different career paths.” Someone once said, ‘You can only be what you know,’ and these Career Day programs expand the possibilities for our students.”

Winn Dixie sent a cake decorator to second grade for some sugary fun and PNC spoke about the different types of money, even showing examples of bills from as far back as 1928.

Whole Foods also participated in the school’s Career Day on February 17, teaching about eating healthy.

“We have a great partnership with Whole Foods and they teach about eating healthy—what it looks like, and how to eat healthy,” added Policastro. “Last time they did a class—they made this green smoothie that was a hit.”

Policastro says she extremely grateful for the support of her business Partners In Education.

“They are all so wonderful and giving—and Career Day is only a part of it,” said Policastro.”We have a great relationship with our business partners and would love others to get involved too.”

About Partners In Education (PIE): Partners In Education improves student achievement by cultivating and integrating business, community and school resources for all students in Broward County Public Schools. All Broward County Schools are available for new partnerships. Businesses may make commitments of time, financial resources or other support, based on the need of the school and the type of business. In the 2010/2011 school year there were more than 2700 school partnerships that contributed $3.14 million in added resources to schools through cash and in-kind donations and the value of volunteer services.

For information about the program, please contact Nina A. Randall, APR, Executive Director at 754-321-1974 or or visit the PIE website at