April 20, 2012

West Broward Bar Association becomes business partner to Seminole Middle School; Golf tournament May 12 helps fund school law program

An accidental conversation was the spark for a solid business partnership and a May 12 charity golf fundraiser between the West Broward Bar Association (WBBA) and Seminole Middle School in Plantation.

“I was in the school, telling someone my goals to [grow the law program] and said I would love to get in touch with the Broward Bar when a nearby mother, who happened to be a lawyer overheard me,” said Mell Rupp, law teacher and department head at Seminole Middle explaining how the parent got him involved with the Bar. “At the time the West Broward Bar was just forming, so I went to a luncheon and met a lot of local judges.”

That luncheon led a strong partnership with the association, with Mr. Rupp focused on creating interactive learning opportunities for students in the Seminole Middle law program.

“Building a partnership like this takes a lot of hard work and I commend Mr. Rupp for his focus on finding this opportunity for students,” said Nina Randall, executive director of Partners In Education (PIE), a local non-profit that has helped develop thousands of school/business partnership. “At PIE we strive every day to help Broward County Public Schools learn how to develop these important relationships with the community and I am proud to see Seminole Middle take the initiative in creating this partnership with the West Broward Bar.”

The Department of Enhanced Communications and Law program, or DECAL, at Seminole Middle, gives students opportunities to push themselves to earn early high school credits in addition to taking advanced languages, math and communications such as Spanish, Speech, Debate as well as law classes.

Through the West Broward Bar Association, students have had tours of the courthouse, conducted mock trials and have spoken with local members of the legal community. Howard Finklestein with Channel 7’s Help Me Howard, Michael Satz, Broward state attorney and juvenile judge Elijah Williams, among others, have all taught the middle school students simple legal procedures.

“The West Broward Bar partnership is really a great fit, and this year, the West Broward Bar Association approached Seminole Middle about (expanding our relationship by) having a charity event that benefited the school,” added Rupp. “The Bar Association usually does charity events and they decide to do it for the school since they knew we were struggling with cuts.”

The West Broward Bar Inaugural Golf Classic will be held May 12 at the Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club  (7050 W Broward Blvd., Plantation). The Classic will raise funds to buy computers and materials for the law students at Seminole Middle School.

The Seminole Middle School DECAL program is the only active non-magnet school government and law program in Broward County. WBBA President Michael Rajtar said that the legal organization is partnering with the law program to benefit the next generation.

The tournament is open to the public and will begin with registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m. followed by shotgun start at 1 p.m. After the event, cocktails will be served from 5 – 6 p.m. followed by an awards dinner, silent auction and a raffle. Players will include attorneys, judges, and parents of Seminole Middle School students.

Tickets are $100 per golfer and several sponsorship levels are available starting at $250. For more information or to register online, go to (www.westbrowardbar.com).

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April 6, 2012

Clueless a great success this year!

Whoever would have thought a murder would become a fundraiser on the streets of Fort Lauderdale? In a case of whodunit, sleuths from all over South Florida helped raise $19,500 for the non-profit Partners In Education while trying to solve a fictional murder mystery during this year’s ClueLess on Las Olas: “Till Death Do us Apart.”

For two hours, locals scoured the streets, buying hints from snitches and grabbing clues from the shops, all to find out who murdered Hillary Smith, the bride-to-be of the well-to-do Hawthorne Hatchett. Found dead in her room, the list of suspects included friends, former girlfriends of her fiancé Hatchett, a pushy boss, and even the escort/male dancer for the bachelorette party.

More than 450 amateur sleuths were seen weaving in and out of shops trying to solve this whodunit, which eventually revealed escort Taj Gupta as the murderer. As an annual fundraiser for Partners In Education, the event also featured a raffle and silent auction.

See Answers to Clues and Hints here. More photos here.

Sponsored by Wheelabrator Technologies among other business partners, the event raised money for Partners In Education. PIE works to improve 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 nrandall@browardschools.com or visit the PIE website at www.browardpartners.com.

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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 (www.browardpartners.com), 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

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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 nrandall@browardschools.com or visit the PIE website at www.browardpartners.com.

February 29, 2012

17th annual ClueLess On Las Olas ‘Til Death Do Us Apart’

Society is all aflutter with the news of the wedding of the year, but the fun is cut off when the bride is found dead in “Till Death Do Us Apart.” As part of an annual fundraiser, Clueless on Las Olas, draws 500 amateur sleuths scouring the streets of Fort Lauderdale to find the truth. On Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7 p.m. detectives gather on Las Olas Blvd. to solve the unique murder mystery game.
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March 23, 2011

Colbert Elementary Seeking Incentives

Colbert Elementary School in Hollywood, Florida is seeking the donation of  incentives to motivate students and staff. Certificates for meals at restaurant, ice-cream shop or any other venues would be appropriated.

March 8, 2011

Community Resource Fair

Wingate Oaks Center, located at 1211 NW 33rd Terrace in Fort Lauderdale, is hosting the 9th annual Community Resource Fair on Wednesday, April 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Come see what support is available for students with disabilities. For more information, call 754-321-6850.

March 8, 2011

ClueLess on Las Olas

Amateur Sleuths – Solve the original murder mystery at ClueLess on Las Olas, Partners In Education’s annual street party fundraiser. Thursday, April 14 at 5:30 p.m. on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Register your team online at http://www.browardpartners.com or call 954-288-7201. Advance registration is $35 per person or 4 for $105.

October 8, 2010

Whispering Pines School – Urgent Need for Planners

Whispering Pines School is in urgent need of approximately 75 student planners for their high school students. The cost is approximately $5 per planner. If you are able to provide $400 to $500 to sponsor this much needed student supply, please contact Jeanette Wagner at 754-321-7662. Thank you.

October 8, 2010

Cypress Run Education Center

Cypress Run Education Center is looking for incentives to motivate students for achievement and behavior. Please contact Susan Lawrence at 754-321-6500 if you are able to donate. The school is a
Kindergarten through 12th grade center and the type of things that would motive students to improve include:
• Free toys, DVs & CDs
• 5 free pizzas on Fridays
• Free tickets to sports events