In order to transform our schools from great to extraordinary, the community must get involved. One of the unique ways that FMPS fosters community involvement is through the Adopt-a-School program. Through this program, Madison’s public schools are “adopted” by a local business, organization, or government agency, forming mutually enriching partnerships.
Each Adopt-a-School partnership is unique and tailored to match the specific needs of a school with the resources available through the adopting partner. These partnerships consist of a commitment by both the school and the adopting business to work together to promote the academic achievement and personal growth of the students involved.
From helping schools through food and clothing drives, to providing tutoring services, to launching rockets with 8th grade science students, each Adopt-a-School partnership gives schools innovative and creative methods to increase academic achievement and inspire every child to excel. Not only are Adopt-a-School partnerships beneficial for the schools involved, but they also provide an opportunity for business partners to increase community involvement, share ideas with students and educators, and help the students of today become the leaders of tomorrow.
Adopting a school creates a structured partnership between an organization and a school, which can start small and strategically grow over time. In 2012, the Adopt-a-School Partners provided $174,840 in human, material, and financial support to their adopted schools. By 2014, the number grew to $361,276 and the Foundation continues to support these relationships, helping them grow to their greatest potential.
What Can Adopt-a-School Partners Provide Schools?
- Providing professional development opportunities
- Sharing relevant industry-related knowledge and skills
- To colleagues or employees to serve as mentors, tutors, pen pals, guest speakers, and breakfast or lunch buddies.
- To career exploration, job shadow, and internship opportunities for students
- To space for fundraising events, parent meetings, and staff trainings
- In-kind donations such as school supplies, books, furniture, and computers
- Financial gifts
What Can Schools Provide Partners?
Investment in the Future
- Access to future workforce
- Potential to reach a new market demographic
- Tax deductions for in-kind and financial donations
- Increased civic presence
- Positive organizational branding
- Enhanced community image
- Improved employee morale and sense of teamwork
- Leadership and growth potential for employees
- Opportunities for employees to be involved in the community
Access and Knowledge
- Awareness of education trends, policies, realities
- Access to classrooms, teachers, and parents for application of new technologies and products
What does an Adopt-a-School
Partnership Look Like?
There is a diverse array of possible partnership activities, which vary based on the needs of the school and the interests and resources of the partner.
School Improvement Plan
Every public school in Madison has a formal School Improvement Plan (SIP) to help ensure all students succeed. The Foundation works with Adopt-a-School partners to help align their efforts in support of school SIP goals such as:
- Increasing reading and math skills
- Engaging family and community members in school activities
- Providing exposure to career opportunities
Adopt-a-School partners must commit to a minimum of one year of activities with a particular school. Partners also agree to provide some combination of human, material, and financial resources to their adopted school.
The Foundation’s Role
Support and Assistance
The Foundation offers support of every step of the way, making it easy for organizations to find the right school; build enduring relationships with students and staff, maintain engagement in Adopt-a-School activities, hold meetings with school and partner representatives, and respond to partner and school needs. Ongoing assistance is offered to ensure thriving and meaningful relationships.
The Foundation matches partners with schools based on the location of the school and the partnering organization, resources and core competencies the organization brings to the partnership, and the needs of the school as spelled out in the School Improvement Plan.
To learn more about the Adopt-a-School program or to become an Adopt-a-School partner, please contact Mary Bartzen at firstname.lastname@example.org.