The success of Waco’s Adopt-a-School program is a result of its simplicity and flexibility. Each partnership is unique and activities are planned based on the needs and resources of those involved.
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Adopt-a-School activities typically fit into these general categories:
Any type of activity that provides a time which adults and children may interact creates a valuable connection between students and volunteers. Waco students need positive, responsible, adult role models and friends in their lives. The Adopt-a-School program accomplishes this through things like mentoring, tutoring, pen pals and lunch buddies.
Incentives and Motivation
This category includes incentives or awards for academic achievement, attendance, or proper behavior. Incentives can be very simple items like letters or certificates, or they can be as involved as a school-wide event. These activities help provide the support system children need to be successful. Teacher recognition and appreciation is also included in this category.
These partnership activities provide children with an awareness of the world of work and experiences that prepare them for it. This category includes career speakers, job fairs, application skills, interviewing skills, and actual work site experience. The activities help students develop a sense of work ethic and expectations of responsibility, both personally and in preparation for future jobs.
The children in Waco schools need to learn that they are part of the community in which they live, have a responsibility to the community, and can give back to the community. Most students have never had this role modeled for them, so it is important for every partnership to plan some type of community service project with at least part, if not all, of the children in their school.
For a partnership to be truly vibrant, the activities and support should flow in both directions. Waco ISD has a lot to give and it is important that schools are given opportunities to do things for their partners. Making birthday or holiday cards for employees or presenting a choir performance at the business's office are great ways the schools can give back. This category requires some creative thinking, but it is an essential and very rewarding part of the partnership program.