For Hometown News
Education Commissioner Tony Bennett recently honored First United Methodist Church of Port Orange as an exemplary school partner.
The Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards reception was at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa on June 13.
For the past 26 years, the event has celebrated innovative partnerships between Florida businesses/organizations and public schools.
Volusia's recipients were selected from 39 partners-of-the-year nominations submitted by schools to a district committee..
When First United Methodist Church of Port Orange adopted Sugar Mill Elementary School in 2011, a valuable partnership was formed.
During school start-up the church donated school supplies to students and teachers, then later replenished supplies mid-year. Through the church's thrift store, it provides coupons for discount shopping and gift cards for purchasing new sneakers for children. Church members have volunteered as mentors, serving as positive role models while inspiring students to succeed. The church has supplied breakfast for staff during pre-planning week and lunch during Staff Appreciation Week. It also has provided holiday meals to needy families and groceries for additional families throughout the year. The church previously partnered with Port Orange Elementary School where it supplied mentors and the "Bright Stars" after-school tutor program.
International Speedway Corp. also was named an exemplary school partner.