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Clay County Schools and The University of Alabama.

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Presentation on theme: "Clay County Schools and The University of Alabama."— Presentation transcript:

1 Clay County Schools and The University of Alabama

2 Project History Southern Sundays was inspired through a long-standing partnership between the school system and The University of Alabama. That partnership began as a member of a collaborative of small, rural schools within the state of Alabama. The collaborative was founded on the belief that their united voice produced resources beyond what they could each do individually. Many member schools began projects that supplemented the curriculum offerings. In Clay County, instructors received training in entrepreneurship education curriculum and went on to leverage the value of that training for project start-up grant funds. The initial school-based enterprise was a cookie selling business,One Smart Cookie. The program encourages development of Advisory Councils made up of local community members and business owners. That work created the foundation for the Southern Sundays project.

3 Southern Sundays is... A model example of community engagement Much more than just a cookbook Represents a hands-on learning opportunity for students An expression of the collaborative efforts of a school system and the community to provide easy to follow authentic recipes, local history, and curriculum that engages students in focusing on the role of entrepreneurship in revitalizing rural communities A recorded history which shares the culture of the community and its churches

4 Student participants were drawn from the school systems Career Technical classes. These classes constitute a program of study that involves a multi-year sequence of courses that integrate core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education and careers. Theacademic lab learning experiences typical of Career Technical classes create an ideal environment for projects such as Southern Sundays.

5 Steps Find your niche in the business world Develop a plan Identify funding needs and potential sources Secure start-up funds and begin project with equipment purchases, construction, securing volunteers and partners, classroom curriculum, etc. Utilize the business as an academic learning lab, imbedding the work of the business into the curriculum of a course, or a stand-alone elective option Develop and nurture the business or product to maturity and completion, or self-sustainability

6 Benefits For the School and Students Entrepreneurial education and exciting project-based learning opportunity Technology transfer and skills development Elevate interest and confidence with college and career goals Generation of program funds Decreased drop out rates Better work habits

7 Benefits for the School and Students (contd.): Reinforce and apply academic competencies Advance collaboration between schools and communities Gain an understanding of the financial operations and organizational structure of business Demonstrate responsibility, maturity, and decision-making skills Builds portfolio of work-readiness skills

8 Benefits for the University Strengthen relationships between the university and community members Participation as a service oriented, engaged campus Connections within and across disciplines Sustained dialog across variety of platforms Access to use community facilities to provide work and research experience not available within the college Research-based work experiences that assist in developing project evaluation strategies for continuance Develop positive public relations, and build goodwill through partnership with schools

9 Benefits For the Community A new generation of citizens who are interested in opening and operating private businesses which can expand job opportunity for rural communities Cohesiveness of the community in coming together on the project A new collection of recorded history of the community Improved diversity awareness and appreciation within the community Development of partnership Mentorship opportunities Notoriety for the community

10 Project Challenges Time constraints of the teacher Test of organizational skills Finding a good adult volunteer(s) as an assistant(s) Continuity of the student participants from semester to semester Overcoming the its just a cookbook awareness to understanding the full potential of the project Using so many entities to supply recipes made this project more complex than other projects might be Communication and understanding that the student enterprises are not competition for local business

11 Conclusions Projects such as Southern Sundays provide improved education with community enhancement. It is a replicable model that assists schools with making entrepreneurship education a core aspect of school life, especially in rural schools where entrepreneurship electives are often eliminated due to constrained budgets. Experience is the best teacher, and school-based enterprises are an ideal mechanism for allowing opportunities for creative thinking, problem-solving and experience in running a business. Additionally, these experiences help school systems to consistently prepare students for the workplace and in creating jobs. Those jobs lead to prosperity for the whole community. Programs can be simple or complex, but the experiences provided help maintain the entrepreneurial spirit in our society -- a spirit that ensures that our economy can grow and provide jobs and renewed wealth for our country.

12 Partners Clay County School System Community and Churches of Clay County, Alabama The University of Alabama, Center for Community-Based Partnerships The University of Alabama, Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration

13 Presenters Ann Thompson, Director Clay County Career Tech P. O. Box 278 Ashland, AL Tommie Syx, AlabamaREAL Coordinator The University of Alabama Box Tuscaloosa, AL Thank You

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