Lake Norman Education Collaborative
The Lake Norman Education Collaborative, in partnership with The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce , seeks to build partnerships between local schools, businesses & non-profits.
Positive things happen when schools and communities work together. That’s the basis behind the Lake Norman Education Collaborative Partners in Education program. Launched in 2015, Partners in Education pairs businesses, nonprofits or faith-based groups for projects with public and charter schools.
Huntersville Commissioner and LNEC Co-Chair Melinda Bales (pictured right with co-chair Steve Gilbert) says LNEC is a conduit between businesses and schools.
“Through our needs assessments at schools, we found there were unique needs by school that we weren’t really addressing with our broader school initiatives,” Bales explains. LNEC Co-Chair Steve Gilbert adds that building mutually beneficial partnerships is key. “Schools and businesses or nonprofits can tailor partnerships so it’s a win-win relationship, and both entities are getting benefits,” he says.
Businesses commit to a minimum of one event per quarter. Omega Learning recently sponsored an essay contest at Bradley Middle School and awarded a Samsung tablet to the winner. Other partnerships have provided landscaping, test proctors or high school internships.
Schools can offer businesses and nonprofits exposure, marketing and more. North Mecklenburg High School sent its band to perform at a staff event for partner Hendrick Auto Mall. The goal is to foster relationships that grow beyond the one-year initial agreement.
LNEC began in 2012 as Community of Huntersville Education Collaborative, targeting Huntersville public and charter school students. In 2014, the Education Collaborative realigned with the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce to expand to 18 public and charter school students in Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson.
The Education Collaborative, working with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, the Lake Norman Chamber, and the Lake Norman Economic Development Corporation held a very successful Education Summit with approx 150 local education and business leaders present. Other successful events including career days at Hopewell and Hough High School and a Partners in Education Beakfast at Blythe Elementary School.
For more information regarding the Lake Norman Education Collaborative Partners in Education program, visit LNEC’s Face Book page or contact the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce 704-892-1922. The Lake Norman Chamber, with approximately 1,000 business members, serves the Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, and greater Lake Norman regional business community.