- Fort Smith School District
Charter Partner WW&L Sets Great Examples for All
To start the New Year, it is fitting to talk about the first Partner in Education, Weldon, Williams and Lick. In 1982, then CEO Bud Jackson suggested the idea of the “Adopt a School” program and a partnership with Howard Elementary School to then superintendent C.B. Garrison. The rest is history. They have been Partners for more than 35 years, and have been the catalyst for more than 200 partnerships over the years.
The relationship between WW&L and Howard is an excellent example of “Partnership.” It is a reciprocal relationship that provides a variety of resources including money, manpower and time. Someone from WW&L visits Howard almost every day. They have one of the largest groups of employees that participate in the mentoring program, an employee helps direct traffic at dismissal and pick-up, and they sponsor the Howard Chess Club with all they need to play. This includes teaching students how-to and supervising the club. WW&L funds a few trips and projects in their entirety. They sponsor the 5th Grade trip to the Arkansas State Capitol, the 5th grade Rocket Project where they purchase the kits and help build the rockets, and the Winter Festival is funded, arranged and employees volunteer to run the show. They also donate coats every year to students.
To show how much they appreciate WW&L, Howard students visit the WW&L facility to perform the winter choir concert. Howard students also visit to judge the Christmas tree decorating contest that WW&L does within their departments each year. WW&L creates a graphic design calendar each year and uses a student drawing as the cover. Students make Thank You posters that are hung up throughout the WW&L facility and the school provides donuts for the employees once a year.
Weldon, Williams & Lick is among the best examples of a Partner in Education. Just by being around and welcoming the students, WW&L employees demonstrate responsibility and commitment. Students learn a lot about giving back to their community as well.
In 2017, Howard Elementary School and WW&L won the Norma Shaffer Elementary Partnership of the Year and with Howard’s other Partner have been the recipients of the Bud Jackson Teamwork Award. WW&L’s David Israel has also won the Cathy Williams Partner of the Year award for his ongoing and work at Howard. As just one example, he has been supervising school dismissal for more than 15 years.