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Rheem Manufacturing inspires Orr Elementary

Rheem Manufacturing has been a staple for Fort Smith Public Schools. Beginning in 1987, Rheem has been a constant in the schools, as well as, serving on the Partners in Education Board and most recently working with Vision 2023. Rheem is currently a Partner in Education with Orr Elementary School. Rheem not only works to help improve the lives of the students, but they help and recognize the school staff. For their great work.  

Rheem, led by Sherry Sims, Sr. Division HR Administrator for Rheem, is a sponsor for many different programs. Rheem hosts the Orr Scholars Program to highlight the important of good attitude, perfect attendance and excellence in academics. At the end of the year, Rheem employees attend the year end recognition assembly.

One of their most dedicated projects is the mentoring program. There are 10 employees who visit Orr twice a month to talk with at-risk students. They might have lunch, play games, work on homework or just sit and chat. Ms. Sims also helps Orr to organize the rest of the Partner in Education mentors which includes another 20 adults from various businesses.  

This last year brought a special surprise for the students. Rheem took the entire student body to Parrot Island. They organized the day, grilled hot dogs and sent employees to help supervise and serve. More recently, Rheem sponsored a field trip for the fourth graders to the Fort Smith Landfill where the kids learned about “Keep Fort Smith Beautiful”. They are hoping to launch more environmental education initiatives in the school as an environmentally conscious corporation.

Attending regular PIE meetings along with PTA meetings, helping with the blood drive, providing time, volunteers and monetary contributions, are all donations made by Rheem. The students know all that Rheem does for them and express their gratitude whenever they can. They have learned it is a true two-way partnership.