The city of Columbia held the 28th Partners in Education flag celebration last night to honor local businesses for their contributions to Columbia Public Schools.
The Mid-Missouri High Steppers kicked off the event last night in Downtown Columbia’s Courthouse Square. Partners in Education is an organization that has joined 130 local businesses with Columbia Public Schools. The businesses donate their time through career fairs, classroom presentations and many other activities.
Columbia Public Schools’ Superintendent Chris Belcher says while it’s great for the schools, it’s also an important experience for the partnering businesses.
“And they just start to form this relationship connection with the kid and just fall in love with the students and it changes their life and they want to become more involved in our schools.” Robert Battle, Director of the Benton Elementary School choir, says he’s glad he brought his choir for his first year at the event. “I think it’s so important for them to be able to see the kids that they’ve been serving" he says, "and the kids they’ve been giving to.” Belcher says the Partners in Education program requires extensive background checks and can be time consuming. But in Belcher's opinion, last night’s celebration showed the partnership is worth it.