A Lawrence business-education partnership that oversees two preschool classrooms has won a state honor.
Once again, a Lawrence business-education partnership is an award-winner.
The Early Childhood Educational Readiness Program, which oversees two preschool classrooms in the school district, has won the 1997 Outstanding New Partnership Award. The honor is given to two partnerships each year by the Kansas Foundation for Partnerships in Education.
The honor was announced Tuesday afternoon at the business-education partnership group's fourth annual Back-to-School Kick-Off Celebration at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America's headquarters in Lawrence.
The early-education program is a partnership of the school district, the Lawrence Business-Education Partnership and the Lawrence Schools Foundation. It oversees a 1-year-old preschool classroom at East Heights, 1430 Haskell Ave., and a new preschool classroom at Pinckney, 810 W. Sixth.
The award from the state department of education's foundation is good news, said John Tacha, a former school board member active in raising private funds to finance the preschool classrooms.
"To me, it says somebody else says we're on the right track," he said. "I think you need that. You need someone else every now and then to say you're doing OK."
This is the second time a Lawrence business-education partnership has won the state award. In 1995, the winner was the "Adventures in Imagination" project, which promotes critical thinking and literacy among Lawrence schoolchildren. It is a partnership among Mercantile Bank of Lawrence, the Lied Center of Kansas and the school district.
The award-winning partnerships are among more than 70 school-business pairings in Lawrence.
"The partnerships that work the best are the ones where there is involvement between the two groups: the business group and the school group," said Steve Mona, chairman of the board of the Lawrence Business-Education Partnership. "If the business takes the approach, `We'll just throw a little bit of money at this, that's all we need to do,' that's not necessarily the right approach."
The foundations of successful partnerships are not built on money, said Linda Robinson, director of the program.
"It's that whole business of a handshake rather than a handout that makes this work," she said.