Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce launching program for new connections in Leon County classrooms

From WCTV.tv

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce is launching a Classroom Connection program and is looking for business owners to get involved.

Leon County Schools is expecting a larger kindergarten class this year, with about 3,000 students, after many families held off on enrollment last year because of the pandemic.

Classroom Connection is meant to provide more support for students during this critical and formative age.

Tallahassee businesses are joining the village to set students up on the right track.

“We know that achievement gap starts in kindergarten,” Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna said. “Some kids are ready for their K-12 experience and unfortunately some are not.”

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, World Class Schools and Leon County Schools are partnering to close that gap.

Launched Tuesday, Classroom Connection allows businesses to adopt kindergarten classrooms and help provide things like financial support, supplies and mentorship.

Target Print and Mail is one of the dozen local businesses already signed on for the program.

“We are 100% invested in Tallahassee,” Tracey Cohen, President of Target Print and Mail, said. “We want to be here we want to see this community grow and prosper, and early education is a huge part of that effort.

The business is helping to provide teachers with printed supplies but, more importantly, volunteering time inside the classroom, which school leaders say can help with interpersonal skills.

An experience impacted by the pandemic.

“Sometimes those resources are economic resources, but we also need those human resources as well, it could just be coming in to a classroom to read,” said Riley Elementary School Principal April Knight.

The program helps to build their village and a stronger future workforce.

“To make sure that these kids can prosper, and then down the line, we hope to bring them on as employees,” Cohen said.

So far, about a dozen businesses have adopted classrooms, but the district hopes to sign sponsors for all 170 kindergarten classrooms.

Anyone interested in joining the Classroom Connection program can learn more by clicking here.