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Web Site Helps To Bridge Gap Between Education, Business

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RALEIGH — These days, public schools really count on the help of parents and businesses. TheBusiness Education Networkis a clearing channel for businesses to get involved withWake County schools.

Last year, the program was created byWake Education Partnershipand theGreater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.MCI WorldCompumped money into the program, and it is benefiting schools in many ways. Requests for volunteer help are made online.

Education and business are sometimes seen as different worlds. The Web site brings them to common ground.

"The feedback that we get from businesses and schools that use the Web site is that it's a really effective way to help them understand who to contact in some of those different worlds," says Eric Houck of Wake Education Partnership.

A major component of help that is offered to students is mentoring.

"A lot of schools' needs do involve one-on-one relationships with students, and those tend to be the most popular offers that businesses want to make," Houck says.

Wake County schools have set high goals to be achieved over the next three years. The Partnership says cooperation between schools and businesses can play a major role in academic achievement.

"It's just trying to provide them a way to understand the relevance of what they're doing. A way to understand that the math has a place in the real world," Houck says.

Students benefit from partnerships with businesses in ways that cannot be measured. Businesses benefit by educating and showing students what life is like in the adult world. The program is unique and may be copied by other communities.

The Wake Education Partnership will soon be recruiting businesses to the Business Education Network for participation this school year.

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Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Chad Whisnant, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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