SPRING HILL — Local business leaders and educators met at Explorer K8 school recently for a power breakfast. The goal: to improve the school.
The Feb. 26 event, coordinated by parents Robert Goldner and Deanna Carrasquello and assistant principal Vivian Sweeney, was called the Business Partners in Excellence Summit.
Those in attendance reviewed a list of items on a wall display and were asked to choose which ones they could take on to enhance education.
Principal Dominick Ferello also hopes for nontangible donations, like time for mentoring.
Goldner and Carrasquello called the networking among community members the Community Partnership Association of Explorer K8. Ferello said the breakfast will be a monthly event.
Ferello was delighted by the turnout, which included Babies and Beyond, Chick-fil-A, Chili's, Hess Express, Home Depot, Joni Industries, Marco's Pizza, McDonald's, Paesano Italian Bakery, Wal-Mart/Sam's Club, Sherwood Florist, Spring Hill Lanes, the St. Petersburg Times, SunTrust Banks, Warlick Hall Engineering Inc., Truly Nolan, YMCA, Better Business Bureau, HEART Literacy, Keller Williams Realty, pediatrician Dr. Russell Bain, Sweetbay Supermarkets and Mattress Giant.
"I'm impressed with what we've been able to build in the six months here," Ferello said. "The school really bonded with the community."
Also at Explorer K8, Ferello said, local businesses support the school by providing coupons to reward teachers and staff.
Every Friday the school has a drawing to award the donations. The gift certificates include dinner from Ercalano's Italian Restaurant, coupons from Dunkin' Donuts and haircuts from Steve's Hair Salon.
Explorer staff also have the option of neck and back massages by a massage therapist provided by Spring Hill physician Brian Kroll.
Ferello said donating businesses will benefit for their generosity. They will be advertised and recognized. He said the school plans to send home booklets with all the names and businesses that have supported the school.
"We've got some real strong partners," Ferello said.
Paulette Lash Ritchie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.