NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the Jan. 8, 2021 Bloomington Herald-Times.
The Success School is the philanthropic arm of the Chamber of Commerce, working in partnership with MCCSC and RBBSC to produce graduates ready for work, career and success. For 30 years, Chamber member volunteers have led career panels, elementary career fairs, job skills seminars, financial literacy classes, job shadowing, STEM and Life Science Fairs, and Reality Stores ®, exposing K-12 students to excellent career opportunities in Monroe County.
Guided by the Success School Advisory Council, the programs focus on five keys: Career Exploration, Job Skills, Financial Readiness, Soft Skills and Entrepreneurship. Each program is developed to align with Indiana curriculum standards and designed to support work already occurring in the classroom.
Prior to the pandemic, the Success School would serve over 2000 students at its in-person programs, with close to 350 volunteers working to support the students and their career development in the schools. Always working to support our teachers and their work, when they went online in the Spring, so did the Success School. Zoom became a way to record career panels for students to watch from their laptops, and online financial literacy games became a way to teach critical life skills to kids of all ages. Volunteers from across the community stepped up to see how they could help, and the result was an exceptional online resource for students, teachers, and parents.
Our website, www.chamberbloomington.org/success-school is now a virtual library of local career options, interviews with business leaders, entrepreneurs and sector experts, and interactive games. Christopher Emge, the Principal of the Success School, has done an amazing job transforming our in-person resources to something useful in this pandemic school year. Teachers can download worksheets, link to videos directly on Canvas (their e-learning app), or use the videos during live instruction. Our hope is that the partnership and cooperation between the Chamber’s Success School and our local schools remains strong and responsive during this difficult school year.
Do you know a great educator? Of course you do! Our community is filled with dedicated, bright, and caring professionals determined to help their students succeed during this difficult school year. The Success School’s Educator of the Year nomination forms are currently open, and we encourage parents, neighbors, students, colleagues, and friends to nominate a deserving educator before January 11th so that they may be considered for our annual awards. Nomination forms are available at www.chamberbloomington.org/2021-educator-of-the-year-nominations.
The Chamber believes in “Better Business, Better Community” and The Success School is the epitome of that connection. By using our resources to invest in the education of our youth, we are building a future community that we can all be proud to be part of. The Success School provides great opportunities to help engage our local youth in business and expose them to different career opportunities. Want to help us out? Contact Christopher Emge at email@example.com or visit www.chamberbloomington.org/success-school.
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