Ideas from our Partners

Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation(AOG)
and Carnall Elementary School 

AOG has been Partners in Education with Carnall Elementary since 1993. AOG has approximately 30 volunteers that contribute to student success by tutoring students, reading to younger students, having lunch with students, and assisting at carnivals and fund raisers. The following activites are some that AOG participate in.

Bringing up Grades
One creative program AOG has with Carnall is Bringing Up Grades. Each school year students are given the opportunity to design a new "BUG CLUB" logo for t-shirts. Each nine weeks every student that brings up their grades, or keeps the same grades, is awarded a BUG Club t-shirt purchased by AOG. The t-shirts are presented during an Awards Assembly by AOG President, Super Bug Mike Carter. Each student is also given a $5 McDonald's certificate. T-shirts are presented three times during the school year.

Career Day
Each year during Career Week AOG and Carnall have a Career Day for the sixth grade students at AOG facilities. The students are transported to the downtown office where they tour each department. The students then go to the AOG operations department where they tour the different departments. Each student receives a hat or visor. Lunch is then served to the students in the training room. This is a very enjoyable trip for the students.

Also, during Career Week, AOG schedules several employees to speak each day to the class about their career and to stress the importance of education. One evening a "Job Fair" is held for students and parents. The AOG Personnel Director volunteer talks at the fair about requirements for different positions at AOG.

Theatre Productions
AOG made it possible for students to attend a play production at Southside High School each year. Mrs. Wiley thought this was a very worthwhile activity for the students.

Santa Photos
Before Christmas AOG employees take pictures of each student with Mr. & Mrs. Claus at Carnall. AOG has the photos developed and inserts the picture in a specially printed card to send home with each student.

Shining Star Luncheon
Each month two students from each classroom are recognized for improvement. These students are named Shining Stars and are recognized at lunch. The Shining Stars have a special table that is decorated by a different partner volunteer each month. AOG has several volunteers at each luncheon to eat with the students. AOG also gives each Shining Star student a certificate with the student's name printed on it.

Christmas Decorations
Each class at Carnall made tree decorations for the AOG Christmas tree at the downtown office. The tree was decorated with the ornaments and a picture was taken to send to the students at Carnall.

Pen Pal Program
A pen pal program was started between AOG employees and the 3rd grade students. Each month the pen pals exchange letters. The employees and students have enjoyed this program immensely.

Science Fair Judges
AOG sends volunteers to help judge the science fair projects.

Holiday Volunteer
Every holiday AOG employee, Melissa Dorsey, dresses in costume for that holiday and visits with kindergartners. She usually brings them some goodies and reads them stories.

When Carnall has enough information for a newsletter, AOG types up the information and makes 200 copies to distribute to the students.

Principal for 1/2 a Day
Each year AOG President, Mike Carter, will act as Principal for a half day. This has been a wonderful experience. Also, AOG had seven volunteers to teach for a half day. This was very enjoyable for those volunteers who had considered a teaching career.

Partnership Day
This spring instead of field day the PIE committee has decided on Parnership Day. AOG will have several volunteers to help with games. For lunch, the AOG Chili Team will grill hot dogs and hamburgers for students and volunteers.

Spring Carnival
During the carnival AOG has several volunteers to participate with the games. Also, AOG has a Bounce-A-Round delivered to Carnall for the carnival.

Kindergarten Helpers - Donation
During the first week of school, volunteers from AOG helped the kindergarten students with their lunch trays. On the first day each kindergarten student received a cup holder with pencils, candy, rulers and erasers.

Groundhog Job Shadow Day
There were eight 5th grade students who came to AOG facilities, both downtown and operations, to job shadow with employees. This experience was beneficial for the students to make eventual career choices and very enjoyable for AOG employees. The students and employees then had lunch together at each location and discussed what they had learned.

BancorpSouth and Trusty Elementary School 

Family Economics Night
Family Economics Night has been an annual event since 1999. More than 75 parents and 100 students attend this event each year to learn about budgeting, making decisions and the reality of monthly bills versus income.

Trusty Scholars
Trusty Scholars began in 1999 as a way to encourage Trusty graduates to continue their post-secondary education. BancorpSouth establishes a scholarship account for each qualifying student in the amounts of $50, $75, or $100. Upon graduating from high school, students who present their diploma at BancorpSouth will receive all money, including interest, in their scholarship account. Our first year of scholars are now in the 12th grade!

Career Connections
Career Connections is a program designed for 6th grade students. This mini-course takes students through goal setting, job types, bank employee presentations on various bank positions, resume writing, actual job interviews, and job shadowing.

Trusty Savers
The Trusty Savers program was designed to educate 5th and 6th grade students about the importance of saving money. "You save pennies today and you have dollars tomorrow." Participating students open an indivdual account and a bank employee goes to the school on scheduled days to take deposits from students.

BancorpSouth also has the pleasure of displaying various art projects throughout the year; helping with lunch duty for kindergarten and 1st grade students during the first few days of school, providing a tree on the Trail of Trees for the students to decorate with handmade ornaments, rewarding Presidential Scholars with savings bonds, participating in awards ceremonies, and sharing valuable time with the students throughout the year.

First National Bank of Fort Smith
and Sunnymede Elementary School 

Bank Tours
First National Bank provides tours to a number of clases at Sunnymede each year. Students are taken to the safe deposit box department, the main vault area, data processing department, loan department, mail room, and Board of Director's room. Students are given a demonstration of each area and an explanation on how each department affects the bank. This is a great learning tool for students and gives them an idea of how banks operate.

Christmas Card Contest
First National Bank has a Christmas card contest for three age divisions: Kindergarten-2nd Grade, 3rd-4th Grade, and 5th-6th Grade. Sunnymede students design the First National Bank Christmas card based on a selected theme. First Place winners are given $50 savings bonds and their pictures are printed on the bank's corporate Christmas card. This card is sent out all over the area to First National Bank customers. Sunnymede has designed the bank's Christmas card since 1992.

Cool For School
One day a year First National Bank employees can donate $5 and dress casual for the day. All proceeds go to the "Cool for School" Sunnymede program First National Bank began in 1995. This program provides much needed funds for Sunnymede to purchase supplies for the students and pay for field trips. The bank graciously matches the employee's contributions. In the ninth year, First National Bank hopes to exceed the amount of past donations. For the past several years, First National Bank has presented Sunnymede a cashiers check for $1,500.00.

Dollars and Sense Program
First National Bank began a program called Dollar$ and $ense in 2003 with the Sunnymede 6th graders. The purpose of the program is to help increase the fiscal and economic literacy of young students. Dollar$ and $ense introduces the basic concepts of money management and the role money management plays in the lives of all people. The program creates a challenging, hands-on, learning experience to help students develop the financial skills necessary in tommorrow's financially complex world. Dollar$ and $ense teaches the students the fundamentals of saving and the importance of setting goals.

During the first visit, students have an opportunity to learn about opening a savings account with the bank. The bank sends a letter explaining the program and a permission slip home so that the parents feel involved with the program. The bank's Looney Tunes Savings account is used in the program. First National Bank funds the Looney Tunes Savings account with $5.00. Weekly, the teachers and two representatives from the bank follow up with lessons on saving, money management, goals, etc. Weekly the bank representatives accept deposits from the students. It is emphasized to the students that no deposit is too small. The goal is to encourage students to develop a "saving sense".

Kindergarten Lunch Helpers
First National Bank provides Sunnymede with at least two employees each day during the first week of school. These employees assist kindergarten students in carrying their trays, opening their milk, and just finding their way to the table. First National Bank began this program in 2000 upon the request of the principal at Sunnymede Elementary.

By Friday most students have the lunch routine down. They know how to swipe their lunch card, which doors to enter and exit, and where to sit. This not only helps the first week of school run smoother but also begins each year with First National Bank's presence in the school long before any of the other programs begin.

Laminated Folders
Each year First National Bank provides sturdy laminated pocket folders for each Sunnymede student. These folders are used weekly to carry homework papers. They also provide valuable information to the parents such as the school's address, phone number and school calendar. First National Bank is proud to be in their eighth year for providing these folders.

First National Bank employee Mentors make a commitment to visit weekly with a child at Sunnymede. These children are in need of one on one attention for one reason or another. A bond is often built with the employee and child. First National Bank Mentors truly make a difference in the children's lives.

The Mentors spend time with their Mentee playing games, playing cards, singing songs, reading, coloring, painting, doing small projects, shooting hoops on the basketball court, and eating lunch together. Sound fun? You bet it is and rewarding too!!!

Teacher for 1/2 a Day
First National Bank, along with Sunnymede's other business partners, places an employee in each classroom at Sunnymede for Principal and Teacher for 1/2 a day. Employees learn first hand what a teacher experiences daily. The students meet their corporate partners and have an opportunity to learn what First National Bank employees do at the bank. This is a day everyone looks forward to.

First National Bank "teachers" provide the principal, teachers, secretaries, cooks and maintenance workers with corsages and carnations. Pencils are also provided for all the students. Some of the teachers incorporate lessons regarding money, banking, or some kind of financial lesson.

Pen Pal Program
First National Bank's Pen Pal program consists of employees writing every other week to their Sunnymede 6th grade pen pal. The student then writes back to the bank employee. A relationship begins to build beyond imagination. By the end of the year each pen pal is anxious to meet their new friend.

This program teaches the students letter writing skills, but also allows them to share a part of themselves with someone. It is fun and exciting program. First National Bank has employees writing to both 6thgrade classes each year. There are 56 Pen Pal employees committed to writing a letter every other week throughout the year.

All supplies are provided to the student and employee. This includes a folder, notebook paper, envelopes, a pencil, and stickers along with a profile of the employee/child.

At the end of the school year a picnic is planned at Creekmore Park for the student to meet their First National Bank pen pal. First National Bank employees and Sunnymede 6th graders are provided with a pen pal T-shirt for the picnic. Lunch is provided, consisting of pizza, cookies, and soft drinks. Pictures are taken and provided to all First National Bank employees and Sunnymede 6th grade pen pals.

Reading Tutor Program
First National Bank employees go to the school weekly to help students with their reading. The Reading Tutor program provides help to each and every student that requires reading reinforcement. By providing reading tutors, employees help to improve the students reading skills and improve their self-esteem. Only 30 minutes is necessary weekly to make a difference. First National Bank employees are given training, tips and ideas to become a reading tutor.

Scholar Program
First National Bank provides a scholar program for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. First National Bank provides a T-shirt, backpack and jacket to all that qualify. First National Bank felt the need to incorporate a scholar program to meet Sunnymede's needs. This program is intended to reward those students who have achieved good citizenship, good attendance, and maintained a C or above grade level. The program is also intended to encourage others to strive for this level of excellence. This scholar program was tailored just for Sunnymede students recognizing the need for immediate recognition rather than a reward down the road. Requirements for the program are:

First year, Criteria: grades C or above, 95% attendance, good citizenship Reward: Scholar t-shirt at end of 4th grade, certificate

Second year, Criteria: grades C or above, 95% attendance, good citizenship, service Reward: cap, backpack, notebook, etc, certificate

Third year, Criteria: grades C or above, 95% attendance, good citizenship, service Reward: jacket awarded in October, certificate in May

Science Fair
First National Bank provides employees to judge the Science Fair at Sunnymede Elementary. First National Bank also provides the tables needed to display the science projects. Participant ribbons are provided for all students who submit a science fair project. First National Bank also provides First, Second, and Third Place Ribbons for all three divisions of the Science Fair. In addition to the First Place Ribbon, the First Place winners are presented with a $50 savings bond.

Trail of Trees
Every year First National Bank purchases a tree representing partnership with Sunnymede. The Trail of Trees on display the first week of December in Central Mall, is a fun way to celebrate the partnership. Sunnymede Student Council members and First National Bank representatives spend several hours decorating the Christmas tree. Following the tree decoration, the representatives eat lunch and visit with the students. First National Bank provides lunch and refreshments for students and bank employee representatives. Sunnymede students create the decorations for the tree. One year the tree was decorated with gold dollar signs and accented with gold ribbon which had a child and adult silhouette hand in hand representing our partnership.

Gerber, Weldon, Williams & Lick
and Howard Elementary School 

Back to School Picnic  
Donate hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, cokes, chips, popsicles, and volunteers.

1st Day of School  
Provide doughnuts to the staff.

Yard Sale Fundraiser  
Conduct yard sale to raise funds for activities at Howard.

Socks Drive 
Donate packages of socks for needy children at Howard.

“Blankets on the Ground” 
Partners provide hot dogs, buns, chips, drinks for Reading Family Night

Open House  
Provide Interpreters for Howard Open House.

Started program for employees to pay $1 to sponsor a child. This money was used to fund activities throughout the year.

Coat Drive 
Collect coats for children at the school. Provided coat rack for school to supply the coats.

Dance Fundraiser 
Sponsor a dance for 5th – 12th graders to raise funds for activities at Howard.

Teacher Dinner 
Provide dinner for teachers during Parent/Teacher Conferences.

Door Prize 
Howard and the partners provide a gift basket for Fall Gerber Mothers to Be Day.

Thanksgiving Dinners  
Provide complete dinners for all families and staff from Howard.

Winter Festival
Provide Santa and his elves, games and snacks.

Angel Tree 
Provide presents for 20 families for Christmas.

Classroom Parties 
Provide cupcakes, cookies, and juice for Christmas and Valentine’s Parties.

Gerber Foundation 
Donated $2500 to assist with instructional needs.

Culture Festival  
Provide volunteers to help with celebration of a variety of cultures that are represented at Howard. This involves ethnic food, games, and clothing.

Benchmark Testing 
Donate cases of juice, cases of cereal/fruit bars, and cases of water for all testing periods.

Safety Day 
Coordinate support from Fort Smith Fire Department, FSPD (including SWAT Team), Morgan Nick Foundation, EMS, and the Red Cross for safety day.

Parent Teacher Conferences 
Provide lunch and interpreters for all conferences.

Science Fair 
Provide $25 Savings Bond for winner, and volunteers to judge.

Spring Carnival 
Provide snacks and volunteers.

BBQ Dinner & Carwash 
Conduct dinner and carwash to raise funds for PIE activities.

Teacher Appreciation Day 
Provide volunteers to sit in for teachers during an appreciation luncheon.

Fishing Field Trip 
Host 5th and 6th graders for fishing day at Lake Lou Emma. Donate fishing poles and tackle to each child.

Field Day 
Provide games, prizes, refreshments, and volunteers for end of year field day for the entire school.

Quarterly Awards Ceremonies
Recognize the 3-A’s. (Attitude, Achievement, and Attendance) The partners present books, pencils, and certificates to all students who meet the goals.

Professional Development Day 
Provide lunch for Howard Teachers

Attendance Award 
Sponsored skating trip to Crystal Palace for all students that met the attendance goals.

Attitude Award 
Sponsor trip to Bowling World for all students that met the attitude goals.

Tiger Pals 
Developed an after-school program to help teach the students leadership skills. The partners provide volunteers to conduct activities which consisted of sewing, sports, dance, and school beautification.

Outdoor Classroom 
Provided supplies and volunteers to develop one of the premier Outdoor Classrooms in the State of Arkansas. This area of the school has been recognized by local leaders and has been the location for several special events.

Achievement Awards 
Sponsor trip to Arkansas Lady Razorbacks Basketball game for all students who met the Achievement goals.

AR Goal Award 
Sponsor a trip to Magic Springs for all students who meet their Accelerated Reading goals for the school year. Partners provide tickets, t-shirts, and refreshments.

Janet Huckabee Nature Center 
Sponsor field trip to the nature center at Fort Chaffee for all students who met the year end Achievement Goal.



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