For 25 years, Boston Financial, State Street Corporation, and North Quincy High School in Quincy, Massachusetts have worked together to build a strong partnership as part of the Quincy School Community Partnership program. Our partnership is a great example of the collaboration that can occur between corporations and a public school system.
The overall goal of the partnership is to teach, mentor, and support the youth of our community through initiatives that may not have otherwise been funded. The partnership has proven to positively impact thousands of students through initiatives like the Great Ideas Program, Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Docent Program, Student Mediation, and the student art awards – just to name a few. I represent Boston Financial on the partnership committee and every year I am so impressed with the ideas, innovation, and commitment displayed by the teachers and students alike.
The “Great Ideas” initiative was first implemented in 1992. It encourages teachers to submit innovative ideas for classroom projects to enhance the instruction and learning environment. A $400 mini-grant is provided as funding to put selected ideas into action.
I am always amazed how the teachers find ways to keep the learning process as fun and intriguing as possible. These ideas generally impact hundreds of students, in some cases the entire student population. The grant enhances the faculty’s ability to teach with resources that would not have been available to them without the support of the partnership. For example, this year a math teacher wanted to enhance the learning of geometry concepts through reading the classic science fiction novel “Flatland,” which would add a human dimension to the subject matter that often appears robotic to students.
The MFA Docent program combines the education of art history with public speaking and presentation training, impacting over 300 students. The program begins with approximately 30 students who are trained by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on many of the museum exhibits with the goal of becoming student tour guides. During the course of the year, the partnership hosts field trips to the museum where the newly trained student tour guides present the exhibits and material to their peers, providing a unique and personalized introduction to the museum.
Another initiative of the partnership is mediation training. Annually 18-20 students and two staff members complete an 18-hour formal mediation training session. Mediation has become a viable conflict management tool at the high school. This program teaches the students skills needed to successfully negotiate, interview, and resolve complex problems; skills that will be used not only during their high school years but skills throughout their adult careers.
Overall, the partnership impacts students and faculty at all levels from special needs to honor students. As a corporate partner with North Quincy High School, Boston Financial is supporting the growth of students, increasing learning opportunities, and providing students skills necessary to succeed in college and in their future careers.