published: Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Time to get involved
Sebring Chamber says
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- "We talk a lot, but take no action," Steve Nyhan said. He is the new president and CEO of the Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce, and he was reflecting the general sentiment of chamber members, he said.
"Members want to impact the community," Nyhan said.
Following that direction, Nyhan is organizing a series of brain-storming sessions, bringing people from related businesses together to develop solutions to problems, and spark the local economy. For example, bankers, brokers and building contractors met Monday for lunch -- each participant paying his or her way.
Nyhan had a specific proposal for the group to consider -- Adopt-a-School.
In the draft outlining the program, Nyhan wrote it was not about giving money.
The voluntary program focuses on relationships. He wrote it's about providing role models for students, expanding their awareness of possibilities, and showing the relevance of the subjects studied to the adult world.
"A strong public school system is basic to the health and growth of a community," Nyhan told the chamber members. "Quality schools attract people (and businesses) to the area."
He emphasized this kind of interaction required commitment and active involvement over time.
School Superintendent Wally Cox said, "We're raising kids, not teaching in our schools. You have no idea how much we're controlled by the state and federal government."
He added parents impacted on their children's behavior, that many parents valued education, but not all of them. In those cases what was mostly missing was a work ethic.
"Kids with a good work ethic can succeed with help and support," Cox said. "Mentoring is key in helping those students."
Nyhan added, "We're not asking for a commitment of resources, but of time and effort."
The Adopt-a-School program suggests a number of activities a business can do with a school -- from displaying student art in the office to sponsoring a special interest club.
A special breakfast to bring nonprofit organizations together for a brain-storming session is being held at the Golf Club Island View restaurant from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. All non-profit organizations are welcome. The meal costs $8. RSVP at 385-8448.
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