The Vernon Parish School Board (VPSB) recently recognized its Partners in Education for the 2017-2018 school year for their contributions and support to Vernon Parish schools.

According to Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce Education Committee Chairperson Charlotte Cooper, 23 local businesses partnered with the 18 schools in Vernon Parish during the 2017-2018 school year.

Together the businesses donated more than $20,000 to the schools, as well as other resources and services.

The businesses recognized included

Anacoco Elementary School: The Village of Anacoco and UDB Financial

Anacoco High School: Brandon Veterinary Clinic

East Leesville Elementary School: Sabine State Bank

Evans High School: Cryer's Sports

Hicks High School: Bloomers Florist and David Haymon, State Farm Agent

Hornbeck High School: Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Leesville High School: Barksdale Federal Credit Union and the City of Leesville

Leesville Junior High School: Alford Motors; East Leesville Baptist Church; and Barksdale Federal Credit Union

North Polk Elementary School: Outpatient Medical Center

Parkway Elementary School: Barksdale Federal Credit Union and American Moving and Storage

Pickering Elementary School: GEICO

Pickering High School: Doctors Hospital at Deer Creek

Pitkin High School: Beauregard Electric

Rosepine Elementary School: Soileau's Specialty Meats and Pedestal Bank

Rosepine High School: CLECO

Simpson High School: Thornton Accounting

Vernon Middle School: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and Physical Therapy Services of West Louisiana

West Leesville Elementary School: Thrifty Way Pharmacy

The Partners in Education program is a joint endeavor between the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce and VPSB.

"The program is designed to create a close working relationship between community organizations and schools or specific programs within Vernon Parish," said Cooper said. "The purpose of this program is to enrich and expand the educational opportunities of Vernon Parish students while fostering a deeper understanding of the school system within the community."

Cooper said the goal of Partners in Education is to cultivate and encourage involvement that leaves a lasting positive impact on Vernon Parish.

"This involvement helps develop the local school environment into a powerful educational setting where community members are working actively with students," Cooper said. "Partners in Education encourage community leaders to take a greater interest in Vernon Parish Schools. This program opens school doors to the community while providing an opportunity to better prepare students to succeed."

Fort Polk Progress President Michael Reese and Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anne Causey spearheaded the idea for the Partners in Education program, and through their efforts, it became a reality.

"Vernon Parish schools serve many children of Soldiers stationed at Fort Polk. These Soldiers and their families are so important to our community," Reese said. "The Partners in Education program shows them that the community cares about them and is ready to invest in the education of both military and civilian students."

Reese expressed his appreciation for the many partners that contribute to these efforts.

"The contributions of our local businesses are vital to ensuring the success of Vernon Parish students," Reese said. "We are so thankful for their support."

This year, 30 businesses are participating, with each one committing to provide at least $500 to their respective school through time, supplies or treats.

These 2018-2019 Partners in Education include

Anacoco Elementary School: The Village of Anacoco and UDB Financial.

Anacoco High School: Brandon Veterinary Clinic

East Leesville Elementary School: Wendy's and Haza Foods

Evans High School: Cryer's Sports

Hicks High School: Bloomers Florist and David Haymon, State Farm Agent

Hornbeck High School: The Woodlands Healthcare Center and Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Leesville High School: Barksdale Federal Credit Union and Leesville Police Department

Leesville Junior High School: Alford Motors and Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Parkway Elementary School: American Moving and Storage and Barksdale Federal Credit Union

Pickering Elementary School: GEICO local office

Pickering High School: Goodwill Industries, SETX and SWLA; Harvey's Auto Parts & Recycling; and Doctors Hospital at Deer Creek

Pitkin High School: Beauregard Electric

North Polk Elementary School: Outpatient Medical Center

Rosepine Elementary School: Soileau's Specialty Meats and Pedestal Bank

Rosepine High School: Cleco and Hickory Smokehouse

Simpson High School: The Village of Simpson; Lord Clinic; and Ben's Auto Restoration

Vernon Middle School: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and West LA Physical Therapy Services

West Leesville Elementary School: Thrifty Way Pharmacy

Vernon Parish Special Olympics Program: Leesville Lions Club

Private Schools in Vernon Parish

Faith Training Christian Academy: Byrd Regional Hospital and Sabine State Bank (University)

First Assembly Christian Academy: Sabine State Bank, Lee Hills Branch

For information on becoming a Partner in Education, contact the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce at (337) 238-0349.