It’s official. Valencia College has “adopted” Lawton Chiles Elementary School.
Now Valencia students who are interested in becoming teachers will have the chance to volunteer at the Orange County elementary school and learn more about a teaching career through volunteer opportunities and field experience at the school, which is located near Rouse Road in east Orange County. In addition, students at Lawton Chiles Elementary will also benefit from exposure to college students — and the idea of going to college.
The “adoption ceremony” took place on Friday, Oct. 4, at the elementary school. Principal Sheila Burke presented a framed adoption certificate to Dr. Stacey Johnson, president of Valencia’s East and Winter Park campuses, and Dr. Johnson presented a framed adoption certificate to Burke.
Following the ceremony, Valencia students and staffers took a brief tour of the elementary school, which is located near Rouse Road, and then began their first day of volunteer work. The school serves a disadvantaged neighborhood — with 76 percent of the students receiving a free or reduced-price lunch.
Valencia students will help the Lawton Chiles students develop their school garden, and will tutor struggling students, as well as provide hands-on support with their day to day school and classroom activities. In addition, Lawton Chiles students will get to go on field trips to Valencia to see what college is like.