School-Business Partnerships

The Partnerships In Education Program is sponsored jointly by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System. This program connects businesses and community organizations- including congregations and the faith community- with schools to assist in providing a quality education for every student in Forsyth County. While the business partner often donates money, perhaps the most valuable contributions are time, ideas, expertise, and in-house goods and services. Volunteers are another valuable resource provided by business partners. Some serve as resource speakers or assist with building and grounds improvements; but most work directly with students as mentors, tutors, and special friends, such as lunch buddies.

A partnership enhances a company’s image, allows its employees to work together on a specific community need, and contributes to smoother school-to-work transitions for new employees. Employees often enjoy entertainment, artwork, parent education programs, and the use of their partner school’s facility. They especially enjoy the personal satisfaction they receive from their relationship with students and staff.


The School-Business Partnership Program has three main components:

  • District-wide Partners are businesses and organizations willing to help all of the schools in the district reach their goals. To be listed as an official District-wide business partner, at least one of the following characteristics must be met:
    • Offer Fundraising Support with a minimum of 20% giveback, preferably higher.
    • Offer Strategic Support to assist schools in achieving at least one of the district-level goals and/or priorities.
  • Friend of the School- These partners provide valuable support to the school that is typically less than $500 a year on a one-time or limited basis, such as:
    • Donation of door prizes, event tickets, event prizes, and gift cards;
    • Provision of discounts on goods and services;
    • Provision of snacks for parent and student events;
    • Provision of meeting space;
    • Provision of work-site tours or serve as guest speakers;
    • Sponsor contests in art, writing, math, reading, etc.
    • Provision of display space for student artwork;
    • Serve as judges for science fair or other school events;
    • Provision of teacher recognition

    Note: This list is not exhaustive and is provided as an illustration of the types of partner activities provided at this level.

  • Strategic Business Partner- These partners form a strong multi-year, sustainable relationship, and the specific activities are outlined in a written agreement. Activities are based on School Improvement Plan priorities that address one or more of the district and school-level goals and priorities. Multiple strategies may be included and require involvement and resources. This list is not exhaustive, examples include:
    • Providing volunteers or other support for sustained mentoring or tutoring;
    • Sponsoring or providing staff-development, expert consultation, or faculty training opportunities;
    • Donating take-home books for struggling readers;
    • Providing student internships and on-going work based learning opportunities;
    • Sponsoring field trips and other learning opportunities for students;
    • Providing scholarships for teachers and/or students;

Click here for the 2016-17 District-wide Partners In Education List

Click here for the 2015-16 Annual Report

Click here for the Partnerships In Education Guide

Click here for the District-Wide or School Friend Registration Form

Click here for the Strategic Partner Agreement/Registration Form

For additional information, contact Rodessa Mitchell at (336) 728-9222.