The Greater Columbus GA “Partners in Education” (PIE) Program was established in 1987 as a joint venture of the Muscogee County School District and the Greater Columbus GA Chamber of Commerce. Originally known as “Adopt-A-School,” its purpose was to improve education by stimulating meaningful business and community involvement in public schools. Through individual partnerships with businesses, professional organizations, churches, civic clubs and military units, schools have been able to tap into resources that helped meet the individual needs of their student body, provide excellent educational programming, and recognize academic achievements.
Since program establishment 30 years ago, the Greater Columbus Georgia PIE Program has grown exponentially with over 300 partners involved and over 80 schools engaged across seven school districts. This includes public, private, and faith-based schools; five are Georgia counties: Chattahoochee, Fort Benning, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot and two are Alabama counties: Phenix City and Russell. As of the 2017-2018 school year the program represents a total estimated value of more than $780,000 from time, financial contributions, donations of goods and services given back to our schools.
PIE is based on the concept that “Human Capital” is the most important resource a partner can provide. Although some businesses provide funding for specific needs, the greatest benefit to education is derived from the personal involvement of volunteers in schools. Partnerships provide an enriching educational experience for students aimed at improving levels of academic achievement, self‐esteem, and understanding of the expectations of the work world. Careful consideration is given to match the needs of the school with the resources of the business and once the partnership is established, the possibilities for a successful relationship are endless.
A volunteer Board of Directors manages the operations of the Partners In Education program. The board is comprised of approximately 20 members representing the region’s business, military, and education communities. The program is staffed by the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce under the Workforce and Education Department at 1200 6th Avenue, Columbus, Georgia, 31902.