WESTMINSTER — David and Lynn McCabe want to encourage Carroll students to learn more about geography and the joys of travel. The Westminster couple, owners of Travel Agents International at Cranberry Mall, plan to offer a scholarship to a college-bound student at Westminster High School this year.
Cherie Jenkins thinks students should know the basics oflife, health, auto and homeowners insurance -- why you need it, whatit covers, how to choose proper coverage. The owner of Jenkins Insurance Association Inc. of Winfield plans to visit Westminster High School classes.
The McCabes and Jenkins are among the 45 business people who havebecome members of the Westminster High School Business and EducationPartnership. The partnership's purpose is to encourage businesses tobecome more involved in education and to inform the community about services available at the school.
"The response has been very positive," said Walter Dyky, an assistant principal at Westminster High School.
The partnership program kicked off in the spring with a breakfast at the high school. Since then, the high school staff and a business advisory council, comprised of business leaders and school administrators, has formed a directory listing the services businesses can provide teachers and the services the school can provide in return.
"It's like a Sears catalog -- a wish book -- you go through it and get ideas for things," said Margaret Payne, the school's marketingeducation coordinator and a committee chairperson. "Who knows what could happen?"
Payne said that although businesses have long been active with schools, the partnership will allow the school to formallykeep track of such participation and honor those businesses, as well.
Although they're pleased with the response of the partnership, which has attracted a variety of businesses ranging from small manufacturers to accounting and marketing firms, school officials hope to increase membership.
To do so, they are sponsoring a Business and Education Partners Night at 7 p.m. Friday at the stadium, before the Owls play Laurel High in football. The event will be free to business people who present their cards at the gate.
"We thought it would bea good way to get people in the community involved in athletics and then entice them somehow to get involved in academics," Payne said.
An infield party, featuring refreshments and entertainment, will beconducted for those businesses who have already committed to the partnership.
"We think they deserve something special," Payne said.
McCabe, who opened his travel business three years ago, said the partnership provides endless possibilities of interaction with studentsand the school. Besides offering a scholarship, which he hopes to eventually provide to each of the county's five high schools, his agency can provide travel brochures and globes to social studies classes.
"There are a lot of things we can do," he said. "We can even show kids all of the aspects of starting a new business -- finding financing, buying equipment, leasing or buying. We could show them some of the things we've learned."
School officials also see endless possibilities.
"We want to get some of these kids hooked with folks as mentors," Dyky said. "We want some to take under their wing one or twostudents to show them what it's like in the real world."