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Adopt-A-School program launched to link businesses, schools

ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton has launched his Adopt-A-School initiative with the goal of getting the state's businesses more involved with youth and education.

Such efforts are already under way in some areas.

The Willmar School Board on Monday gave the go-ahead to a community-supported technology fund for the school district.

Dayton was in Richfield on Tuesday with Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius to recognize several businesses that have developed a relationship with Intermediate School District 287's South Education Center.

Dayton said he hopes to see businesses take an active role in the state's public schools.

"Improving education is critical to getting Minnesota working again both now and in the future," Dayton said in a news release. "Working to improve our system of education must be a shared responsibility that falls not just on our schools, but on partners in our communities as well."

Cassellius said that Adopt-A-School is about businesses doing what they can to help provide educational opportunities for youth. "As we see at South Education Center, each partnership will be different, based on the needs of that school, but each partnership will provide opportunities for students that would not have otherwise been possible," she said in the release.

To aid businesses and schools interested in creating partnerships, the Department of Education has developed a tool kit with a seven-step manual. Information includes tips for building successful partnerships. The kit addresses the types of activities that help improve learning and enhance a school's climate.

The kit, as well as a section where businesses and schools can share about their partnerships, can be found at http://education. Under "Welcome to MDE," click on "Adopt A School."