August 2, 2017
Jarrett-Gordon Ford will give away a new Ford Fusion at the end of the 2017-18 school year to the deserving parent of a Polk County Public Schools student.
The giveaway is a part of a new initiative to boost parent involvement within the district’s schools. The program, called Wheels to Engagement, was announced during a press conference this morning at the dealership’s Winter Haven location.
“We are happy to be a part of a program that gives support to the school system,” said Anthony Gordon, co-owner of Jarrett-Gordon Ford. “We always wanted to do something of significance to help educators and parents.”
In addition to the Ford Fusion, CenterState Bank is sponsoring cash prizes totaling $5,000 for the grand prize winner, and second and third runners-up.
The program is open to parents of children who attend 19 low-performing schools. (Employees of Polk County Public Schools are not eligible.) To participate, parents will need to complete a criteria that spans the course of the academic year. Some of the requirements include attending parent conferences, volunteering eight hours at their child’s school, and completing communication plans with teachers.
Each school will ultimately select a “Parent of the Year” who will be eligible for the prizes. During a year-end celebration at Jarrett-Gordon Ford, each school’s winner will receive a car key – and a chance to unlock the 2017 Ford Fusion.
District officials noted there is a correlation between parent involvement and student performance. When parents are engaged, interested and supportive of their child’s education, that child is much more likely to succeed, said Maria Longa, the district’s Senior Director of Federal Programs and Grants Management.
“CenterState Bank was founded with a belief in quality service and community focus, and we are proud to partner with the Polk County School Board in the launch of their ‘Parent of the Year’ program, Wheels to Engagement,” said Mike Compton, Senior Vice President and Winter Haven Area Executive for CenterState Bank. “This program encourages parents to become more involved in some of our county’s lowest performing schools. We support education and the importance of building relationships between the students, parents, teachers and administrators in Polk County.”