By Reggie Connell, Managing Editor
Each November simply earlier than Thanksgiving, in celebration of American Schooling Week, the Orange County Public College Basis brings enterprise and civic leaders into the school rooms in a enjoyable and fascinating approach to discuss with college students about teachers, careers, and the longer term.
They name it Train-In.
In Apopka, the Train-In occasion attracted Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson, Commissioners Doug Bankson, Kyle Becker, and Diane Velazquez, members of the Apopka Fireplace and Police Departments, Pastor John Fisher of The First United Methodist Church of Apopka, in addition to companies like OrlandoHealth, and Baptiste Orthodontics and Dentistry for Children.
“Train-In is a good alternative for our children to find out about totally different jobs and presumably expose them to careers they by no means knew existed,” mentioned Orange County Public College Board Member Melissa Byrd. “That is how we open the world to our children.”
Cynthia Schweitzer is in full settlement with Byrd.
“We take our dedication to being a accomplice in schooling very severely,” mentioned Schweitzer, the Observe Director at Baptiste, and an annual participant within the Train-In. “Dr. Baptiste values being a part of the neighborhood and he is chosen public faculties as one of many methods he needs to offer again and be a accomplice.”
Definitely, different companies and people take part within the occasion, however for Baptiste, Train-In Thursday is like Tremendous Bowl Sunday. However this yr, the Train-In was unfold out over a complete week, which made scheduling much more difficult.
In response to Schweitzer, 16 members of the Baptiste workers of 25 taught in a category in the course of the Train-In week. In whole, the Baptiste workforce was current at 12 faculties in Orange County, together with Dream Lake Elementary, Apopka Memorial Center, and Wekiva Excessive Colleges in Apopka.
It is such an vital a part of the tradition at Baptiste that they fight to not see sufferers on the official Train-In day. In actual fact, they have fun an early Thanksgiving after the occasion concludes.
“We closed the workplace on Thursday,” Schweitzer mentioned. “It is grow to be a convention. A few of our workers sit up for it as a result of they like to go to the faculties. Some are scared as a result of they don’t seem to be lecturers… they are going out of their consolation zone. However then all of us collect collectively and have our potluck Thanksgiving meal… and it was like we have been getting back from battle. All of us had nice tales to inform about our time with the scholars. It is a workforce bonding expertise. It was actually cool.”
One other Baptiste custom is to not solely give again by collaborating within the Train-In but additionally by bringing presents for the scholars.
“We hand out little goodie luggage,” Schweitzer mentioned. “So all of them get a toothbrush, floss, bookmark, a flyer concerning the workplace, a pencil, and a pen.”
Schweitzer says they begin engaged on the goodie luggage about two weeks earlier than the occasion. This yr they distributed over 1,500.
“We have now a beautiful workers and a messy workplace within the weeks main as much as Train-In,” she mentioned.
Schweitzer and the Baptiste workers are already wanting ahead to Train-In 2022, and hope different companies and people will participate as effectively.
“We encourage others to do the identical,” she mentioned. “That is the message. If we will do it, you are able to do it. And if all of us did it, think about what our neighborhood can be like!”