Our Tallahassee community is only as alive, vibrant and healthy as the involvement of its citizens and the strength of its servant leadership.
The 40 members of Leadership Tallahassee (LT) Class 36 of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber take seriously the responsibility to be strategically engaged in the needs of our community. Each year, the current LT class chooses a community project to collectively dedicate their time and treasure. Out of many worthy project choices, LT Class 36 felt called upon to tangibly support Tallahassee’s impoverished 32304 community.
We selected Title 1 school Sabal Palm Elementary, a Community Partnership School, to be the beneficiary of our efforts. Sabal Palm Elementary adopted the innovative Community Partnership Schools model in 2019 with a partnership among Children’s Home Society of Florida, Leon County School District, FAMU and FSU Primary Health.
Together, core partners work within the school to address key barriers to learning including poverty, food insecurity, lack of affordable healthcare, behavioral health services, and elevated rates of violence and crime, in addition to other issues as identified. Anna-Kay Hutchinson, Community Partnership School Director, team member of Children’s Home Society and LT Class 36 member knows firsthand the power of community servants and business partners in the important work at Sabal Palm.
Over a sustained period of time, in-depth interventions like these have found success in healing the types of generational trauma faced everyday by Sabal Palm’s students and their families. We wanted to be a part of this success, of their success.
Our efforts were two-fold. First, we believed that the teachers at Sabal Palm deserved strong recognition for their hard work, and we delivered to them several teacher appreciation days with food, gifts and prizes we personally and professionally funded to give from our grateful hearts to theirs.
Our second effort is the design and construction of an outdoor classroom within the grounds of Sabal Palm Elementary, A Community Partnership School.
Demonstrated in other communities as a lasting way to foster student learning, creativity, and greater health, we anticipate this outdoor classroom will deliver improved student learning and healthier child development in this less structured, more natural educational environment.
This project is funded in large part by the generous $25,000 donation from the Tallahassee/Leon Federal Credit Union through LT Class 36 member Lisa Brown, and is supplemented by class member donations as well as countless hours of committee member efforts.
Tangible acts of leadership and compassion during this challenging time give people hope. As community leaders, Leadership Tallahassee Class 36 stands with the 32304 community to deliver on this hope. We challenge other community leaders to do the same.
Sue Ebbers is CEO of Change by Design, a management consulting company focused on learning and change. As a member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 36, she is the co-chair, along with classmate Michael McBride of the community project. The Class 36 community project is an outdoor classroom at Sabal Palm, A Community Partnership School.