Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI): Schools’ Business Partnership
Ireland has established a strong international reputation in education. Developing our educational system and ensuring Ireland becomes a knowledge economy is a prerequisite for all in Irish society, especially Irish business.
Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), through its Schools’ Business Partnership, partners schools with business and empowers young students. Students gain insights into the working world and can see first-hand potential career paths that can be open to them through school completion. Over the past decade, we have developed over 340 partnerships between schools and business, impacting over 32,000 young students in Ireland. Many members of Irish Funds participate and thus reap the business benefit of employee engagement including KPMG, Mazars, State Street, Irish Life, Elavon, Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Davy, KBC & RR Donnelley and we would welcome more members if you are interested.
It is a partnership with Government also who provide some matching funding to the businesses who also contribute a small participation fee. The lead sponsor is Marks & Spencer Ireland; other sponsorship partners are Cornmarket and ESB.
1. The Student Mentoring Programme
2. The Skills @ Work Programme
3. Time to Read (primary schools) is a literacy enhancement initiative. It provides 2nd class children with the opportunity to receive reading support from a business volunteer. The programme aims to increase the enjoyment of, and confidence in, reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for the participating children. For business volunteers the benefits include:
- contributes to CR strategy;
- raises profile in the local community
- builds partnerships with local schools
- improves communication and coaching skills
- motivates staff and enhances teamwork
4. Time to Count (currently in pilot phase) – numeracy enhancement where volunteers use special numeracy games to foster confidence around numbers and enjoyment for working with numbers.
5. Management Excellence for Principals (MEP) & Teachers (MET)
6. STEM ‘Seeing Is Believing’
Some volunteer feedback on Time to Read
“It was a welcome variation to my working week! The enthusiasm of the children was a breath of fresh air. I did not fully appreciate how much the children would appreciate our time until the programme had commenced”
“I believe it made me more aware of the environment around me as well as requiring me to adjust my communication style. I also found it extremely rewarding”
“It was a precious time every Tuesday for 12 weeks where I was very very switched off from work and totally in the world of the 2 children I was paired with. To see their progress with reading and their confidence was special. Getting to know them was lovely and I could only say I completely enjoyed every element of it”
“We love that our child is in Time to Read because he is reading a lot more and he enjoys it. He comes home and tells me all about the books he reads in school and how he enjoys reading now”
For further information if you or your business are interested please contact Germaine Noonan, BITCI firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 874 3813.
Germaine Noonan, Programme Manager, The Schools' Business Partnership, Business in the Community Ireland