News and Tribune

Education/Schools

July 9, 2014

Two local companies donate to Renaissance Academy

Rivera Group hopes to do hands-on work with students

CLARKSVILLE — A new high school got some backing from a couple of local businesses, according to a press release issued Tuesday.

Your Community Bank’s Charitable Foundation and the Rivera Group donated $5,000 each to Renaissance Academy, Clarksville Community School’s fledgling New Tech school.

Brian Allred, director of the school, said all of the money will go to technology for students to use.

“All of this is going to go directly back to the students,” Allred said. “That technology like Huddleboards, [moveable whiteboards on wheels] and all those kinds of things we can use to help with the instructional process.”

Joey Rivera, president and CEO of the Rivera Group, said he supported the idea of the school because it offers up a different way to teach students.

“Their approach to education is dramatically different than the standard approach of memorization first,” Rivera said. “I’ve always believed that not all minds learn alike. If you happen to be a person who is good in memorization, you’re not always the best qualified or even the smartest person in the classroom.

“I was never good when it comes to memorization, but I ended up finding different ways to train my brain and be able to harness the creativity.”

M. Diane Murphy, president of the Your Community Bank Charitable Foundation, said in the release that the bank hopes the money helps the school’s idea of project-based learning.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to support the Renaissance Academy and the Clarksville Community School Corp. in their efforts to broaden learning opportunities to our youth,” Murphy said.

Business partnerships are common with New Tech schools, such as the Cummins Engine Plant in Columbus and the Columbus Signature Academy. Engineers from the company help with classes, grade assignments and help students with projects.

Allred said he hopes he can create a partnership like that with the Rivera Group — an information technology company — to give students some real-world application to their projects.

“We’ve been working with the Rivera Group on maybe how we’ll partner with them for some electives for students, since they specialize in technology,” Allred said. “We want to work with Dr. [Joey] Rivera to see how they’ll work with us in that area.”

Rivera said he can see all sorts of benefits to the school and his company with that kind of relationship, especially if students can apply what they know to an actual product.

“We want to help them by taking real problems that we’re working with on a day-to-day business,” Rivera said. “Let’s just say we decided to take a software product to market. That takes everything from files to market analyses and the math that goes behind the programming. There’s just an application of all your core subjects that go into something like that.”

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ON THE WEB

• Renaissance Academy — renaissanceacademyin.com

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