Farmwell Station Middle School has a new partner in education, Loudoun's newest restaurant, Clyde's of Willow Creek Farm.
The partnership, which began Nov. 20, is kicking off with a fund-raising effort. Through Dec. 15, every $20 Clyde's gift certificate purchased through a Farmwell Station student or staff member will yield two dollars for the middle school.
"We thought it was a great time of year to do this," Sherryl Loya, Farmwell Station's principal said. "People will be able to kill two birds with on stone, helping the school and getting some of their holiday shopping done."
FOR CLYDE'S the partnership and fund-raiser gave the restaurant the opportunity to introduce itself to the community.
"Being new to the neighborhood, this is a great way to let people know we are here and we are open," Claude Andersen, corporate operations manager for Clyde's Restaurant Group, said. "It has always been a part of the culture of the restaurants to get involved in the community."
Loya said the restaurant's location immediately adjacent to the School Administration Building made Clyde's of Willow Creek Farm a desirable partner.
"They just opened last Friday [Dec. 1] and a lot of people want to go there and check it out," she said. "It was a really nice opportunity for us."
WAYDE BYARD, public information officer for the school system, said business partnerships, which were first established in the 1990s, are widespread throughout the county.
"We have over 400 business partners in the county," he said.
Byard said that while all the money raised through a business partnership goes directly to the school involved there is more involved in the partnership than money.
"It is also about having students interacting with adults and people in career fields," he said.
THE MONEY RAISED during the gift certificate fund-raiser will go toward Farmwell Station's technology fund. Loya said the school wants to purchase Smart Boards for students and teachers to use during classes.
"We are hoping to increase the technology capacity at the school through this," she said.
In addition to raising money, however, Loya said the partnership will give Farmwell Station the opportunity to do special events at the restaurant, such as luncheons for students or events for staff members.
"They have been really supportive of us," she said.
For Andersen, the partnership offers the restaurant just as much as the school.
"If the students sell a whole lot [of gift certificates], then we're going to think that's great, but we also get the opportunity to help out a local school at the same time."