HISTORY of REdI
For many years the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce provided an avenue for community leaders interested in education to volunteer to make a difference by serving on its Education Committee. Business leaders have worked on education projects including: Adopt-A-School programs (early 1980s); creating a unique survey tool to allow parent feedback on satisfaction with our education system (1994); working to bring a higher education facility to Robertson County (2009) and facilitating the extension of the Tennessee Technology Center of Nashville to Springfield (2013).
The Education Committee served as the incubator for REdI (Robertson Education Initiative). Committee members were seeking a hands-on way to develop a strong partnership between the business and education communities. REdI was launched with a volunteer advisory board and a part-time director in the summer of 2010, thanks in great part to a seed grant from The Memorial Foundation. By developing strong, positive relationships with school leadership, encouraging high standards and supporting efforts to implement those standards, REdI hopes to have a positive impact in our community resulting in improved test scores, higher rates of post-secondary education achievement, and an improved perception of the quality of our public schools, both internally and externally. In addition, REdI has initiated and is working to sustain an ongoing relationship between business and educators about workforce needs and the resources schools require to meet those needs.
Since 2010, REdI has tackled an impressive program of work including the continuation of the annual parent survey, adopt-a-teacher programs at Springfield MS and Greenbrier MS, teacher mini-grants, Youth Leadership Robertson County, Pep Rally on the Square, the #ACTCounts recognition event for seniors who have exceptional ACT scores, Tennessee Scholars recognition, TN Promise mentor recruitment, job shadowing programs, support for high school level Renaissance programs, and recognition of outstanding educators and administrators.
REdI has operated under the umbrella of the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce, with a volunteer advisory board and director. The Chamber has provided in-kind office space, supplies, equipment and administrative support for REdI, while funding for the director’s stipend and program expenses were provided by Realizing Robertson’s Future (RRF), a public/private partnership which pooled the resources of more than 50 investors in a program of work designed to enhance the economic development of Robertson County. Additional donations from businesses, individuals and grants have supplemented this primary funding.
On July 1, 2017 REdI will be reformulated as its own non-profit entity outside of the Chamber structure. The Chamber will continue to provide resources and office space as needed and will partner with REdI to support their efforts. We are excited about the possibilities for the new REdI Education Foundation!