August 11, 2000

Vanderbilt joins city in back-to-school initiative

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At the Belle Meade Country Club this week, members of the Belle Meade Barracudas swim team presented Monroe Carell Jr. (center) with a donation to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (photo by Anne Rayner)

In an effort to help parents participate in their child’s education, Vanderbilt University will join with Metro government and the business community to celebrate the first day of school in Nashville.

As Tennessee’s second largest private employer, with more than 16,000 employees, Vanderbilt will encourage employees to work with their supervisors to coordinate time-off so that parents may accompany their children on the first day of school, according to Chancellor E. Gordon Gee.

“As we approach the back-to-school season, I would like to join with Mayor Purcell in encouraging all parents to take an active role in their children’s education,” Gee said.

“Having parents involved in schools creates a strong foundation for learning,” Gee added. “We want Vanderbilt parents to meet their children’s teachers and start building relationships that will help those children succeed in the classroom.”

Employees can use either accrued personal hours or vacation hours. In areas where it is not feasible for Vanderbilt staff to be out on the first day of school, supervisors are requested to be creative and flexible so that staff may visit the school at another time to begin fostering a strong parent/teacher relationship, Gee said.

“By creating a family-friendly atmosphere that puts the education of our children first, we can work together to help build a stronger, healthier and happier community,” Gee said.