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Julie Zwahr, left, director of communications for Denton ISD, and Superintendent Jamie Wilson go over the yearly highlights for the school district with guests during a reception Thursday at Pecan Creek Elementary School. The Denton ISD Adopt-a-School program creates relationships between their public schools and businesses, organizations and other local entities.

Blazers, blouses and corporate polos crowded the Pecan Creek Elementary cafeteria as handshakes flew and the smell of Tex-Mex filled the air Thursday afternoon.

Representatives of various companies and organizations schmoozed in the moments leading up to the annual Denton ISD Adopt-A-School Recognition Reception.

The event serves to honor top district partners in the community. Through the program, businesses and individuals are able to “adopt” one or more schools. That means the donation of money and resources to fuel expansion of numerous programs.

“I don’t know if everyone really comprehends the world in which we live when it comes to public education,” DISD Superintendent Jamie Wilson said.

Wilson said donors made it possible to send a message to state legislatures about the importance of early literacy programs, expanded full-day prekindergarten and a movement away from standardized testing.

“As I’m standing before you, our Senate and our House members in Austin are debating those very things,” Wilson said. “I don’t know what the debate’s about, but they seem to be debating it all the time because sometimes people with money have a larger voice than people who really try to educate our future workforce.”

For example, college and career readiness programs are funded through Adopt-A-School, as well as expanded pre-K offerings.

Julie Zwahr, district spokeswoman, said the program currently has 110 campus adopters.

“I’m going to tell you that about five years ago, that was about half that number,” Zwahr said.

In addition to those adopters, 31 district partners, those who support more than one campus, were thanked during the Thursday event.

“When teachers or individual organizations in our schools need an extra support ... you guys overall in our business community step up and help fund those initiatives,” Zwahr said.

Top donors were given framed student artwork to display in their businesses, while the campuses they support were given framed logos to display on-site.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @Marshall KReid.

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