Quick takes – May 16th

Good teacher, good lessons

Rick Weinheimer demonstrated why he’s such an effective teacher (chairman of the English department) and coach at Columbus North (six cross-country state championships) during his keynote speech at the Columbus Human Rights Commission’s annual meeting April 30.

He appreciates the written word and understands that words matter — the topic of his message on inclusion. Weinheimer delivered his speech in convincing fashion, sharing stories about how his cross-country teams succeed because all runners are valued — not just the most talented — and team members show they care for one another.

Weinheimer said preconceived ideas about people can negatively affect our ability to listen to others. He challenged everyone in attendance to step out of their comfort zones and listen to voices that aren’t being heard in Columbus. His words carried a powerful message that everyone should consider.

Helping build bonds

Tyler Johnson’s senior project at Columbus East fits in perfectly with the city’s global reputation and relationships. He raised three years’ worth of membership fees for Columbus to join Sister Cities International. The program brings together cities around the world in broad-based, long-term partnerships.

Johnson donated $1,848 during the April 21 Columbus City Council meeting, enough to even start a fund for a fourth year’s fee. He got the idea from participating in student exchange programs with Lohn, Germany, one of Columbus’ sister cities. The others are Miyoshi, Japan; Wuxi, China; and Xiangyang, China.

It makes sense for a diverse community that has been building bonds internationally for more than 30 years through the recruitment of foreign companies to be part of Sister Cities International. The project was a nice gesture that benefits the city.

Great way to lend hand

A furniture drive may seem like an odd way to spur workforce development, but that’s just what Cummins Inc. did at the end of April to assist local thrift store Sans Souci.

Cummins sought donations of gently used furniture and appliances from its employees and the community to give to the thrift store. Sans Souci sells the items, and the money supports its payroll and job training and education efforts for people who have difficulty finding employment. An increase in highly sought-after furniture inside the store will give more workers in training increased customer contact, better preparing them for full-time work in private industry.

This was a great initiative by Cummins and one that’s worth repeating because of the impact it has on Sans Souci and the employees it trains. In the long run, the community benefits from more employable workers.