Proud of our community

At the Ohio School Boards Association’s state conference on Monday, I attended a session on community collaboration.  After listening to an excellent presentation, I left extremely proud of our area and the various ways we are already collaborating.  In fact, during discussion, the speaker used my descriptions of Milford’s and Clermont County’s efforts as examples of “top end” relationships.

The crux of the idea presented is that various community stakeholder organizations must find ways to come together for the benefit of all in four basic steps:  1) exchanging information; 2) altering activities; 3) sharing resources; and 4) enhancing the capacity of all partners.  Given these steps, I immediately thought of many areas where our local government entities do this exceptionally well.

Here are just a few examples of how some of our community organizations are working together for mutual benefit:

  • Miami Township has provided a grant to install security cameras in the Junior High.  They are also providing training so we can make the most of the system
  • Child Focus, Inc. is one of our area’s biggest collaborators with school districts.  In Milford, they provide counseling and other support as needed for unusual or emergency situations.  They also coordinate kindergarten registration for Head Start families in the Milford, West Clermont and Batavia districts.  They collect information on kindergarten readiness from all Clermont County schools to improve preschool and school readiness programs.  When West Clermont went to “every other day” kindergarten due to finances, Child Focus created a Kindergarten Enrichment program to fill in the odd days.  These are only a few of the wonderful programs they provide our community in all Clermont County school districts.
  • Local police departments provide resource officers for our schools and also support programs such as DARE in the elementaries
  • The City of Milford has worked with us to make sure we are receiving everything we should from local business tax agreements
  • Union Township worked with us to renegotiate a TIF to provide additional revenue back to the school district
  • Great Oaks provides teachers and curriculum for our business courses, at their expense
  • The Milford-Miami Township Connections project, a collaboration between the City of Milford, Miami Township, the Milford-Miami Township Chamber, the Clermont Chamber, and the school district, provides information to almost 1,000 people through email notices and Facebook updates (for more info or to sign up, visit
  • And many, many more

After listening to school board members from other districts lament turf wars, control and confusion issues, I felt very lucky to live in an area where community organizations are progressive and supportive, where we all look for ways to help each other do more.  Of course, I always feel that way – Milford/Miami Township is a truly wonderful place to live – but this was an extra-special reminder of just how unique our little section of Ohio is.

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