Baker’s BEST program is a program designed to focus on the firm’s many community commitments to benefit Orange Center Elementary School. Through the Baker’s BEST, they have developed a partnership initiative that includes volunteer services and financial support from Baker and Hostetler.
The program first began in October of 2001. Since then the firm has done a number of advantageous projects for the children of Orange Center. The firm has provided educational field trips to the Orlando Ballet, the Orlando Science Center and the Orange County History Center. The firm has also funded in teacher appreciation parties and 160 recorders for the music program. They have also worked with the COMPACT program to assist in providing mentoring for the children of Orange Center by Jones High School students.
The 2003 – 2004 academic year began at Orange Center Elementary School with a Kick-Off function at the school for parents, students and teachers to get to know each other. The firm provided school supplies, which were donated by Orlando Magic and Payas, Payas & Payas. Baker and Hostetler also provided dinner and fun activities.
Some of the things the Baker’s BEST program provided to the Orange Center during the past school year are: 90+ Pentium – II computers and funds to purchase the necessary software for the computers. This was done in hopes of helping in FCAT preparations.
In honor of the firm’s 25th Anniversary in Central Florida, a donation of $25,000 was made to the Orange Center. In addition, there were 30 volunteers from Baker and Hostetler who provided one-on-one mentoring to the students this past year. They also participated in morning readings and Junior Achievement.
During the last holiday season, the firm sponsored a school/holiday card contest. The winner’s pictures were scanned to the front of their client holiday cards and sent out as the firm’s holiday card. In addition, the winner was given art supplies. They also sponsored an adopt-a-family project during the last holiday season. Baker and Hostetler adopted two families in need and provided food and gifts to them for the holidays. Orlando Magic tickets were also given away to teachers as incentives.
Baker and Hostetler not only bring their resources, but they also recruit others to volunteer. They reach out to their clients and friends and ask them to join the firm in their efforts to positively impact the lives of Orange Center students. Because of their tireless efforts in the community, Baker and Hostetler has been honored by the Orlando Sentinel for Outstanding Contributor in Newspapers in Education three years in a row. They also have been recognized by Orange County Public Schools, received the Children Must Count Finalist Award by the Citizen’s Commission for Children and were honored as the Outstanding Partner in Education in 2004 by the Orange County Public Schools.