Cameron's Chronicles: Youngsters get help with back-to-school challenges

EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT — Freedom Elementary School Principal Joy Boyd-Walker, right, thanks school supporter Bob Davis. Davis is always on the go, distributing donations to public-school employees.

As we jump-start a new school year, many organizations and businesses have pooled their resources to provide educational staff, teachers and students rewards for their hard work for public education. Across the district, several recent back-to-school events and supply drives were held to ease the challenges that may come with the first day of school.

Often, many accomplishments and advancements go unnoticed.

My heartfelt highlight this week focuses on Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Lodging & Hospitality Association of Volusia County. Davis is known for more than 50 years of unwavering service in the hospitality industry and for the well-being of local communities.

Most recently, Davis and the association collaborated with schools and re-created the Adopt a School program, which, through sustainable efforts and partnerships, has provided services to more than 50 schools in the past three years.

Aug. 22 marks the third annual Back to School Breakfast, which showcases highlights from the program, such as a sock hop for fifth-graders, Christmas-tree lightings, charity auctions, restaurant gift cards for faculty and staff, and providing a variety of badly needed supplies.

“Three years ago, DeLand Hampton Inn planted a victory garden for Starke Elementary, so that the students were able to grow their own vegetables,” Davis said.

Also through the efforts of Davis and others, Edgewater, Palm Terrace and Freedom elementary schools and Deltona High School and Heritage Middle School all received a mini-jet engine to use in their STEM programs, donated by Daytona Beach International Airport Executive Director Rick Karl.

Domien Takx, vice president of operations for Premier Resorts & Management, has worked side by side with Davis to create opportunities for schools. In the past six months, they have enhanced their direction and started offering incentives for outstanding teachers of the month, such as three-day, two-night certificates at local resorts.

“This is not just a hotel endeavor, it is a membership endeavor. The purpose is to ensure that children in Volusia County schools have supplies needed for learning,” Davis said.

Thank you to all the businesses and partners who have made this program so impactful for the students and staff of Volusia County schools. To learn more, visit

— Cameron, a longtime educator, lives in Orange City. Send email to