Community service and character development are big parts of the Dublin Difference.

Providing a well-rounded education is one of the Dublin City Schools' fundamental goals and volunteerism, caring and kindness are as important to us as English and math.

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce has developed a tremendous program called the Community Champion Awards designed to recognize students and staff who make it a top priority to give back to our community and volunteer their time to serve others.

Celebrating its 14th anniversary, this award-winning program recognizes Dublin City Schools students in grades 1-12 and staff members who exemplify the best of volunteerism, character, leadership, and a sense of caring and responsibility for others.

Residents are encouraged to submit nominations online now through Sunday, Feb. 17 at DublinChamber.org/cca.

The awards ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. April 20 in the Dublin Jerome High School Center for Performing Arts. It will be followed by a reception.

Each Community Champion Award honoree will receive a limited-edition medal, as well as a gift bag filled with items from area businesses.

In addition, nine seniors will receive monetary scholarships and one student in each grade, K-11, will receive $100 in a 529 plan account. The program also awards a Dublin City Schools staff member with a $500 donation made to a school project of choice.

Since its inception 14 years ago, the Community Champion Awards program has recognized nearly 2,800 students and staff of Dublin City Schools and distributed more than $67,000 in awards and college scholarships.

Representatives of businesses that would like to support the Community Champion Awards, can call the chamber at 614-889-2001, or mail a donation to: Dublin Chamber Civic Foundation, 129 S. High St., Dublin, OH 43017. The Chamber has done a great job connecting the business community with our schools.

As a school district, we take great pride in our relationships with local businesses.

I would also like to take this opportunity to reach out to our business partners regarding Summer Works, which is a summer job fair for students. This program is also unique to Dublin City Schools and another example of our partnership with the Dublin Chamber.

On April 6, the district will again be hosting this summer job fair for all students 14 years old and older. We invite local businesses that hire students for the summer to be part of this large community event at no cost.

Several hundred students and parents attend the event each year and employers have had great success hiring quality individuals for summer work.

Businesses wishing to participate should call Carol Jacobsen at 614-760-4379.

Participating companies at past events have included: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay, Safari Golf Course, Giant Eagle, Wendy's, SportsOhio, Tim Hortons, Scioto Reserve Country Club, WalMart, LaRosa's Pizzeria, Muirfins Swim Club, Dewey's Pizza, Friendship Village of Dublin, GFS Marketplace, McAlisters Deli, Bob Evans, Bruegger's Bagels, Panera Bread, Sunny Street Cafe, McDonalds, Firehouse Subs, Sam's Club and more.

Dublin City School District Superintendent Todd Hoadley, Ph. D., submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.