UC Clermont students ‘Pay it Forward’

August 6th, 2010    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Community

Students in Instructor Barbara Wallace’s “Writing, Philanthropy, and Student Engagement” class awarded $4500 to Greater Cincinnati non-profit organizations recently, as a culmination of a course designed to enhance students’ understanding of civic issues in the local community.

Using Paul Loeb’s Soul of a Citizen as a background text, the service learning class studied the theme of “at-risk” youth. In addition to grant writing and tutoring at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Clermont County, the class conducted research into the factors that put children at risk, and each student was asked to profile an area non-profit organization that served at-risk youth.

At the end of the course, the students were able to vote on which agencies they believed would be best served by receiving money from a "Paying It Forward" grant, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with Ohio Campus Compact. Wallace's class voted to award three area non-profits $1,500 each:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Clermont County were awarded $1,500 to use in their "Fun in the Sun" summer program that will provide safety, supervision, educational experiences, and food for approximately 120 at-risk youth in Clermont County over the summer months, when school is not in session.

Lighthouse Youth Services (LYS) was awarded $1500 for a summer camp for abused, neglected, and homeless boys. Andrea Granieri, Development Assistant at LYS expects around 15 boys to attend the camp.

Child Focus was awarded $1500 to purchase toys and games that can be used in their therapeutic mentoring program. According to Tara Keith, Director of Marketing and Development, "at least 400" children will benefit from the materials.

"This was the most rewarding teaching experience I have had in many years of teaching English courses. Research, service learning, and writing journals and essays about at-risk youth prepared my students well for the responsibility of making difficult decisions when the time came to award actual funds," said Wallace, director of service learning at UC Clermont.
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