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Oakwood Schools Foundation Inspires the Next Generation of Givers
When Joel Frydman, board member for Oakwood Schools Foundation (OSF), came up with an idea to teach Oakwood High School (OHS) students about the importance of giving back, adding a philanthropy unit to the school’s Wall Street 101 class seemed like a natural fit. With the help of OSF, a component fund of The Dayton Foundation, OHS’s Philanthropy 101 has been offering students the opportunity to learn how to give back to the community through their time, talent and treasure since its launch in 2014.
“The Philanthropy 101 program is essential to what I’m trying to accomplish in the Wall Street 101 classes,” said Michael Rado, OHS teacher. “Students need to be exposed to charitable giving and volunteerism so they can understand and appreciate the role that it plays in our society.”
In Philanthropy 101, students form teams to research and select five local nonprofit organizations to come to OHS and make presentations. Representatives from The Dayton Foundation kick off the presentations by introducing the concept of charitable giving and some of the reasons why people decide to become involved in philanthropy. Student teams then select one of the five nonprofits to visit for a behind-the-scenes look at its operations, including who it serves and the impact that donations and volunteers can make on the organization’s mission.
“I liked Philanthropy 101 because we got the chance to see how charities help the Dayton community. It also showed us ways that we can get out and help,” said Landon, an OHS junior whose team visited We Care Arts in the fall. While on site, students toured the facility, interacted with clients and created their own art projects.
In December, students used their observations and research to collaborate on projects that they presented to a panel of judges made up of OSF board and community members. The judges selected the charities based on the strength of the student presentations to receive a total of $3,000 in grants, including a $200 grant from The Dayton Foundation: Clothes That Work $1,000; Crayons to Classrooms, $800; A Special Wish Foundation, $600; Catholic Social Services’ Refugee Resettlement Program, $300; and We Care Arts, $300. Funding for the program runs through OSF with generous support from The Angela and Joel Frydman Philanthropic Fund, Johnson Investment Counsel and Robert Wagner and family.
“When students visit the charities and have the opportunity to witness what actually transpires in the daily operations, they often take an active role and interact with clients and people directly affected by the charity. You can see their level of enthusiasm and empathy as they make their presentations to the judges,” Michael Rado said. “This experience is important because philanthropy is something they likely will be involved with, whether personally or professionally, for the rest of their lives.”
For more information on the Oakwood Schools Foundation, a component fund of The Dayton Foundation, click here.
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IN HIS WORDS
“The Foundation makes a huge difference by providing knowledge and guidance for more and more people who desire to support their community financially. It sees things from a board perspective and is adept at building collaborations and minimizing duplication of efforts.” – Irv Bieser, Dayton Foundation donors since 1985