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See Kids Dream & The Columbus Foundation


(COLUMBUS, OH) – See Kids Dream announced today that the Penny Harvest service learning program will be expanded to a total of 50 schools throughout Central Ohio next school year.


The expansion will be made possible through a partnership and grant See Kids Dream was recently awarded by The Columbus Foundation. See Kids Dream is one of three local charities identified as partners to help celebrate Columbus Bicentennial in 2012.


See Kids Dream’s service learning program, the Penny Harvest, was the catalyst for the partnership with The Columbus Foundation. The Penny Harvest puts students in charge of identifying, understanding and addressing the needs of others in our community. The student’s management and direct control of all research and funding decisions is what makes Penny Harvest unique in comparison to other programs that engage students in fundraising or service.


This school year a total of 17 schools are running the program, including schools with the Columbus and Worthington City school districts and The Wellington School. In the first three years in Columbus, local Penny Harvest students raised nearly $70,000. They have given every cent back to deserving nonprofits in central Ohio, addressing issues ranging from homelessness, hunger and support for the sick, to domestic violence, the environment, and care for animals.


“The Penny Harvest program is well suited to help these young children become involved in and be inspired to give to their community,” said Doug Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “A grant like this is one way we can celebrate our community in 2012 and help build capacity for our future.”


The skills students develop through the Penny Harvest can have a transformative effect on central Ohio. Independent research has shown that giving experiences in youth matter and result in positive outcomes for the students who participate in programs like Penny Harvest. These outcomes include higher academic achievement, increased self-esteem, and the development of critical thinking, problem solving, research, organization, communication, and leadership skills.


“We are obviously thrilled to be selected by The Columbus Foundation for this funding. We feel like this is a perfect partnership as our missions are about inspiring philanthropy and community service and supporting others to strengthen and improve our community,” said Bill Grindle, executive director of See Kids Dream.


The partnership with Columbus Foundation provides a substantial portion of the funding See Kids Dream needs to add staff for expansion. The partnership also challenges and requires See Kids Dream to build a sustainable model for the future to ensure its programming thrives beyond the partnership. See Kids Dream will be seeking individual, community, and corporate partnerships to help maintain its programming.  


The Penny Harvest is in its third year in Columbus, thanks to a grant from the Columbus Foundation’s J. Ray and Lillian W. Waller, and Richard C. and Nanciann Kaufman Ninde funds and support from Telhio Credit Union, Weltman, Weinberg & Reise, Co. LLP, Crimson Cup, and other local corporations and individuals. The program was developed from one father’s dilemma about how to respond to his four-year-old daughter’s wish to comfort a homeless man in New York in 1991. Today, through local nonprofit partnerships, more than 1,000 schools all across the country participate annually in the program.  In Columbus the program is run by See Kids Dream.


About See Kids Dream

See Kids Dream is a local not for profit with a mission to empower youth to achieve their potential and create positive outcomes for both themselves and their community. Its program the Penny Harvest incorporates community service as an educational tool to help young people address needs in their communities. In the process they develop as individuals and build the capacity and skills to lead and strengthen their community for the future. Learn more at www.seekidsdream.org.


About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 1,800 individuals, families, and businesses, who have created unique funds, now or later, to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for more than 67 years, The Columbus Foundation is the ninth largest community foundation in the United States today, with assets of more than $1 billion. The Foundation’s online resource, PowerPhilanthropy®, makes it possible for the community to access valuable information about nearly 600 central Ohio nonprofit organizations and give to causes they care about. More information is available at www.columbusfoundation.org.


Service Learning Research Summaries

National Service Learning Clearinghouse: Impacts of Service-Learning on Participating K-12 Students: http://www.servicelearning.org/instant_info/fact_sheets/k-12_facts/impacts

National Service Learning Partnership: Service Learning Research: Summaries & Briefs:

Independent Sector 2001 study Childhood Lessons About Giving and Volunteering (http://www.independentsector.org/uploads/Resources/engaging_youth.pdf)


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