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See Kids Dream Celebrates 12 Years of Developing Student Leaders in Central Ohio Schools

School is in session, and a record 10,000 students at 27 central Ohio schools are developing leadership skills through See Kids Dream. Now celebrating its 12th year, this local nonprofit helps elementary and middle-school students develop the skills, motivation and confidence they need to make the world a better place.

“We are excited to involve over 10,000 central Ohio students in our leadership development programs this year,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director Laura Grindle.

Students in See Kids Dream’s Penny Harvest and Project Dream programs learn about community needs and receive tools to take action and help. Over the past 11 years, more than 125,000 students have given over 150,000 hours of community service. They have donated over $400,000 to support more than 150 local nonprofits.

“These programs are only possible because of the support of dedicated teachers and administrators who understand the value of service learning,” Grindle noted. “We are grateful for established partnerships with schools like Devonshire Alternative Elementary School, which has been with us from the start. The first to try our service learning programs, Devonshire is still going strong today because of the enthusiastic team working to build the program every year.”

Other pioneering schools include Evening Street Elementary in Worthington and JW Reason Elementary in Hilliard.

During weekly meetings, students learn about their local community’s needs and develop a plan to create positive change.

Each group starts by conducting community need surveys. After the survey identifies top local concerns, they choose one as their focus. After researching the topic, they meet with experts from local community organizations. Finally, they develop and implement a plan to address their chosen need.

This year’s students will address a wide range of service-learning topics, resulting in support for many local non-profit organizations. See Kids Dream will share results of the eight-month program at the Leaders of Tomorrow Showcase in May 2020.