Students learn giving through grant

News Release Date: 

Ohio State Marion English students have opportunity to impact local community 

Ohio State faculty are teaching students philanthropy, the value of volunteering, and the impact charitable organizations have on our community, and thanks in part to a recent grant award, they are reinforcing a valuable life lesson, “it is better to give than receive.”

English faculty from The Ohio State University at Marion and their students were recently awarded a 2012 Ohio State Outreach and Engagement Impact Grant in the amount of $10,250 for their Pay It Forward Marion project.

Pay It Forward Marion links students in six different English courses at Ohio State Marion with area non-profit organizations and their individual causes.  Students learn details about the importance of philanthropy, grant writing, volunteering, and fundraising through direct work with regional cause driven charitable organizations.

As part of Ohio State Marion’s course-based, service-learning initiative, Pay It Forward Marion’s purpose is to promote civic engagement in English courses ranging from beginner to advanced, and to improve the local community through skill-based service and philanthropy.

Pay It Forward Marion is a collaboration of Ohio State Marion English faculty members Stuart Lishan, Ben McCorkle, Cassandra Parente, Alexis Martina, Amy Tibbals, and Catherine C. Braun, in cooperation with the United Way of Marion County.

The program utilizes beginning writers, who will apply their burgeoning research, writing, and rhetorical skills, to examine community needs and develop fundraisers to increase available funds.  Their findings and funds will be passed along to intermediate writing students, who will research and volunteer at local non-profit organizations responding to the identified community needs, promote the Pay It Forward Marion project, and collect Requests For Proposals (RFPs) from area non-profit organizations.  Students in advanced classes will receive these materials, analyze proposals, engage in more in-depth research at the non-profits seeking funds, and create multimodal arguments about how to distribute the funds.

Through this grant and group fundraising efforts, students hope to provide $14,000 per year in grants to the community and conduct and record primary research.

At their annual Pay It Forward Marion celebration, students will not only award grants to selected community organizations, but they will also discuss their research, their volunteer projects, and ultimately what contributed to their final decisions. 

The Ohio State University Outreach & Engagement Review Committee selected Ohio State Marion’s Pay It Forward Marion project among 29 other proposals submitted for consideration by the committee.

The Ohio State University Office of Outreach and Engagement grant program supports innovative and creative outreach and engagement initiatives that connect academic excellence with societal needs; it enhances and/or creates partnerships between members of the university community and community partners; and enhances development of the university’s outreach and engagement mission.