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Money raised for B+ by the Charter School of Wilmingtons Jefferson Council is shown.
The students learning about volunteerism, leadership and helping
their community are surprised about the total value of what they
accomplish, a Jefferson Awards Foundation official has noticed.
Their first reaction is Wow, thats a lot, said Michele Fidance, national director for Delaware and Central Florida.
a learning process how valuable their time is to nonprofits and hence
to the community at large, she said. Without volunteers, nonprofits
would not be able to exist.
When the Wilmington-based foundation
adds up its impact in Delaware tens of schools, hundreds of student
leaders, thousands of student volunteers, tens of thousands of volunteer
hours and hundreds of thousands of lives impacted the total community
value since 2008 tops $36 million.
That figure, from a report
titled Delaware as a Model for the Nation: Service Impact 2008-2015,
credits $28.8 million to Students in Action, a program now in 43 schools
in Delaware. The rest includes $5.9 million from Lead360, a foundation
challenge involving six cities, and $1.425 million in donated exposure
from its media partners.
Updated numbers from the latest round of
Lead360 projects, conducted after the report was prepared, brings
Delawares community value to more than $39 million, according to
The data that backs up that value comes from the
students. As they develop, execute and assess projects, they use rubrics
that explain expectations, just like rubrics used to grade their
The students have 25 questions to answer on each
project, which they address in written reports and oral presentations.
One of the most telling is this: Tell us the stories about your
project, Fidance said.
They also collect specific numbers. So
when Wilmington Christian students planned two food drives, they set a
goal of how many families they would help (100) and how many they did
They log volunteers and hours given. The Value of Volunteer
Time from by the Independent Sector coalition ($20.22 per hour in
Delaware and $23.07 in the U.S.) is used to put a value on those hours.
figures are also important for funding foundations that want quantified
data. And they show how a few people can spread ideas. Fidance
exemplified that with a project that takes four students to develop but
several dozen to execute. You can see how each group is engaging
another one, she said.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
High school participants from last year's Students in Action Leadership conference that was designed and implemented by students in the University of Delaware's School of Public Policy and Administration.
That ripple effect shows up in the
reports other part: how Delaware is a model for the foundations other
12 regions and 55 media markets. Fidance cited two examples of sharing
The effort in Delaware has grown with use of
paid interns, often University of Delaware majors in human services,
communications and organizational leadership. Heres what she said one
of the best interns brought to the foundation: business knowledge with a
The Students in Action program has
strengthened by engaging college students to orchestrate training. The
high schoolers relate really well to peers just a bit older, and the
college students enjoy putting their classroom work into practice. That
collaboration started nine years ago with Karen Stein, a University of
Delaware professor who uses those conferences in her capstone course in
organizational leadership. This year, a similar partnership started with
Wilmington Universitys student ambassadors.
For the past eight
years, Delawares community spirit and desire to continuously earn its
reputation as the First State have made Delaware the perfect Jefferson
Awards model for the country, Georgetown resident Sam Franklin said in a
statement. Franklin, who at times grew up homeless, was honored with a
Jefferson Award for the breadth of her volunteering, which includes
Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, Students in Action, Crossroad
Community Church and the Home of the Brave. They are positive,
innovative and enjoy working together impacting thousands of lives.
might become a more informal model for the nation. Five projects from
Delaware students were among the 15 finalists in the foundations recent
Lead360 Big Idea Challenge.
One was Woodbridge student Chase
Marvils Inspiring Project, aimed at reducing negativism with the
hashtag #theinspiringproject. Another was Gauger-Cobbs student Braeden
Mannerings 3B Ripples, to spread his effort to give healthy snacks,
data on social services and maybe other items to the poor, the homeless
and the hungry.
Theyre easy to do, Fidance said. And they have significant impact.
Article originally published by The News Journal.