2017 saw our Giving Through Youth program deepen its impact on students, teachers, local leaders, and nonprofits alike. Students at Bolinas-Stinson School, Nicasio School, and West Marin School enjoyed the opportunity to participate in our youth philanthropy program. Thanks to the dedication and generosity of a small group of donors, our Giving Through Youth classrooms awarded $9000 to 14 organizations this year!
Grantees: Bolinas Community Land Trust; and WhiteCaps
The Giving Through Youth Program gave my fourth and fifth graders first hand knowledge of the enormity of deciding how to give money and to whom.
The students began by choosing six local non-profits and through a voting system narrowed it to two. After this, they contacted the organizations to ask about any upcoming needs. The students worked in cooperative groups to write letters, answer questions and get price quotes.
Grantees: Bolinas Children’s Center; Saint Mary’s Church; and Turtle Island Restoration Network
This project was one of the highlights of our year. We had so much fun researching, writing and presenting our speeches. My students had a contagious enthusiasm that they could not wait to share with the rest of the school. They truly embraced the idea of giving to an organization that needed help. They even graciously spread the donation over the top three charities, all on their own!
West Marin School
Grantees: Coastal Health Alliance; Community Land Trust Association of West Marin; Dillon Beach Emergency Response Team; Gallery Route One; Point Reyes National Seashore Association; Stinson Beach Preschool; Tomales Bay Library Association; Tomales Bay Watershed Council Foundation; and Walker Creek Ranch
The Giving Through Youth program is important to me because it has such a powerful impact for my students on many levels. They practice the academic skills of research and writing, AND they are doing these tasks in a real world setting, with real world consequences. This is so intrinsically motivating for them, that I generally get some of their best focus and writing of the year during this project. In addition, they learn about the variety of nonprofits in our community, and the empowerment of engaging in a cause that they are passionate about. Finally, they learn how to communicate effectively with adults in a professional setting, a critical skill for when they apply to schools and for scholarships. Year after year the students surprise themselves with their own successes; as one student quipped on KWMR, “I never thought I would write a grant when I was 14, but I did!”
—Julie Cassel, 8th Grade Teacher, West Marin School
Click here for more photos from West Marin School.
Congratulations to all Giving Through Youth grantees, and thank you to all students, teachers, volunteers and donors!! A special thanks to West Marin Fund advisor and photographer, Carlos Porrata.