1998 Seed Grants

1998 Seed Grants

The Future Role of Community: Minority Students Building on Community Partnerships

StudentsThis grant, received by The Ohio State University (OSU) African American & African Studies Community Extension Center (CEC), was designed to engage incoming minority freshman students in service-learning projects that enhance the classroom instruction they receive at OSU. The goal was to help broaden students' perspectives about specific cultural and ethnic communities in Columbus. The major accomplishments of the grant were the introduction of OSU to the African American community; the sharing of OSU resources with the community and community-based organizations; and the mutually beneficial experience for all participants. A variety of participants from throughout the Columbus Central City attended various workshops, training sessions, lectures, and programs offered by OSU faculty, staff, and students. CEC developed an outreach program in collaboration with the Office of Minority Affairs Freshman Orientation Day. Faculty, staff and representatives from community organizations met with students to inform them about community service opportunities with their organizations. The organizations included Trevitt Elementary School, South High School, Columbus Youthbuild, and Nia Youth and Family Academy.  Students signed up to tutor and mentor youth in these programs and to work on other community projects. CEC, along with The Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing, conducted several workshops and training sessions for residents and students from the Central City. CEC served as a Service Learning site for OSU students enrolled in EDUP&L 271 and 650. The CEC Summer Residential Technology Program engaged sixteen high school students in a residential study program entitled “Studying the Black Experience in the Age of Technology.” 

The grant was submitted by Graylyn Swilley-Woods, African-American and African Studies; Viola Newton, English and Brenda James, Education, Policy and Leadership

University District Environmental Education Initiatives Project

Environmental EducationThe University District Environmental Education Initiatives Project focused on service learning for OSU undergraduates, and environmental education and hands-on environmental and community building experiences for elementary students. It focused on teaching youth that they can play a part in improving their neighborhood environment.

The grant was submitted by John Stamm, OSU Extension; Ron Myers, OSU Extension; Robert Roth, School of Natural Resources and Janet Henderson, Community and Human Resources Development

Art, Theater and Agriculture: New Partnerships for the Future

AgricultureThrough creative dramatics and art, The "Many Hats of Agriculture Mystery Theater" opened new doorways to agriculture and careers associated with agribusiness. Third and fourth graders, along with their teachers and families, were introduced to new ways to think about agribusiness and over 30 related careers. This grant pulled together a new interdisciplinary partnership of faculty (art, theater, agriculture, 4-H) to develop new components and create networking strategies leading to long-term funding and community involvement. Expansion of Mystery Theater into new scenes (that address other regions of Ohio) had a future orientation that addressed building Ohio's workforce and, in particular, making children and families aware of the role of agriculture within a changing global economy.

The grant was submitted by Lynn Sametz, Ohio State at Lima; Ed Valentine, Art; Max Mohler, Agriculture; Joe Brodensky, Theatre; Joe Heimlich, School of Natural Resources and OSU Extension; Robert Horton, OSU Extension and David Jones, OSU Extension

Kids View: An Appreciative Look at Life by Valley View Students

Kids ViewThis project was designed to facilitate youth, families, and communities in identifying their assets and capacities. The identification of those assets and capacities led youth, families and ultimately communities to create a more positive vision of the future. This had a direct impact on the actions they took to create their future. The final product of this project was a video documentary produced by students of their own class, school, family and neighborhood assets and capacities. The partners in this project included OSU Extension; The Ohio State University School of Education; The Ohio State University School of Journalism; Valley View Elementary School and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cleveland.

The grant was submitted by Chester Bowling, OSU Extension; Donis Cramer, Education; Alan Green, School of Journalism and Communication; Joe Konen, OSU Extension; Gerald Zellers, OSU Extension and David Howell, Big Brothers/Big Sisters

Project "ASSETS" - Acquiring Self-Sufficiency Through Savings

SavingsASSETS was a pilot project designed to market, recruit, teach and evaluate persons with limited resources about the principles of financial literacy while they participated in Individual Development Accounts (IDA) programs located in Montgomery, Greene, Clark and Franklin counties. IDAs provide opportunity for people to develop a savings habit and earn a two, three, or four times match to use for housing, education or starting a business.

The interdisciplinary team consisted of partners within The Ohio State University (Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the College of Human Ecology, and the College of Social Work) and external community partners supporting and administering IDA programs located in the counties listed above.

The grant was submitted by Karen Williams, OSU Extension; Carolyn McKinney, Human Ecology and Beverly Toomey, Social Work

Communicating for Success: Community Literacy and Life-Long Learning

LiteracyUsing the Community Extension Center of the Department of African American Studies on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Columbus, Ohio as a specific site, this project was a collaborative venture among community members and University faculty, staff and students to develop and teach community literacy skills through a series of communication workshops. Workshops included a life writing workshop for senior citizens, job preparation such as reading job announcements and advertisements, writing letters of application and resumes, preparing for and participating in interviews, and an introduction to writing with computers for community members from school-age children to senior citizens.

The grant was submitted by Andrea Lunsford, English; John Roberts, African American and African Studies; Ellen Seusy, OSU Extension; Rudine Sims Bishop, Education; Graylyn Swilley-Woods, African American and African Studies; Karen Williams, OSU Extension and Mindy Wright, English

Peer Power: Promoting Life-Long Education and Preparing Ohio's Future Workforce

Peer PowerPeer Power was an interactive peer education program designed to strengthen girls' aspirations and commitment to higher education and promote critical thinking and life skills that prepare all of Ohio's youth for increasingly diverse workplaces and communities. Peer education is a well-tested model that prepares college students to communicate the relevancy of complex issues to those who are close in age and/or experience. OSU undergraduate students were trained to present workshops on a variety of topics including gender socialization, body image/self-esteem, dating violence, leadership development, and changing career aspirations. These presentations were made to Ohio schools, youth groups like 4-H, and other community organizations.

Peer Power was grounded in a Women's Studies curriculum that promoted a commitment to life-long learning. A Women's Studies approach foregrounds women's achievements and contributions to society and helps women and girls acquire a sense of empowerment and catalyze educational and career aspirations that were previously undeveloped. By using gender as an organizing principle of society, a Women's Studies curriculum provides male and female students with an analytic lens for making sense of a rapidly changing social world. OnCampus article on Peer Power: oncampus.osu.edu/v31n10/thisissue_5

Peer Power was developed in collaboration with a number of offices and organizations including OSU Extension/4-H Youth Development, OSU College of Education, OSU Student Gender and Sexuality Services, OSU Medical Center, OSU Department of History, OSU Department of English, and the OSU Body Image Task Force. Contact Rhonda Benedict at 292-1021 or 688-4711, benedict.2@osu.edu or Elizabeth Allan at allan.6@osu.edu

Neighbor Networks: Awakening Individual and Community Assets

Neighbor WelcomeThe Neighbor Networks project formed an inter-departmental learning community to explore various models for asset-based education and community development. The team identified and studied four to six such models and consolidated their learnings in the form of a tool kit and/or fact sheet for use by OSU professionals in their work with small groups around the state. The teaching and facilitation skills identified by Neighbor Networks were applicable in concert with a wide variety of curricula and group purposes. As a pilot project during the grant period, one or more of the models was tested with a group of ACCESS students who designed both the physical and social elements of a co-housing project as part of their service learning course through the College of Social Work.

The grant was submitted by Ellen Suesy, OSU Extension; Beverly Toomey, Social Work; Andrea Lunsford, English; Michael Casto, Interprofessional Commission of Ohio; Chester Bowling, OSU Extension; Ken Culp, OSU Extension; Susan Shockey, OSU Extension; Kay Bea Jones, Knowlton School of Architecture and Donna Brown, OSU Extension