Students at Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) are once again offering a $5,000 grant to a local nonprofit organization through the school’s Community 101 class.
A creation of the Oregon Community Foundation, Community 101, or C101, is an innovative collaboration of schools, businesses and charitable organizations that gives students tools to make a positive change in their communities. Used by teachers throughout Oregon, C101 lends itself to instructional use in civic engagement, global literacy, critical thinking, public speaking, use of technology, and community involvement.
“This year has been especially tough to collaborate with nonprofits and students because most of the work we have done has been over Zoom,” said teacher Tamara Bremont. “However, with a small dedicated group of students the group has continued to work together to help combat the effects of poverty on Central Oregonians.”
In an effort to determine how the grant money should be allocated, the C101 class conducted a survey with the RPA student body asking what they saw as the most pressing social issues in Redmond and the Central Oregon area.
The results of the survey determined that poverty, lack of resources and mental health are issues that could most benefit from the grant monies this year. The class then took the survey results and drafted the following mission statement:
“We, the students of Redmond Proficiency Academy’s Community 101 program, in collaboration with the Oregon Community Foundation and a generous donation from the R. W. Family Fund, strive to improve the lives of Central Oregonians experiencing challenges as a result of poverty, homelessness, and/or inadequate access to resources. Our goal is to increase awareness and support for individuals facing hardship in our community.”
“Right now our biggest challenge is getting the word out and getting nonprofits to apply for our grant,” said junior Kate West.
West explained that by this time last year, they had 11 applications but only one application has been submitted this year.
“We know we’re ‘competing’ with a lot of other local resources, which is a good thing, but we want to make sure Central Oregon organizations dealing with poverty and mental health are aware of the grant,” said sophomore Tori Cason.
The deadline for applications is April 10, 2021.