According to the Scioto Foundation Web site, “The UCAN plan envisions the creation of a network connecting Scioto County school systems, families, community partners, local donors and the Scioto Foundation working together to achieve a mission that makes it possible for any child who wants to go to college to achieve that dream. The foundation recognizes the need for flexibility in order to make UCAN suit each individual school system and welcomes input and suggestions on how to ensure its success.”
Ann Risse, of the Scioto Foundation, said nearly all schools in Scioto County were participating in the scholarship program by hosting a variety of fundraisers. Some teachers have even volunteered donations deducted from their own paychecks. The Scioto Foundation will match a district's funds, up to $10,000 a year for the first five years.
“They're doing anything from scrimmage (to) tournament basketball games, which is what Clay has done. Some of them have their alumni involved, helping them raise money. Valley, I think, did a 5K walk,” Risse said.
On Jan. 2, the Clay Alumni Association delivered a check for $10,000 to the Scioto Foundation's UCAN program. According to its Web site, Clay’s funds for 2008-2009 included $2,700 from a portion of basketball gate receipts; $4,700 from the alumni association’s yearly auction of goods and services contributed by local businesses, individuals, school alumni and the schools themselves; school payroll deductions from the administration, faculty, staff and students; and proceeds from the alumni association’s annual banquet.
This year's South Webster Spring Fling fundraiser, hosted today by the South Webster Alumni Association, will also raise money for the school's UCAN scholarship.
“Typically, in the past, we've had it in the fall and called it our Fall Festival. We typically had it the Saturday before the elections that occur in November, and it's a good time because politicians could come out. This past fall, our high school volleyball team made it to the regional finals and it ended up being the same time, so we decided to cancel it and reschedule it for the spring,” Greg Davis, of the alumni association, said.
Located in the South Webster High School gymnasium between 1 and 7 p.m. today, crafters and vendors will be set up, with live entertainment and a children's carnival in the adjacent junior high gym. The evening is capped off with a live auction at 7:30 p.m.
“The live auction is bigger items that were donated from businesses and individuals here in South Webster along with themed baskets that have been prepared from the different classes here at school,” Davis said.
There is no admission fee for the Spring Fling, and money will be raised through ticket sales.
“You buy tickets for the games. We're doing it old carnival-style. Tickets are 25-cents each, or five for a dollar, and each game requires so-many tickets,” Davis said.
Also at the end of the night, two bikes will given away to kids in attendance — one boy's and one girl's.
Each year the alumni association uses the funds it has raised to award at least five $1,000 scholarships, and deposit at least $5,000 into the UCAN Legacy Endowment Fund, which is then matched by the Scioto Foundation.
At New Boston, students from grades K through 12 are going door-to-door asking for donations. Those students who raise more than $20 will be able to participate in an afternoon walk around New Boston stadium, after lunch on May 15.
One lap around the New Boston stadium is about 350 yards (about one-fifth of a mile), and students will have two hours to make as many passes around the track as they can.
“When they need to take a break, they'll take a break. We'll have refreshments for them,” said Glenwood (New Boston) High School Principal Melinda Burnside. “We want to be able to get them out and do something healthy for the kids for the afternoon, and after school.”
Burnside said between employee payroll deduction and the stadium walk, the school is expecting to raise more than $2,000 by the end of the school year. Those funds will be matched and doubled by the Scioto Foundation. Anyone wanting to donate money to New Boston for its UCAN fundraiser can either donate to a student when they knock on your door, or can deliver a donation directly to Glenwood High School.
Risse said the scholarship recipients may be selected by either the Scioto Foundation Scholarship Committee or the school's own scholarship committee. Family members of students are not eligible to serve on the committee. The requirements for receiving the scholarship varies from school to school, and the scholarship will pay for any school the student chooses to attend. The number of students receiving the scholarship will depend on the amount of funds raised.
“The basic idea we're trying to get across is that one day, every student from Scioto County will have the financial resources to attend the college of his or her choice,” Risse said.
Risse said the average cost of public college in 2005 was $18,000 for four years of tuition, books, fees, and room and board. Private college tuition in 2005 was $33,000.
Burnside called the UCAN program a great opportunity for all students in Scioto County.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or by e-mail at email@example.com.