District News

The Oak Hills Alumni Foundation is celebrating 20 years

Posted on: November 16, 2016
Tags: Oak hills alumni foundation, Alumni foundation
Alumni Foundation

Written by OHHS junior, Abby Dye

Oak Hills is a public school district of nearly 8,000 students in nine schools committed to serving the youth with the best education as possible. In 1996 The Oak Hills Educational Foundation formed, since then they’ve been supporting educational excellence by providing students opportunities to learn both inside and outside the classroom. The staff of Oak Hills are leading the next generation to excellence and giving a bright future to all who come through their doors. The Foundation has been helping the trend for 20 years now.

On July 24, 1997 Ted Price conducted the first meetings of the Oak Hills Educational FoundationHe, with a group of Oak Hills staff members, agreed that the purpose of the Foundation was ‘’To promote and advance educational and lifelong learning through the public schools of the Oak Hills Local School District or any successor there to,’’as well as the importance of lifelong learning. The Foundation was and is still designed to provide actual benefit to the entire community and every student in the Oak Hills system.

The Oak Hills Alumni Association was created in 1985 and formed to bring together former Highlanders with new students.  With past graduates sharing their past experiences and ideas with current students, the Alumni Association became engaged with the district.

In January 2013, the Oak Hills Educational Foundation joined the Oak Hills Alumni Association to create the Oak Hills Alumni & Educational Foundation to achieve greater success in their support of the district. Their Alumni Association, individually, was connecting the community by bringing over 30,000 graduates together with class reunions and finding ways to connect through social media. Oak Hills never forgets any Highlander. The Foundation was funding projects and programs in the district for current students.

The two organizations formed to be a stronger entity as Cheryl Sieve, Chairman of the organization,1967 Oak Hills graduate said,  “Putting the two groups together made us much stronger than two smaller organizations.’’ The resources and donations could then be combined, providing more opportunities for students, staff, district projects and the community. The donations are used for education grants supporting projects such as encouraging children to read and be engaged in school.

The Foundation keeps doing many things for the children such as making reading fun and interesting. Books on the Run was a project last year at Oakdale Elementary School. First graders got to read age-appropriate books and take them home. They completed reading logs and improved their fluency. Another grant at Springmyer Elementary School encouraged children to dress up as their favorite superhero in school. The children become engaged and improved their reading skills.

Delhi Middle School teacher Maggie Kays, shared her experience with the Foundation saying “My students have benefited so much from the Foundation’s support. I have been able to give them new experiences, like an overnight camp, and they have been able to show their work to real audiences during our Action Fair. I am grateful – as I know my students are – for these experiences.” The Foundation gives the students the ability to learn outside the classroom which expands their opportunities and experiences in school.

How is Oak Hills able to afford this and all that they given to their students and teachers? The Oak Hills Alumni & Educational Foundation is Oak Hills’ own Foundation that combines helping current students and connecting past graduates. The annual golf outing is supported by local businesses and additional individual sponsors. Those who donate help to make the vision of the Foundation a reality. The Foundation is committed to providing the necessary resources needed for Oak Hills’ students to enhance classroom learning in all school buildings. Through their fundraisers such as their annual golf outing, the Foundation is able to provide the best opportunities for every Highlander student.

The Foundation built an inclusive and accessible playground for the entire community’s benefit at Oakdale Elementary School. The Green Township Scottie Yard Playground is a place serving over 700 students from kindergarten to fifth grade at Oakdale, but everyone in the community is welcome to enjoy the safe place to play for all kids.

Oak Hills makes it their priority to make sure that every child has the opportunity to be able to come together and become successful team workers. This past year the Foundation was able to provide $12,360 worth of educational grants to 27 hard-working Highlander teachers.

When asked what the Foundation is like, Cheryl Kilgore, Oakdale second grade teacher, said, “The Oak Hills Alumni & Educational Foundation has provided financial support for my students for many years. They have supported initiatives, such as assisting with the implementation of stability balls in my classroom for active learners and assisting with fees needed to bring COSI to our building in whole school assemblies and small break out sessions.” The Foundation provides teachers with activity supplies that allow the next generation to be engaged in learning.

The Foundation has been receiving more attention and teachers are relying on it. Donations are needed in order to keep the trend. There is still the need for more money for current and future projects. The whole community can donate by giving to the Foundation and attending community events  such as the golf outing, which happens every summer since the first one in 1985. If you are an online shopper, you can order through Amazon.smile and support their mission by selecting the Foundation as your charity of choice.  Connecting your Kroger Plus Card also allows the Foundation to earn money toward their mission.

For even more information about the Foundation, or to make your tax-deductible gift today, please visit their website at www.oakhillsalumnifoundation.org. Every child is able to have the best education with the help of the Oak Hills Alumni & Educational Foundation.