Acts of Kindness: Donation of money and time help Springfield students learn new skills
SPRINGFIELD, Ore . -- Wells Fargo in downtown Eugene donated $5,000 to the Springfield Education Foundation thanks to bank employee Micah Adams and the time he devotes every week to foundation.
"Volunteers are kind of the heart and soul of this organization," says Foundation Executive Director Sally Storm, PhD. "We have very little staff and people like Micah are just wonderful and it's because of them we get to do a lot of good things for the students."
Springfield Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that works alongside Springfield Public schools to provide a better educational experience for the students, which includes raising additional funding for school programs.
"Programs like this keep kids engaged," says Micah, "and engaged kids graduate. With the graduation rates that we have here locally and as a state, we have to find more and innovative ways to keep kids engaged within their existing schools."
One of the many programs made possible through the foundation is this journalism class at Springfield High School. It gives students a hands-on approach to creating editorials and expanding their writing through traveling around Oregon.
"We've gone out to Spencer Butte, we've gone out to Doris Ranch, the Kelly Butte Park," explains Senior Creative Director Darrel Harrison. "We've just been going out and walking, and it isn't something I've experienced because I haven't had the time to do that. I'm very thankful for it, because as a freshman I would have never experienced a program like this."
"It's cool just to be able to see that we're able to get kids out into the outdoors and not just teach them how to have a standardized test," says Springfield High senior Emma Babcock, the editor-in-chief of the journalism class.
They're programs where education turns into life lessons.
"My biggest success stories are kids that have just gone through the most awful experience," says SHS English and journalism teacher Ivan Miller. "I take them outside backpacking or camping, and all of a sudden they have a renewed sense of life." It's a program made possible in large part due to the Foundation. "Springfield Education Foundation has been just awesome, you know? They have supported us from day one. They have hooked us up with community partners and people and just kind of go above and beyond to make this happen."
Micah's motivation to further the Foundation may come from his passion of public education, but it also comes from his roots at Springfield High.
"When I was going to school here in this building, we had a lot more opportunities, things we didn't have to pay for that these kids actually have the financial burden for," he says.
It also comes from wanting a better future for his family and generations to come.
"I just want to make sure my daughter can grow up in an area where we just make the community much better."