Valparaiso University Students Award Grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County

By: Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Last Updated: May 12, 2014

Boys-Grils-Club-of-Porter-County-Learning-by-GivingBoys & Girls Clubs of Porter County is one of two recipients to receive grant funding through Valparaiso University’s English 396 Class in partnership with the Learning by Giving Foundation.

On May 5, 2014, students of Valparaiso University’s English 396 course invited Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County to attend their giving ceremony receiving $4,000 to implement a new program titled Summer Brain Gain. “Summer learning loss has devastating effects on America's kids and their academic success, especially those who do not participate in or have access to enriching summer activities,” states Ryan Smiley, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County. Summer Brain Gain is a fun and interactive learning program designed specifically to combat summer learning loss.

This will be the first time Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County will implement this program. Valparaiso University students are not only supporting this academic program, but are supporting the efforts to benchmark the first set of outcomes this Summer Brain Gain will produce.

Valparaiso University’s English 396 students narrowed their grant funding process down to two programs from numerous application requests. The other program funded is PATH, Inc.’s Liv. True Mentoring Program. "The students took this decision very seriously, and, with so many great non-profits doing important work in Porter County, it wasn't easy. Still, they focused very closely on the mission statement that they had crafted, and their sincere desire to ‘enable the success of middle- and high-school students from low-income families by providing support and additional resources for both academic and extracurricular activities.’ With that mission in mind, the class decided that Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County Summer Brain Gain program is a great fit and a wonderful program to fund,” states Martin Buinicki, professor of English at Valparaiso University.

Through Valparaiso University’s partnership with the Learning by Giving Foundation, English 396 students have funded many worthwhile programs. The Foundation promotes the teaching of effective charitable giving. They do this through a mission of “supporting academically rigorous, full-credit courses with grants of $10,000 for each class to distribute to local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation’s intent is for students to “gain important, personal, intellectual, professional, and leadership skills and develop their own philanthropic values.”