A Loveland Magazine Sponsored Summer School
Because it's never too early to start learning good life habits
Loveland, Ohio - The Loveland Initiative presented a program to fifth through eighth graders this week aiming to teach the children responsible habits that will put them on a path to success. The program consisted of two hour classes followed by an hour of service work. The classes were held at the Loveland Artists Studios on Main. Loveland Magazine sponsored the group by providing space, technology, and logistics support at the Loveland Magazine TV Studio which is located in the Artists building.
On the last day, as an incentive, the children will be taken to Kings Island after a brief overview of the skills they learned.
The classes stressed the overall theme of responsibility, with each day addressing a more specific topic. Speakers from various professional fields talked to the children about how these skills relate to them and are important tools for future success.
The topics were:
- Starting Good Habits Young. This session will show how making the right choices from a young age can manifest itself into lifelong success.
- Think Before You Do. This session will stress the consequences that quick decisions can have on one's future and emphasize that quick fixes do not lead to sustained satisfaction.
- Save or Spend? This session will highlight the importance of saving money for things that are truly important and expose the kids to the deceptive nature of advertising that oftentimes targets them.
Victoria Nesbitt who envisioned the program has been a resident of Loveland going on six years. She is a Board Trustee with the Loveland Initiative. She said, “Workforce Development starts early with the incorporation of moral and ethical responsibility and the like, into ones everyday life.” This is a major role she plays in the work of the Loveland non-profit. She feels this is a major aspect of workforce development that is being ignored, but can produce longevity for those that are either starting out or going back into the workforce. “We at the Loveland Initiative hope to incorporate social and economical development into our programs so that our clients can have a greater opportunity of stability once in the work field.”
“Why sixth and seventh graders? Because it's never too early to start learning good life habits,”said Nesbitt.
Nesbitt continued, “I wanted to do this program, but I didn’t have the time.” She said that Austin Stahl came along and he was a perfect candidate that she could teach how to create a program like she envisioned for youth. “Austin's connection came because he just wanted to volunteer with the Initiative when he as a senior at Loveland High School. We had a lot of Starbuck meetings. And, here we are. Boom.”
2011 Loveland High School graduate, Austin Stahl, was the program's facilitator. Stahl is currently studying Journalism at the Scripts School of Journalism at Ohio University. His major is Journalism, and he is pursuing a Certificate in Environmental Studies. He said he will pursue a Masters degree as well in environmental studies.
Stahl said, “Last year I had some time on my hands and I wanted to get involved in some volunteer work, specifically helping kids.” He talked about being lucky to have a great family and great role models in his life to support him to succeed and reach his goals. “So, I wanted to give other kids that opportunity.
He said he met Nesbitt last summer and they began planning out a class that would teach kids responsibility and how to succeed. “It was a lot of work, but it's all worth it now to see it all come together like this.”On Wednesday he said he thinks the children have really learned a lot so far. “It can be hard to hold their attention at times, but I think the overall message of responsibility is sticking.”
Tom Eardley was one of the presenters Nesbitt and Stahl recruited. He is also a Trustee of the Loveland Initiative. He said that he and his wife used to bring donations from Panera to the organization. “Before too long, I was asked to sit on the Board.”
Eardley was the presenter on Tuesday and his topic was,“Think Before You Do.”He told the children to not rush into decisions. “To pause and consider, before taking actions.”He taught the children to talk with friends and role models because they can help make decisions that have successful outcomes.
Eardley said during his class, “Bad outcomes do happen, but with a positive outlook, and if you think before you do... and act with love, you have a better chance os success.”He also talked
about how some if not all personal decisions have global consequences. He also hoped to introduce some new words into their vocabulary, such as integrity, initiative, work ethic, and positive attitude.
“Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings are what make you act. Bad thoughts can lead to bad decisions.”
Eardley played a scene from the movie Renaissance Man, staring Danny DeVito, where DeVito says, “The choices we make dictate the life we make.” and Eardley talked about the Plato quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
The children cleaned and scrubbed at the Loveland Artists Studios as their service project. Some very old, dry paint was removed from the old floor, stairways and banisters were scrubbed, refrigerators and microwaves the artists use were cleaned. The front door was scrubbed and windows cleaned. They enjoyed being in the former school building and working to preserve a very important piece of Loveland History.
The The Works Brick Oven Restaurant, Paxton's Grill, and Cafe 45140 catered food for the children and volunteers. Northstar Church and the Deerfield Women's Club also provided support the the classes.
Shawn and Chandra Custis who own the Loveland Artists Studios on Main (near the Loveland Post Office) generously donated space for the summer school program.
Stahl summed up his feelings after the children went home on Wednesday, “I just hope to be a good role model for them and hope to impact as many of their lives as I can.”
Nesbitt said, “We are hoping to expand the program to accommodate all of those, within our community and others, that are in need of workforce development teachings that could possibly help sustain them in the workforce field. This was our test pilot class which will determine the logistics of the program.” She said that conversations are in the works for next years's class."
More info about the Loveland Initiative can be found at their Web Site. They are laways looking for more volunteers that will improve, expand their programs, and come up with new creative programs like Victoria Nesbitt did
Founded in 1996, The Loveland Initiative was created as a way for neighbors to assist neighbors when times were tough. Today we work within the community to break the cycle of poverty through
education, training, empowerment and leadership development and continue to provide emergency assistance to families in desperate need.
The Loveland Initiative annually sponsors the award winning Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Loveland. They offer after school tutoring throufh their "Cool School program. They have a community Resource Center where local residents can find free everyday necessities when times are rough. They operate a Holiday Toy Store at Christmas time and provide back to school supplies to area youth.
“You can be part of something really positive, really vital;
something that really changes people’s lives and our
community in a major way”