Students in Jeff Kozaka’s JMG unit cast a wide net in soliciting RFP’s for their JOY grant. In doing so, they set themselves up for both more research and a serious debate about which organization should receive the funds. The students are interested in contributing some “sweat equity” in the form of volunteer time with the organization they choose to fund, so they had no qualms in asking the organizations to clarify details on programs and budgets and about volunteer opprtunities.
The information-gathering set them up to formally debate in groups – five groups of students, each representing one of the nonprofit finalists under consideration for the grant. The debaters had to present their case for why the organization they represented should receive the grant and it made a big difference! A class poll prior to the debate placed the grant recipient – Youth Alternatives/Ingraham – near the bottom of the preference list. However, its debate team did such a thorough job in presenting its merits that it rose to the top and received the total grant.