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Grants Awarded to Strengthen Civics Education in Appalachian Ohio

FAO and Longaberger Family Foundation Award more than $40,000 in Grants

Nelsonville, OH – Educating and equipping citizens is essential for building and sustaining strong communities within a strong democracy. That’s why the Longaberger Family Foundation and the I’m a Child of Appalachia®Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) awarded more than $40,000 in grants to K-12 public educators and nonprofit service providers in 2021.

Grants were awarded to support and encourage students to acquire a broad, deep knowledge base in subjects integral to robust citizenship; forge positive relationships with the self and the wider world; and analyze different views and take action.

This year, 11 grants were awarded. The 2021 Civics Education Grant recipients are:

  • Alexander High School received a grant to support the ­­­Think Globally, Act Locally project. The focus of the project is to identify humanitarian issues facing people globally and address those issues at the local level. High school students will attend the Ohio Model United Nations (OMNU) conference and return home to share their civics education experiences with middle school students and make positive change within their own community.

  • Belmont County Sheriff’s Office (BSCO) received a grant to support the BSCO Explorers’ Post #7 project. This project will expand and enrich Post #7 by recruiting new candidates and building the skills of existing Explorers. Through the Explorer Academy, civic responsibility is taught and reinforced with continued education opportunities in youth leadership structure, budgeting/money management and mentoring. The program emphasizes the importance of the criminal justice system, social justice, building relationships, empathy, personal responsibility, diversity, community service and financial management.

  • Cambridge High School Ohio Model United Nations received a grant to support the Ohio Model United Nations State Conference Travel Fund project. The Ohio Model United Nations is a three-day global education simulation experience that allows students in grades 5-12 to learn about the world’s largest international peacekeeping and humanitarian organization. Each year, approximately 30 students from Cambridge High School attend the annual state conference. Funding will be used to pay for the students’ attendance fees.

  • Fort Frye High School received a grant to support the ­­­Operation: Monument Restoration project. The goal of this project is to participate in service learning by cleaning the gravestones from the founders of the community, including Oliver Tucker, and learning about local history. Funding will be used to buy cleaning supplies.

  • Ohio Alliance of YMCAs Foundation received a grant to support the ­­­Ohio YMCA Youth and Government project. This project aims to encourage and support young citizens who are educated and passionate about being involved in their community and local democracy. Funding will provide a supplemental curriculum for students who, within a mock-state government body, will assess community needs, write legislative bills and work to resolve issues deepening their knowledge of democracy.

  • Ohio FFA Foundation, Inc., received a grant to provide scholarships for students to attend the Ohio Legislative Leadership Conference. These conference scholarships will provide students with the ability to develop important advocacy skills for agricultural education. Students will learn about important issues related to agriculture, education, career-technical education and Future Farmers of America (FFA).

  • Ohio University received a grant to support the ­­­Strengthening Civics Education in Appalachian Ohio project. This project supports a pre-existing project by WOUB Public Media called “Our Ohio,” a documentary film project that challenges students to learn about and explore films about Appalachian cultural identity, community, media literacy, and multimedia storytelling. The ­­­Strengthening Civics Education in Appalachian Ohio project will introduce a film called “Portraits and Dreams” to students at Logan, South Gallia, Alexander, Wellston, and Meigs high schools and ask them to participate in a virtual panel discussion and multimedia storytelling workshop held by WOUB.

  • Ohio Valley Youth Network and Sycamore Youth Center received a grant to support the ­­­Sycamore Civic Literacy & Community Service program. This program aims to give Jefferson County Junior High and High School students the opportunity to study the history, structure and operations of local government. Students will learn about the local government through a semester-long Civics Engagement course. The program also will include three community service days and attendance at city council meetings. 

  • Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association (YLA) received a grant to support the Ohio YLA 6-8th Grade Youth & Government Seminar project. The Ohio-West Virginia YLA is a nonprofit organization aimed at helping youth develop ethical leadership and citizenship skills through character-building programs. Funding will be used to send students to government seminars. Participants will be able to determine how their actions as citizens and leaders have a direct impact on how governments function at the state level.

  • Vinton County Middle School received a grant to support the ­­­Civic Education through Action and Art project. This project will teach sixth-grade students about civic engagement with three phases: studying, participating and experiencing. After students learn and engage with civics education, they will attend field trips to the Cincinnati Art Museum and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

  • Zanesville High School received a grant to support the ­­­American Pride Tour project. Zanesville High School freshmen in U.S. History and juniors in government courses will take a tour of the historical sites that have framed our nation from its founding to today. The purpose of this project is for the social studies department to expand the horizon of Zanesville students. Students will leave Zanesville High School and travel to Philadelphia, Penn., to tour the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the President’s House, and more. Students will also travel to Gettysburg and Shanksville Memorial.

An effective civics education program provides students with the knowledge, skills and disposition necessary to become informed and engaged citizens. This grant program supports those efforts by providing educators and nonprofit service providers with resources to actively implement civics education opportunities for K-12 public school students.

This grant opportunity is supported by the I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund, which was created to address the greatest needs and pursue the most exciting opportunities facing Appalachian Ohio’s communities today, while growing the resources needed to make a difference for generations to come.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit To support opportunities like this one with a gift to the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund®, contact FAO at 740.753.1111 or visit

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit and follow FAO on Facebook and Instagram.