For our latest SFY blog post, Camp Poyntelle - the half of Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village for children in grades 2-7, Lewis Village provides programming for children in grades 8-10 - Head of Girls Julie Gold talks about the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) project she led with her 7th graders this past summer:
This summer, I had the pleasure of running a Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) program with the 7th graders of Camp Poyntelle. Throughout the summer, the oldest inters did various programs in order to learn about philanthropy and values. This culminated with trips to non-profit organizations and the allotment of $1000 to the organization of their choice. This whole program was about consensus. The children had to all agree about how to spend the $1000.
Some of the program we did this summer were a values auction to explore the values that resonate most with the campers, making a tzedukah quilt with images of past and future philanthropic efforts, and learning about mission statements. The campers then explored grant proposals of 5 different non-profit organizations. They narrowed them down to the two organizations they chose to visit, the Hillel Academy of Broome County and the Magic Paintbrush Project.
About 2 weeks ago, we all visited those two organizations and learned a bit about their mission and what they would do with our grant. The Hillel Academy wanted more funds to keep up their Ganeinu pre-school program free of charge after a large storm that collapsed their previous location. People with special needs and their families come to the Magic Paintbrush Project to learn various skills through art in a different way than art, occupational, or physical therapies.
I was very impressed with the oldest inters as they made their decision. As expected, they did not all agree right away about where to give the money. They were extremely passionate about the causes, and it was awesome to see them really fight for what they believe, in a remarkably respectful way. After long discussions, it was decided that the 7th graders would give $660 to the Hillel Academy and $340 to the Magic Paintbrush Project, a decision that everyone was pleased with.
I would like to thank all of the campers and counselors that participated in the program this summer, and I hope that JTFN can continue to be a meaningful part of the oldest inters’ summers for years to come!