A fundraising home run; what’s next for 2017-18

On a glorious day to play two, a national political leader anonymously bought enough tickets to give every OAV teacher a chance to win our 2016-17 season-ending fundraising raffle.  And with Callie and Ella on the field, Katie Lamb Heinz took their best pitch and hey hey, won two tickets to the renewal of the greatest rivalry in baseball: Cubs versus Cardinals on July 22 at Wrigley Field.  Ms. Heinz, an avid Cardinals fan, then made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of the program and sorely needed national unity, donating her tickets to Doreen Arlow, an Our American Voice teacher (and Cubs fan) from Lester Elementary School in Downers Grove, who herself contributed to the campaign, even though her school was unable to attend the Summit because of a conflict.  Congratulations to both Katie and Doreen!

With the help of the Cubs drawing to put us over the top, OAV met its 2016-17 fundraising goal of $20,000 to pay all the expenses of the schools that attended our ninth annual summit—thank you to everyone who made this possible!  As we look ahead to 2017-18, we are hoping to significantly increase the number of participating schools in Illinois, build an online community that will allow teachers and students all over the state to brainstorm, share, and support each other in their projects throughout the year (with the help of one of the top community-builders in the medium), create multiple showcases of all the great work classes are doing, and expand the program beyond our state borders.

At a time when our nation’s need for grassroots collaboration couldn’t be higher, we feel we must do whatever we can to get OAV out from under its bushel and spread its message from sea to shining sea.  All of this will require resources we will be working to pull together from all over the country.  We hope we can count on your continued support as we enter this exciting new phase of the program!

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