The Ohio Dominican College is located in an urban community where poverty is high—higher than any other area in Columbus, OH. Five years ago, the faculty, administration and board of trustees at Ohio Dominican College started the Village to Child program, a mentoring program geared towards minority and low-income students. The college decided to adopt a zip code, 43219, which surrounds Ohio Dominican College.
The goal of this mentoring program is to open the horizon for higher education to low-income students. Many of the students are the first in their families to attend college.
The volunteer force primarily consists of college students, though faculty, alumni and trustees volunteer as well. Services are offered year-round, during the school year, students are invited to the college campus to receive tutoring services from the college students between the hours of 3-6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The primary focus is on middle school-aged children, with plans for expansion to elementary schools in the future. The volunteers help the younger children with their studies, as well as give them moral and social support with their individual needs.
The results of the program have been surprising. The children involved in the program have not only done better with their schoolwork, but also with school attendance and extracurricular activities. A heightened desire to succeed and a greater appreciation for the school system have also been reported.
Village to Child receives funding from the Columbus Foundation, Ohio Dominican College as well as private donations. The Kellogg Foundation has recently agreed to build a wing at Ohio Dominican College to allow more students to benefits from the services.