STUDENTS HANG OUT in the reading environment that teacher Kat Griffith created with an Innovation Grant. Pictured are, from left, McKenna Hundt, Jasmine Moldenhaur, Becca Bogucke, Emma Saecker, Ignacio Ramirez, Roberto Mondragon, Preston Mullowney and Hunter Workowski.
Kat Griffith photo
STUDENTS HANG OUT in the reading environment that teacher Kat Griffith created with an Innovation Grant. Pictured are, from left, McKenna Hundt, Jasmine Moldenhaur, Becca Bogucke, Emma Saecker, Ignacio Ramirez, Roberto Mondragon, Preston Mullowney and Hunter Workowski. Kat Griffith photo

by Diane Penzenstadler

     “Innovation paired with tradition” might be the best way to describe how the Ripon Education Foundation funds its many grants and scholarships.

     I’ll have a Great Conversation with my Entrée, please

      Great Conversations began nine years ago in Ripon. This is a unique fund-raiser that literally pairs education with education. Each table is hosted by community members who have a special interest or talent in a specific topic.

     During dinner guests engage the hosts in conversation on the topic allowing them to learn from the host.

     The dinner topics this past year ranged from “Restorative Justice” to “Repurposing Waste to Help Feed the Growing Planet” and “A Career in Dance Movement” to an “International Engineering Camp” and everything in between.

     This annual fund-raiser is run entirely by volunteers, primarily board members, and this past year raised over $13,000. In turn, Great Conversations provides funding for the Innovative Grants. The Innovative Grants are awarded each fall, and recipients (teachers) can receive money for creative programs in their classrooms. From its beginnings, the Great Conversations fund raiser has raised more than $47,000 to date. ...

     For more information about the organization, write to: Ripon Education Foundation, PO Box 395, Ripon, WI  54971, or visit it at www.riponeducationfoundation.org

     This article originally appeared in the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation 2018 Education Report.

     To read the entire column, see the Nov. 22, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.