DC Students in Action: A Mini-Grant Story 

Mr. Dikeman is a lead teacher and social action co-teacher at Decatur Central High School in Indiana. "Teaching through service-learning allows hands-on learning experiences to help students make connections between their school and their community," said Dikeman. "Allowing students the hands-on ability to create an impact and thrive during a non-traditional learning experience brings a great sense of pride to me.”     

‘DC Students in Action’ was the name of Mr. Dikeman's students' service project. They learned from the ‘What Is Philanthropy’ and ‘Making a Difference in the World’ Learning to Give resources to gain an understanding of concepts and ideas about giving.

Through DC Students In Action, 42 students were involved in many diverse projects ranging from supporting an animal shelter and the Indianapolis Humane society, to distributing information about helping to prevent child abuse, to volunteering with the high school’s food pantry, to mentoring elementary students, facilitating a book drive, raising donations for Riley Children’s Hospital, supporting a shelter for battered women, working to increase skate parks with the local parks and recreation department, and even seeking donations for the March of Dimes organization. 

Mr. Dikeman and his students received a $1,000 Learning to Give mini-grant to help support each project. The full amount was used to purchase a camera unit, t-shirts, posters, and snacks.

Students have been able to “expand their global view” and have reported being most excited about their actions and impact. One of Mr. Dikeman's students said, “I was able to actively be a part of a solution to a problem in my community. The pantry also helped me to realize how many people are going through hard times without showing anything.”