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E. E. Ford Foundation Awards Prestigious Matching Grant to The Seven Hills School

Seven Hills’ Civic Engagement Curriculum Tagged for Best Practice Model Among Private Schools

The Seven Hills School is thrilled to announce that it has just received an Educational Leadership Grant from the E. E. Ford Foundation, an organization that seeks to support schools that implement generative, transformational, and replicable programs that give a “public purpose to private education.”

Seven Hills is especially honored because receiving the grant also marks Seven Hills as a national curriculum thought leader, positioning the school as a model for best practices among private schools in the country. The dollar-for-dollar matching grant of $250,000, has only been awarded to 38 schools over the past 10 years, and Seven Hills is the first private school in the tri-county area to receive the grant.

Head of School Chris Garten said he is thrilled by this top honor, adding that Seven Hills will use the grant to develop Civic Engagement Seminars, which are designed to immerse students in an extended study of some of the world’s most challenging issues, such as war, poverty, trade, migration, resource scarcity, climate change, disease, and sustainability. The seminars, which will be team taught by Seven Hills upper school teachers, university professors, and local civic leaders, will explore complex social issues, from a local, national, and global perspective.

“We have been selected, alongside some of the nation’s strongest schools, for an Educational Leadership Grant,” said Garten. “The core of Seven Hills’ mission is to help our students understand the world, in all its complexity, and to use their talents to improve the lives of others. We believe this new signature program will have a powerful impact, not only on our own students, but on students around the country.”

Garten said this national recognition and monetary commitment sheds light on the quality and character of Seven Hills’ faculty and administration who have worked collaboratively to help design the seminar model. He thanked Seven Hills administrators Matt Bolton, Nick Francis, and Susan Marrs, as well as upper school teachers Ann Griep, Marielle Newton, Marc Raia, Kylie Utah, Brian Wabler, and Anna Works-McKinney, who further refined and formalized the concept.”

Head of School Chris Garten, who was recently named one of Cincinnati’s top 300 business leaders by Cincinnati Magazine, said the grant fuels a continued vision to share Seven Hills’ innovative curriculum as a model for other private schools in the country. His focus is echoed by the E. E. Ford Foundation, which seeks transformative proposals that are innovative, are capable of replication by other independent schools, and advance the course of independent education.

Receiving the grant places Seven Hills among some of the nation’s leading schools, including The Lawrenceville School, Deerfield Academy, The Westminster Schools, The Lovett School, Riverdale Country School, Taft School, and Hawken School, to name a few.

“The ultimate goal of the program is to equip students with the tools to think globally and act locally, and to find ways to become more actively engaged in innovative problem-solving, including the valuable work being done by many of Cincinnati cultural and social service institutions,” said Garten. “The hope, over time, is to develop a model program in civic engagement that can be replicated in schools around the country.”