NEW PARIS — National Trail Local School District hosted the annual Buckeye Outreach Day on Friday, March 16.
The event-filled day brought several former OSU Football players to the school to speak to all levels of students about how to “Break the Cycle” and overcome adversity.
The day is a collaboration between the Driven Foundation, NTLSD, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and the Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities, meant to inspire the community, combat drug use, and preach suicide prevention.
According to Roy Hall, OSU Alumnus and head of the Driven Foundation, there are barriers and obstacles that every kid brings to school with them. This Outreach Day hopes to show them they can overcome those obstacles and rise above them. The Buckeyes do this by utilizing their platform to connect with the kids who idolize them.
“The Outreach Day is really designed to connect students and parents and business owners. It’s really designed to connect the community on a more intimate level. By definition, students have to go to class, people have to go to work, and parents have to parent, but I think the missing link in solving a lot of problems that all communities have is that gap between adults and kids,” he said.
“What we’ve attempted to do and have been doing for the last three years, is leveraging that love for Buckeye Nation and Ohio State Buckeyes to bring all those people into one room, so we can have a good conversation and dialogue. The Outreach Day is for us to use our position as Ohio State Buckeyes to bring the community together, have a nice time, but also address major issues.
“The particular theme that we’ve been talking about this year is breaking the cycle and creating your own lane and doing things differently. Not necessarily living in the situation, but living in the fact that you can survive, you can push forward, and you can make a difference.”
National Trail Superintendent Jeff Parker added, “When I first met Roy [Hall] one of the things he told me really stuck with me. He said, his purpose for life is not to be a professional football player – that is his platform. His purpose in life is to lift people up, to reach out and help people. For me, my purpose is not being a superintendent. That has become my platform. My purpose is to educate. Part of education, for a lot of our kids, is about trying to break the cycle, because maybe they have grown up in tough situations.
“These kids don’t have control of their situation right now. If we can try to help them break the cycle with the things they do, so they don’t have learning barriers when they come to school, to me that is what this is about. All of our parents care about their kids, but unfortunately some of the kids come to school with barriers that are no fault of their own. I’m no longer in the classroom teaching, so my purpose is to orchestrate ways to reduce or eliminate learning barriers, so kids can focus on their education and break the cycle for their kids.”
As for the church’s role in the Outreach Day, Pastor Jeff Ginter said, “We focus on community, but often times the definition of community can get skewed. One reason is, those who could have the most impact chose not to participate. One of those entities is the church. I’m a big believer that the church has to be a part of the community. In an event like this, that is what this is all about. This is a model of how to be community. I look at it from the food pantry’s perspective, we give people food, but that is not just what we do. We’re about breaking the cycle.
“The Driven Foundation brings new tools to the table, like their platform. We can create something new that can really break the cycle.”
Parker added, “Pastor Ginter doesn’t just feed people fish, he teaches them how to fish. We’ve had a great partnership over the last six years.”
“What I have come to know in my time here, is that using that analogy, you can’t keep using the cane pole. You have to use different tactics. There are different fish out there and you cannot catch them the same way,” Ginter said. “I don’t think we’ve done that as a society. We look at everybody as the same, but we’re not the same. We don’t see life or the world the same. I think, that is where new tools can help.”
Outreach Day included elementary school reading sessions, middle and high school motivational assemblies, a charity basketball game, and a community Bar-B-Q dinner. Proceeds from the event benefit the Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities, National Trail Local School District, National Trail Community Food Bank, and the Driven Foundation.
According to Parker, the district is using their portion of the proceeds to have R Factoring training in the school through Focus 3.
“Basically, what the R stands for is response. To simplify it, the formula is E+R=O, event, plus your response, equals the outcome. What we want to do is give our kids that tool and the language that helps them react appropriately to an event that happens to them. Events have happened to everyone, and you have a choice in your response. You have a choice of a disciplined response or an undisciplined response and what is it you need to do to have a disciplined response,” he said.
“You can’t control your outcome, but you can impact it. You can’t control events, events happen, but you can control your response. We want to give them the mindset to have disciplined responses. There is a lot of it.”
The ticket sales from the dinner contributed to the fundraising portion of the event, but according to Hall, sponsors are where they raise most of their money. Funds that then go back into the community to help make a difference.
Sponsors included: Third Year Title Scarlet Sponsor Henny Penny ($5,000), Third Year Gray Sponsor New Paris Chamber of Commerce ($2,500), Third Year Silver Sponsor Dr. Allen Ferguson ($1,000), Second Year Silver Sponsor Cargill, Inc. ($1,000), First Year Silver Sponsor SVG Motors ($1,000), Third Year White Sponsor National Trail School Foundation ($500), Third Year White Sponsor Fraternal Order of Police ($500), Third Year White Sponsor Pepsi ($500), Third Year White Sponsor Eaton Rotary ($500), Second Year White Sponsor Preble County Pork Festival ($700), Second Year White Sponsor Dr. Hewitt and Dr. Ross ($500), and Second Year Sponsor Reid Hospital ($500).
“We also want to thank the organizations which purchased tables for the barbecue, many of which donated back so some of our students and families could enjoy the program. Those organizations included the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Men’s Group; St. Paul’s United Methodist Church; National Trail FFA Alumni (two tables),” Parker said.
He also expressed his immense gratitude toward Food Service Supervisor Dorothy Frist for her hard work and dedication in making the Outreach Day a success. Frist went into work on Friday at 4 a.m. and did not leave until late at night.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH