Thursday, February 6, 2003

Some Good News


Finan raises money for scholarships

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Since leaving the Ohio General Assembly after 29 years (23 in the state Senate), Richard Finan is pursuing a passion he started four years ago.

The former senator is generating funds for scholarships at the University of Dayton to help students be trained as urban school teachers.

"I have always believed that the real problem in urban schools is that we are not getting the best and brightest teachers in those schools," Finan said. "I started this program about four years ago with the idea to get teachers to make a commitment to go into urban education."

He said funds for the program have grown from an initial donation of $5,000 to about $35,000.

"When I received the William Bolger Award of $5,000, I donated it to the university along with a $15,000 personal commitment. Money from the university along with an anonymous donation have brought the total to about $35,000," Finan said.

He turned over the gavel as president of the Ohio Senate to Sen. Doug White on Jan. 6. He said money raised at retirement parties for him in Columbus and Cincinnati will go toward the urban teacher training scholarships.

"I don't have a total yet," he said. "I expect it will be about $200,000 or $250,000. It takes about $250,000 to $300,000 to support a student for four years at the university."

Finan is a graduate of UD. He practices law in Columbus and Cincinnati with the firm of Calfee, Halter and Griswold, and also serves as chairman of the board of trustees at UD.

"Once we get enough funding, we will have to sort out and get the best applicants for the scholarship," he said. "I will continue to make my personal contributions and I hope I can get others involved."

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Six Afghans - including journalists, tribal leaders and mullahs from the ethnic Pashtun majority - will visit Cincinnati today and Friday to explore the role of Islam in the United States.

They will meet with representatives of the Islamic Center in West Chester and the Brueggeman Center for Interreligious Dialogue at Xavier University, Ursuline Academy and an Islamic Center on the west side.

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A suburban education symposium will be held Feb. 21-22 at Freedom Elementary School, 6035 Beckett Ridge Blvd., West Chester.

John Jackson, national director of education for the NAACP, will be keynote speaker at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

Workshops on how to talk about race and education, diversity education and parent advocacy, socioeconomic diversity and suburban education, race education and cultural practices, understanding legal rights and responsibilities and the disciplinary system are from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 22.

The symposium is sponsored by the Hamilton/Fairfield/West Chester branch of the NAACP. The public is invited.

Allen Howard's "Some Good News'' column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.




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