Evolving from the combination of Jacob’s inspiration, the Jacob’s Ladder Family Fun Days and curriculum guidelines came the creation of Project Give Back. This program was developed by Ellen Schwartz to reach out to Grade 4 and 5 students to teach them about the importance of giving. This spawning of a generation of new philanthropists is an exciting and rewarding new direction resulting from the rallying of a community behind one little boy.
In 2011 we had several eager students choose Jacob’s Ladder as the focus for Project Give Back studies. Jacob Olegnowicz and Benjamin Wismath are two such students. Jacob, who found that our charity touched his heart and that the work we do is amazing, made arrangements to bring another Jacob, Jacob Schwartz, into his classroom for a particularly up close and personal experience. Benjamin was really touched when he watched Ellen’s special video about Jacob and the Schwartz family. For his project, he created a ladder to symbolize climbing to a cure. He said he was honoured to be involved and that he really loves Jacob’s Ladder.
Over 1,000 Project Give Back students this year will be following their hearts and teaching their classmates about a cause that is meaningful to them. The schools participating in the program this year are as follows: Allenby Public School, John Ross Robertson Public School, Armour Heights Public School, Humewood Public School, Essex Public School, Regal Road Junior Public School, Cedarvale Public School, Crestwood School, Leo Baeck Hebrew Day School Arlington and Atkinson Campuses, Robbins Hebrew Academy Bathurst and Bayview Campuses, Netivot Ha Torah Day School, Associated Hebrew Schools Kamin and Posluns Campus, and Willowwood School. More than 400 causes are being showcased by these young leaders.