THE POLAR BEAR FUND
The Polar Bear Fund was started by Northridge Local Schools as an endowment with The Dayton Foundation for funding school related programs that were not covered by school district budgets. The fund was started with an initial investment of $23,000, $16,000 of which was donated by Northridge Optimist Club. The stipulation for the use of funds was to preclude its use for scholarships.
The disbursement of funds is handled as a grant process, with an advisory committee that evaluates applications for funds. The Northridge Optimist Club has three members on the advisory committee, which also includes the Superintendent of Northridge Schools, and a representative from The Dayton Foundation. The application form is made available through the school.
Several grants have been made over the past couple of years for various educational programs initiated by teachers for enhancing and developing students' reading, writing, vocabulary, creative, and organizing skills. In July of 2016 the club donated an additional $5,000 to the Polar Bear Fund. The Northridge Optimist Club is proud of its contributions to and participation with this fund and recognizes the value of enhancing the educational experience for Northridge students.