McDonogh School Announces Greatest Good McDonogh To Inspire Social Impact Leaders

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Independent school prepares students to be the change-makers our world needs with a program inspired by the University of Maryland and supported by The Rothschild Foundations.

Head of School Dave Farace (left) and Director of Character and Service Bridget Collins present David Rothschild, Director of The Rothschild Foundations, with a piece of art created by students.

McDonogh School today announced Greatest Good McDonogh, a signature program that will prepare students in prekindergarten through 12th grade to create positive, sustainable change in the world.

McDonogh School today announced Greatest Good McDonogh, a signature program that will prepare students in prekindergarten through 12th grade to create positive, sustainable change in the world.

Inspired by the Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland and aligned with McDonogh’s LifeReady Academic Plan, Greatest Good McDonogh is designed to foster philanthropic and social innovation abilities in students, empowering them to make a difference in communities locally and globally through real-life applications.

“Instilling public-spirited values and a passion for social engagement at a young age is so important,” says Head of School Dave Farace. “In the words of our founder, John McDonogh, this program will prepare the next generation of leaders ‘to do the greatest possible amount of good.’”

The Rothschild Foundations, which are dedicated to supporting educational initiatives that inspire philanthropic and social engagement, have committed financial resources to launch Greatest Good McDonogh.

“The world desperately needs more leaders who are socially connected and philanthropically inclined. We are ardent supporters of the Do Good Institute, and we are ecstatic to be partnering with McDonogh School on this transformational program,” says David Rothschild, Director of The Rothschild Foundations, who is a McDonogh alumnus and serves on the School’s Board of Trustees.

“We are thrilled to see the creation of Greatest Good McDonogh to help develop the next generation of nonprofit and social impact leaders. The Do Good Institute believes any student – no matter their age, background, or area of interest – can apply their passions and ideas to make a positive impact in the world today,” says Robert Grimm, Do Good Institute Director at the University of Maryland and Levenson Family Chair in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. “We can’t wait to see what McDonogh students can accomplish in this new program and hope to see them in our programs after they graduate!”

The need for humanitarian-minded leaders is significant. According to research from the Do Good Institute, fewer Americans are engaging in their communities by volunteering and giving than at any time in the last two decades.

“An important component of Greatest Good McDonogh is to establish partnerships with other schools and organizations and to connect McDonogh students with peers in the region so they can collaborate on solving problems and experience firsthand the joy of doing good,” explains Farace. “Through this outreach, it is our hope that more and more young people will develop a philanthropic mindset and become a force for good in the world.”

Rothschild adds, “The Greatest Good McDonogh concept emerged from our work in McDonogh’s Strategic Innovation Committee and builds on the School’s ongoing commitment to character education and its LifeReady Academic Plan. Greatest Good McDonogh fits perfectly with McDonogh’s legacy as a character-driven institution and our long-term goals of preparing leaders for the future of society.”

Key aspects of Greatest Good McDonogh:

  • McDonogh faculty and staff will collaborate with the University of Maryland Do Good Institute team to develop and refine new interdisciplinary courses, facilitate and judge student-led projects and ideas, and measure the impact of the program.
  • The Greatest Good McDonogh program will be incorporated into lessons across disciplines to ensure that students of all ages develop philanthropic, empathetic, action-oriented mindsets and engage in the design and implementation of social impact initiatives of consequence.
  • As part of the school-wide curriculum, students and teachers will pursue mutually sustaining partnerships with a wide range of organizations and other mission-aligned entities to involve students in the processes and actions that make a measurable difference in the world.
  • Through this experiential learning program, students will discover that anyone can be a philanthropist and do the “greatest possible amount of good.”

“Greatest Good McDonogh is both an innovative adventure and a deep commitment that challenges us to use our hearts and minds to be catalysts for positive change in our city, region, and the world,” says Bridget Collins, The Charles W. Britton Director of Character and Service at McDonogh. “It will help ensure that McDonogh is a place where the art and craft of doing good is central to every student’s education.”

A national search is underway for a program director who will develop and lead Greatest Good McDonogh. The new program will officially launch in September 2020.

About McDonogh School:

Founded in 1873 and situated on 800 acres in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, McDonogh is an independent, coeducational day and five-day boarding school that enrolls 1,400 students in prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Embracing diversity of background, culture, and thought, the School is committed to providing life-altering opportunities and graduating students of strong character who are prepared to face the future and be a force for good.

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Nina Sinnott
McDonogh School
443-544-7035
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