Ariel Foundation is proud to support the people and projects whose missions are to improve the quality of life in the Mount Vernon, Ohio area. Click the panels below for more detailed information on some of the notable gifts the Foundation has given.
Technology to support Fast Forward Program
Through the Ariel Foundation grant, St. Vincent De Paul School will use the technology of Google Chromebook to continue implementation of computer-based intervention strategies to support students’ reading, language, and listening skills. With Chromebooks our students have simplified access to Google apps that are useful for intervention. Students in many grade levels from Kindergarten through Eighth grade can also use online programs with these lightweight portable devices such as the Fast ForWard LANGUAGE series program. Grant money provided covers the purchase of the Chromebook computers for technology based intervention strategies.
8th Grade Washington, D.C. Class Trip
Each May, Mount Vernon Middle School 8th Graders have the opportunity to attend the class trip to Washington, D.C. and surrounding landmarks. The trip is a culmination of all of the 8th grade core curriculum including arts & physical education. The trip is four full days and three nights, and travelers are accompanied by MVMS staff. Visits to museums, government buildings, Arlington Cemetery, Fort McHenry, and the National Aquarium are all part of the trip experience. In the past few years, our students have had special tours at Mount Vernon, which were made possible through the philanthropic grant and relationship with Ariel Foundation.
Although the trip is highly structured, and planned over the course of a year, students experience life unscripted. In May 2015, our students were asked at Fort McHenry to help raise the flag with WWII veterans on an Utah Honor Flight. The stories shared with our students cannot be replicated, and are memories that will have a lasting impact.
Enrichment Programs 2016
This is an umbrella grant that funds or partially funds three different enrichment programs for students in the five city and county school districts. The programs are the All County Honors Band Concert, the Mentorship for Leadership Program, and the Summer Institute Program.
The All County Honors Band Concert held in April consists of 140 top notch band students from the middle schools and high schools in the city and county districts. The selected students spend time at their school practicing in small groups with their band director, and also a 2 hour evening session for all. The final practice is held on the day of the concert with a guest conductor, culminating in an evening concert for the public free of charge at the Memorial Theater.
The Mentorship for Leadership Program served 10 juniors and seniors in all five city and county schools with a mentorship program throughout the school year. Students worked 20 hours with mentors in the community at careers they were interested in pursuing along with 10 hours of seminars provided by the ESC. What a great experience to help students decide on future career choices.
The Summer Institute Program at Ohio Northern University will help 40 gifted high school students in all of the city and county schools spend a week at college exploring career fields with other gifted students. This outstanding program includes an on campus experience with college classes which provides some with a clearer picture of their life direction and all with rich memories of their week at ONU.
Ariel Engineering Education Scholarships
Mount Vernon Nazarene University is grateful for support from the Ariel Foundation in the launch of a new Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, with concentrations in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. A grant from the Ariel Foundation provided seven scholarships for students enrolled in the program. To best serve the local, national, and international communities, MVNU is committed to addressing the recognized need for professionals in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). MVNU has built strong academic programs in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and information technology. To further enhance STEM programs, the University launched its engineering program.Engineering is a rewarding discipline with a variety of exciting occupational possibilities. It is also among the highest paying career fields. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Electrical Engineers earn a median salary of more than $84,000 and Mechanical Engineers earn more than $78,000. In fact, engineering median salaries are more than twice as much as the national average for all occupations (Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/).Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church.
Esther Buchwald Art Scholarships
Every February, Mount Vernon Nazarene University Art and Design students compete for an Esther Buchwald Art and Design Scholarship and Awards. Faculty and staff members from the department gather to assess student portfolios; after careful review, the strongest portfolios from each class are identified, one from among fine art majors and one from graphic design. The winning students are each awarded a scholarship or award of between $1,250 and $5,000 for the following semester.These scholarships and awards are made possible by an annual $20,000 donation from the Ariel Foundation. The scholarships encourage art and design majors to excel in their studio practice at the Buchwald Center, MVNU’s beautiful downtown art and design facility. The Buchwald Center houses a graphic design lab as well as studio space for a variety of art medias, including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and printmaking. Fine art majors begin their academic program with foundational courses in art history and in a range of medias in the studio. During their junior year, they focus their attention on a specific subject and prepare for their senior project. In their final year, each art student is given their own studio to complete their senior project. The project culminates with a student show in MVNU’s Schnormeier Gallery, a public exhibition space located in the Buchwald Center.Graphic design students choose either a visual art or communication track, and participate in a variety of design courses throughout their academic career. The courses teach students to communicate visual messages in a client or audience setting. Like fine art majors, design students complete a senior project that culminates with an exhibition in the Schnormeier Gallery.
Theresa and Richard Hunter Nursing Scholarships
The Ariel Foundation has generously supported Knox County residents by helping provide scholarships for local students pursuing a degree in nursing at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Two college juniors and three seniors are selected by a scholarship committee through a University application process each academic year. Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers a Bachelor of Science program with a nursing major. Students learn in a state-of-the-art Clinical Learning Laboratory and through classroom instruction and one-on-one mentoring withe expert faculty. A wide range of clinical practice opportunities completes the experience, as students gain exposure to a variety of health care organizations. MVNU is committed to the highest standards of excellence, integrating knowledge from natural and social sciences and the liberal arts with best practices in nursing science. Our integrated approach prepares graduates to meet the challenges in today’s rapidly changing health care environment.The nursing program continues to grow and scholarships like this one from the Ariel Foundation are vital in providing financial assistance to those wishing to change the world around them through the health care field. Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church.
2016 Chautauqua/Lyceum Series
The Chautauqua Series “Spend An Evening With…” living history performances was created by the musical group Elixir, in 2006, to provide on-going educational and entertaining programs to the community that provides a deeper understanding of people and events that have shaped our community, state, nation and world on a donation basis. Historical characters are recreated and presented as the character themselves, in costume with minimal sets, with over 150 characters being presented. Lyceums are also presented on occasion that are talks relating to events that have shaped history. The Chautauqua is opened with music and even radio shows that set the mood with music from the era of that evening’s characters using many local musicians and actors. Donation basis allows all members of our community and elsewhere an affordable opportunity for all to share and learn.
NMT and Dr. Bruce Perry
Over the last several years the Ariel Foundation has generously supported the Village Network and the Children’s Resource Center in getting trained and certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics. The NMT was developed by Dr. Bruce Perry and the Child Trauma Academy. The NMT is a developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children. The NMT model is not a specific therapeutic technique or intervention; it is a way to organize a child’s history and current functioning. The goal of this approach is to structure the assessment of a child, the articulation of the primary problems, identification of key strengths and the application of interventions (educational, enrichment and therapeutic) in a way that will help family, educators, therapists and related professionals best meet the needs of the child.
Since becoming certified in this innovative and trauma informed approach, the Knox County Children’s Resource Center has experienced an increase in the number of positive outcomes in their treatment of Knox County’s abused and neglected children. The Village Network now, has 12 mental health clinicians who are certified as Trained-Trainers. The trainers are now training the Knox County community such as teachers and mental health professionals in trauma informed care and the NMT.
What's the Matter? Materials Science Camps Matching Funding
SPI is very busy in the summer! This 2016 grant from Ariel also includes funding for SPI’s new material’s science based summer camp that replaces one week of Camp Invention. Funds from Ariel Foundation are matched by an award from The Creativity Garden Grant from the ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers) funded by the Disney foundation to create a high quality experience taught by experienced local teachers. Campers will mix collecting and learning about materials with doing creative art with those materials. The SciArt Camps are full day, week long, camps, each with two field trips. Each camp has a theme: “Trash to Treasure” focuses on human made materials and recycling, and “Nature’s Gifts” emphasizes natural materials.
SPI is also offering half day tech camps that include Lego and coding, as well as a three nature based science play camps in collaboration with Brown Family Environmental Center. In collaboration with Kenyon College Summer Science we are also offering an experimental Language Science Camp focusing on Chinese language and culture. We also offer weekly activities at Riverside and Hiawatha Park to complement the school district’s free lunch program and the city parks program at Hiawatha, and expect to spend some time with the programs at the Salvation Army as we did last summer.
Knox Juvenile Court Diversion Program-Renewal
The Knox County Juvenile Court-Brite Futures Outpatient program is one of many programs offered by The Village Network, whose mission is to work in partnerships that will empower youth and their families to build brighter futures. The Knox County Juvenile Court-Brite Futures Outpatient program was originally designed to serve youth at risk, while youth continue to reside in the community. This court and family intervention program was established as a means to help prevent youth who suffer from complex mental health/alcohol and drug/ behavioral problems, from being placed in more intensive placement settings. As time progressed, the program developed into also concentrating on family and adult interventions, which aids is the healthy maintenance of children while they continue to reside in their homes, and preventing the potential of removal.
Youth are referred to this program by the probation department or a school administrator. Youth referred can include individuals who are on probation or who are not on probation, but are part of the diversion program. The majority of the youth referred to this program are dealing with significant issues including drug/alcohol issues, truancy issues, and /or behavioral issues as well as victimization of abuse and neglect. The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics serves as the foundation of the mental health services provided by The Village Network. The NMT model is not a specific therapeutic technique or intervention; it is a way to organize a child’s history and current functioning. The goal of this approach is to structure the assessment of a child, the articulation of the primary problems, identification of key strengths and the application of interventions (educational, enrichment and therapeutic) in a way that will help family, educators, therapists and related professionals best meet the needs of the child.
Therapeutic intervention is provided by three professional Master’s level trained clinicians who facilitate the treatment in this program. Two of which are certified in NMT, as TVN has been named an NMT flagship site by the Child Trauma Academy. Treatment typically includes a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, in home services, aftercare and community follow-up, case management services and collaborations with the schools and court personnel. Group therapy is structured by utilizing the evidence based practice, Thinking For A Change. Parents whose children are a part of the Juvenile Court Program are also encouraged to attend a 16 week parent class, called Parenting Project. Further support is also rendered to families following completion of the group component of this program.
The program averages approximately 34 youth at any given time. The age range for the court specific program youth typically is between 9 and 18 years of age. The average length of stay in this program is 6 months. The optimal result is for the youth to remain in the home, school and in the Knox County community successfully and in a healthy manner.
In a world that’s driven by computers and social media the Heritage Centre Association desired to preserve Mount Vernon’s and the Central Business district’s unique nature and attract people to our community through these new avenues and devices. Increasing our social media footprint became one of our specific targeted goals.
Thanks to the Ariel Foundation we were able to reach this goal and have an intern this year. Emily Williams joined the team to promote us on Social Media. We want to thank her for all she did. She increased our social media presence and promoted the Heritage Centre Association on multiple platforms. She opened up to us the world of Instagram and helped us use twitter more efficiently. While she was here during her spring semester at MVNU, she assisted with the Second Saturday activities. She has also written press releases and coordinated the College Graduation Extravaganza which was a special sale for the graduating class from MVNU and Kenyon. We would like to thank MVNU and Ariel Foundation for contributing to a wonderful experience for the Heritage Centre Association and for Emily.
Imagination Library - 2016 renewal grant
Every child must be prepared to start school on track for a lifetime of success. United Way’s Imagination Library Program is part of Knox County’s Early Learning Initiative. All children under the age of five are eligible to receive one free, developmentally appropriate book each month until they turn five and graduate from the program. Since the program began in 2010, more than 82,694 books have been mailed to the homes of Knox County children. Thanks to many local sponsors, including Ariel Foundation, approximately 1,700 children receive a book every month at no cost to parents. To register a child call United Way at 740.397.5721 or visit uwayknox.org.
The mission of the Winter Sanctuary is to provide a seasonal, emergency shelter for the members of our community who experience homelessness, and to connect them with resources that empower them to be successful and self-sufficient.
Expansion of Knox County Agricultural Museum (Phase 2)
Since its founding in 1984, the Knox County Ag. Museum has enjoyed continued growth both in numbers of donated items and in numbers of interested visitors. This has led to a nice problem—as space for donated items continues to run out, even though the main building was added to three times to a total of nearly 19,000 square feet.
Space is needed for several reasons. First, the sheer number of holdings has risen, now nearing 4,000. Second, as exhibits are added featuring implements down the main aisle, based around a theme (grain harvesting and hay storage in recent years, tillage for 2016-17), more room is needed to store those items moved out to make way for the featured implements. And third, “old” items--more than 50 years--that formerly came from the turn-of-the Century are now tools owned by farmers in the post-War Era—and they are much larger.
Therefore, the Ag. Museum Committee decided in late 2014 to build a structure strictly for storage of items—not for their display. A building not designed for human occupancy could be much larger, would not need to meet such strict building code standards, and could be located away from the main fairgrounds area, where space was scarce anyway. Implements could be shuttled back-and-forth for time- and crop-based display themes. The building is now a reality and will be unveiled to the public at 1 p.m. on the first day of the 2016 Knox County Fair.
SPI Overhead Cost Extension
The SPI Overhead Cost extension grant supports our space at 227 S. Main St. for its last year before SPI moves to the Buckeye Candy building. SPI, the Science Play-Space Initiative, began five years ago and currently operates a discovery space, SPI Spot, where children ages 0-11 come with a caregiver to explore their world through free play with educational toys and scientific equipment. We are now open 5 days a week and feature a new science activity each week.
Our space supports community building with its informal atmosphere and repeat visitors who often come weekly or biweekly. In addition to free open house at every downtown First Friday event and winter Second Saturdays with special programming, we also make a presence other community events such as the Earth day Festival, the Dan Emmett festival, and various events at Ariel-Foundation Park.
In addition to normal open hours, we host field trips serving local preschools, daycares, playgroups, elementary schools, and adults, and bring science activities to after school programs for Columbia School children and the Salvation Army. Our programming space next door is used for spring break activities such as NanoDays, larger field trips, and special events such as Pi Day, and summer camps. Additionally the Knox County 4-H Stem-Robotics club, and the Knox County Solar Balloon Eclipse Project meets in that space.
Central Ohio Technical College's CollegeASPIRE Summer Workshops
Central Ohio Technical College’s CollegeASPIRE summer workshops offer community youth—especially those from low-income families—the opportunity to choose from a variety of FREE faculty-led, hands-on workshops designed to provide participants with technology-based, engaging activities on a college campus. The one-week workshops are held on all of COTC’s campuses (Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala). The purpose of CollegeASPIRE is to demonstrate to both students and their families that college is accessible in their community and possible regardless of their circumstances.
Each workshop is taught by a COTC faculty member and involves classroom instruction, lab time, field experiences and group projects. The experience varies from one technology to another, but students are guaranteed hands-on technological activities daily. The culmination of each workshop is an all-inclusive Saturday Showcase on the Newark campus where students exhibit their work to family, friends and each other.
One student in each workshop who demonstrates a passion for learning, an eagerness to engage in the subject matter and enthusiasm for furthering his or her education is selected as the Shooting Star and awarded a $1,000 COTC scholarship.
Central Ohio School of Youth Mime 2016
This is the 12th year for our School of Youth Mime program. Students are instructed by international mime artist, Mr. Stephen Chipps. Mr. Chipps has been associated with the School of Youth Mime for the past 12 years and comes to us as an instructor from the summer mime program originating at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
This experience for the youth enables them to experience problem solving in its pure form, as these students arrive with no preconceived idea of an outcome or final performance. Through technique, imagination, and practice, students develop their own individual and ensemble pieces. Each work presented at the final show exemplifies the skills learned throughout the week and embodies the theatrical world of mime. We are greatly appreciative of the support of Ariel – Foundation, family and friends of Right Brain Productions.
2016 Annual Campaign
In 2015, the YMCA of Mount Vernon was able to grant over 197 scholarships totaling just under $50,000. This program makes a positive impact on over 681 individuals as the majority of the scholarships that are awarded are done so in the family category. We also offer assistance with our programs so that community members can afford to send their children to program such as preschool without significant financial burden.
The YMCA of Mount Vernon never turns anyone away due to an inability to pay so offering financial assistance to those in need is critical to our cause of strengthening the community. We look forward to helping many Knox County residents in the year 2016 through this program.
2016 Swimming Lessons
The YMCA of Mount Vernon offers progressive swimming lessons to the Knox County community. Progressive swimming lessons allow swimmers to develop new skills at their own pace, while they become proficient and confident at each new level. The YMCA of Mount Vernon serves the youth of our community in this critical lifesaving skill and in 2015, 187 children took swimming lessons through the YMCA.
The YMCA swimming lessons program offers a variety of class groupings geared towards all ages and skill levels. These include: Shrimp and Perch(ages 6 months - 3 years), Pike, Eel, Ray and Starfish(ages 3 – 6), Polliwog, Guppy, Minnow, Fish and Flying Fish(ages 7 – 15).
Through the generous donation of the Ariel Foundation, the Y is able to hire, and train quality staff as well as purchase the necessary equipment to offer the best possible aquatics program for our community.
Yellow Jacket Club Grant Spring 2016
Starting in the Spring of 2016, Ariel Foundation awarded the Mount Vernon City School District funds to use towards support, enhance and/or advancement of clubs, such as trips, club organization dues, and equipment. These organizations cannot be associated with a booster club, must be in good standing with the school district, and must include a community service component.
- East Elementary started a technology club and was able to purchase a class set of We Do/Lego Education, Makey Makey sets, and Tynker for Schools. The community service project was making videos to educate and raise awareness about alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
- The MVHS French Club traveled the Columbus Museum of Art for docent-led tours in French and ate French Cuisine in Columbus. Their community service component was assisting with National French Week activities and translating children's stories for French story time at a local public library.
- Equipment and materials were purchased for the MVHS Latin Club to make mosaics of ancient mythology with local people with disabilities. This culminated in a local art show held at Creative Foundations at First Friday, May 6, 2016 and then were on display for the month of May.
- The National Honors Society was able to pay the raised national membership fee for their chapter and continue with pre-planned local service projects. These projects include: Adopt-An-Angel gift collection at MVHS for the Salvation Army, serving at Senior Citizen luncheons, hosting a blood drive for the local Red Cross, and volunteering at the Earth Day Challenge Race, Yellow Jacket Relays, and Relay for Life.
Updated Court Security 2016
The grant will be used to defray the cost of an x-ray machine and walk-through metal detector that will be installed at a single point of entry into the Court building at 5 North Gay Street. The public and Court users will be screened at the single point of entry by security officers before they are allowed to proceed into the building.
Summer Music Garden
We had a good season this summer with Celeste Friedman and dancers from MTV Arts previewing Beauty and the Beast. In July Zak Morgan entertained while SPI Spot helped create decorative covers from plastic water bottles for a strand of lights. In August Owl Creek, a local band of songwriters performed while SPI Spot helped kids make stomp rockets.
Fast ForWord Intervention Renewal
Thanks to an Ariel Foundation Grant, St Vincent de Paul School has the ability to offer our students the use of the online The Fast ForWord Language Program. This program develops listening accuracy, phonological awareness, and language structures to improve reading skills. This program provides recommendations on specific skills to target reading instruction. The Ariel Foundation also helped us purchase Chrome Books so students have the technology to access the Fast ForWord Program. The Foundation’s continued generosity is helping the Knox County students who attend St. Vincent de Paul School strive to excel in knowledge and develop skills to be successful.
The YMCA of Mount Vernon is pleased to announce the completion of our Childcare room renovation. This substantial renovation was made possible through the generosity of the Ariel Foundation. In early June of 2016, Modern Builders began a renovation in this area that would bring 30% more space for the children as well as a private bathroom. Also, included within the project were ceiling, lighting and flooring upgrades. This room has a service capacity of 16 full time participants ages 3 to 5 years. This $64,000 renovation also attached a new donor through a Department of Job and Family Services grant. This grant allowed our organization to add an additional $6,000 worth of programming equipment and furniture to the space. Most importantly our kids now have a space that is larger, safer, and this allows us to put the focus where it should be: on them.
Fast ForWord Renewal 2016, Twin Oak Elementary
Fast ForWord is a research-based intervention program that has been used with any Twin Oak student who is not on track to attain reading mastery. As a result of the Ohio Third Grade guarantee that states that all third graders need to be reading on grade level as evidenced by passing the third grade state test, the Fast ForWord program’s focus has turned toward the lower grades. Students in kindergarten, first, second and third grade work on FFW to address their literacy and language deficits. The program is progress monitored by Mrs. Mader, Twin Oak speech pathologist. She and two instructional aides work with students for 30-minutes using either a 3-day or 5-day protocol. Students are tracked and their progress is reviewed in order to move the students through the various levels within the program. Many Twin Oak students will tell you the best part of the FFW program is the FFW store that opens once a month. Participating students earn points that are redeemed for prizes and the students proudly share how quickly they are progressing through the program. Through the use of the Fast ForWord data, the Twin Oak staff has seen at least a year’s gain with many students who have not been successful using other reading interventions. Thanks to an ongoing grant from the Ariel Foundation, Twin Oak Elementary School continues to be able to offer this computer-based language and reading intervention program at Twin Oak for many years.