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.
Enrichment Programs 2018
This grant 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 November consists of 150 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 a 2 hour evening session for all. The final practice is held all day on the day of the concert with two guest conductors, culminating in an evening concert for the public free of charge at the Memorial Theater.
The Mentorship for Leadership Program served 15 juniors and seniors in all five city and county schools with a mentorship program throughout the school year. Students work 20 hours with mentors in the community at careers they are 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 35 gifted high school students in the entire county and city schools spend a week at college exploring career fields with other gifted students. This outstanding program includes a week long campus experience with college classes which provides some students with a clearer picture of their life direction and all with rich memories of their week at ONU.
Kokosing Gap Trail Zero Turn Mower
The KGT maintains a number of lawn spaces along the trail and the new Exmark-Lazer Z-E Series 52 inch mower will be put to use on a weekly basis keeping the green spaces looking like a park and keeping plant growth off of the trails. Thanks to The Ariel Foundation’s focus on projects that improve the quality of life in the Mount Vernon area.
Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant Programs, Columbia Elementary
These research-based programs are designed to provide intervention to struggling readers in order to further develop and improve: phonological processing, working memory, phonemic awareness, sequencing, vocabulary, reading fluency, and grammar. What a benefit it is for these students to be given this extra help in reading.
This year alone, students who have benefited from these programs have averaged academic growth of one year and nine months. Being able to make such gains in reading in this short period time is crucial to the success of these children as reading is such a critical foundation to their ability to learn. By making such gains, not only are they able to learn more, but they have become much more confident.
The Ariel Foundation is happy to continue its support for the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant Programs at Columbia Elementary.
Seventeen scholarships for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program, with concentrations in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, were made possible with funding provided by The Ariel Foundation. To best serve the local, national, and international communities, Mount Vernon Nazarene University 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.
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 given a scholarship or award for the following semester, made possible by an annual 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.
Each year, two juniors and three seniors from the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Nursing program are selected by a scholarship committee through a University application process. MVNU offers its students the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art Clinical Learning Laboratory and through classroom instruction, plus one-on-one mentoring with expert faculty. A wide range of clinical practice opportunities completes the experience, as students gain exposure to a variety of healthcare organizations.
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.
Students in the Environmental Justice class at Mount Vernon Nazarene University sought to aide food insecure households in Knox County through the creation of the MVNU Garden. Through the class, students conducted research, sought approval, and applied for a grant to fund the initial construction of the garden. Thanks to Ariel Foundation, the garden has now become a reality!
The Garden is currently made up of five 4 ft x 4 ft raised beds. Plants that are included in this year’s garden are peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, sugar snap peas, watermelon, zucchini, carrots, radishes, pumpkins, sunflowers, and various herbs. Though the garden started as a class project, it has grown to include the help of students, faculty, and community members outside of the original Environmental Justice class.
The MVNU Garden is partnering with the Mount Vernon Salvation Army food pantry and will donate half of the produce grown in the garden. The MVNU Garden will hopefully continue to grow and serve the Mount Vernon community for many years to come.
Expanding Open Hours & General Support for Marketing, Programming and Development
SPI is where Science and Play Intersect, but it’s also the place where locals of all ages and backgrounds convene. This community hub and point of pride on Main Street is a sensory experience; it’s a comfortable and colorful environment in which laughter resounds. Parents de-construct electronics with their teenagers, college students hone skills as future science educators, and preschoolers marvel at lightbulbs they’ve illuminated with the turn of a gear. Last year’s grant from The Ariel Foundation expanded SPI’s hours. And a community-supported capital campaign moved the organization to a larger, more welcoming exploration space in the Wright Center. The result of these investments: SPI’s attendance increased approximately 56% over the prior year! As participation increased, so too did the need to hire more staff with varying skills. This year’s grant providing general support for development, marketing, and programming which will not only sustain operations in this new context but will allow for the advancement of growth strategies that ensure SPI’s reputation as a community asset.
2018 Swimming Lessons
The YMCA of Mount Vernon offers progressive swimming lessons to the Knox County community. Progressive swimming lessons allow current or future 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 139 participants learned to swim through our organization.
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). With these grant funds, 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.
2018 Annual Campaign
The YMCA of Mount Vernon was able to grant 235 scholarships and this program made a positive impact on over 500 individuals. 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 2018 through this program. We would like to thank The Ariel Foundation for their generous ongoing support of this Annual Campaign and for their direct involvement in positively impacting the lives of Knox County residents.