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.
Sealing Asphalt on 13.5 miles of Kokosing Gap Trail
The heart and soul of the Kokosing Gap Trail is the 13.5 miles of asphalt connecting Mount Vernon to Gambier, Howard and Danville. Maintaining the integrity of the trail is critical and the Kokosing Gap Trial Board of Trustees is grateful for the support the Ariel Foundation has provided that allowed us to seal the entire length of the trail - preserving and protecting the trail for generations to come.
Tractor and Mower
The tractor and boom-arm mower will be used to maintain the nearly 35 miles of bike trails spanning the length of Knox County.
SPI Spot Phase 4
The SPI Phase 4 Grant supports our move to a larger space that enables us to serve more visitors at a time. The extra space included a programming space suitable for hosting larger field trips, after school programs, special events, and summer camps.
SPI, the Science Play-Space Initiative, began only two years ago and currently operates a discovery space where children ages 0-11 come with a caregiver to explore their world through free play with educational toys and scientific equipment. We are open 4 days a week, and each week a different science related activity complements the discovery play aspect of our space. Activities engage multiple ages at different levels, and thus have educational value and interest for both children, and their caregivers.
We also host field trips serving local preschools, daycares, playgroups, elementary schools, and adults. Additionally we bring activities and make presentations to local groups.
Our space supports community building with its informal atmosphere and repeat visitors who often come weekly or biweekly. In addition to a few minimally paid staff, visitors interact with our volunteers from the two local colleges, high school, and the community. In addition to a free open house at every downtown First Friday event, we also make a presence in other community events such as the earth day festival.
During the summer we are offering several camps including Camp Invention, Lego camps, Space camp, and a tree exploration camp called Branch Out.
In the fall we will be starting a middle school after school science club supported by a grant from NASA.
Early Childhood Education
Mount Vernon YMCA Preschool Program
Through the generous contribution from the Ariel Foundation, the YMCA Preschool is able to continue a quality Early Childhood Educational program for children throughout the Knox County area. By investing in early education, we are ensuring that students develop a love for learning and build a strong educational foundation, which is the key to success for years to come.
The YMCA Preschool follows an educational, hands-on learning curriculum that provides further emphasis on kindergarten readiness, fine and motor skill development, socialization, healthy habits, and creativity. We strive to develop the whole child and to provide an environment for preschoolers to learn, gain self-confidence, make new friends and instill respect for others. All our preschool classes are staffed with quality early childhood educators that create a fun, nurturing atmosphere and understand the importance of early child development. We believe that enrollment in an early childhood education program really sets children up for success!
Aquatics - Swimming Lessons
YMCA of Mount Vernon's Aquatics Programs Swimming Lessons
The YMCA of Mount Vernon offers progressive swim lessons to the Knox County community. Progressive lessons allow swimmers to progress at their own pace. The program's purpose is to enhance the quality of life for our community by teaching the lifelong skill of swimming through fun, organized, and safe teaching methods.
The YMCA of Mount Vernon's Swim Lesson Program offers four (4) specific groupings geared towards all ages. Within each group, there are specific levels that best meet the needs of swimmers based on their ages and skills. They are: (1) Water Adjustment Group (lessons for 6 months to 3 years): Shrimp and Perch; (2) Preschool Groups (3-5 years old): Pike, Eel & Ray/Starfish; (3) Youth Groups (6-13 years old): Polliwog, Guppy, Minnow, Fish, & Flying Fish; (4) Teen/Adult Groups (14 years old and up): Teen/Adult Level & Shark Stroke Clinic.
Through the generous donation of the Ariel Foundation, the Aquatics programs at the YMCA of Mount Vernon are able to continue hiring and training quality staff, and updating equipment which in turn will provide the Knox County community the best possible aquatics programs.
Interchurch Phone System
Interchurch Social Services has provided emergency assistance and a Christian presence to thousands in need in the Knox County area since 1968. With offices located in Centerburg, Danville, Fredericktown, and Mount Vernon, assistance is easily accessed and those wishing to make a contribution need look no further than their own community. Services include clothing assistance, food pantry, financial aid and financial literacy education, and Turn the Tide, a Christmas assistance program. Interchurch Social Services - a Christian faith-based ministry, uniting community resources to meet the needs of those in crisis!
IT Upgrade - Phase 3
The Freedom Center is a non-profit, outpatient drug and alcohol counseling and community prevention organization that values quality of service, individual respect and confidentiality, and an efficient use of community resources to support our clients in developing healthy and sustainable lifestyles.
The Mission of the Freedom Center is to promote the growth and wellness of Knox County residents by providing prevention services and delivering accessible, respectful, evidenced-based treatment for individuals and families battling substance abuse and dependency.
With a matching funds grant from Ariel Foundation the Center was able to complete an Infrastructure and IT upgrade project. This project included a new telecommunication system, terminal server and network computer system and was completed with the installation and implementation of Electronic Health Record software to insure service delivery compatibility with emerging Healthcare Reform requirements and the ability to effectively coordinate a broader continuum of care for Knox County residents on need of addiction services.
Using Legos to Model Engineering Practices in Nanotechnology
Through a grant from the Ariel Foundation, students at Mount Vernon High School practice engineering and design techniques utilizing Legos and similar materials. Students built models of the Space Shuttle as well as "nano" and "macro" guitars using Nanoblock Kits as well as the traditional Legos. Students also work with Mindstorms kits to learn programming and robotics.