Chillicothe Foundation gives $100,000 stamp of approval for SMART Board Campaign

Karen Moewe for IVC District 321
IVC District 321 Superintendent Dr. Nick Polyak, accepts a $100,000 donation for the SMART Board Campaign Smart program from Chillicothe Foundation President Bill Batek and directors Norm Admire, Darlene Kumpf and coordinator Donna Armstrong.

The Chillicothe Foundation sent a resounding endorsement of its support to bring cutting-edge technology to all students in the Illinois Valley Central District with a pledge of $100,000 to the SMART Board Campaign this week.

The donation of $25,000 for each of the next four years will be used to write-down the cost of bringing Series 800 SMART Board technology to all classrooms in the IVC District. The donation is roughly one-quarter of the total cost of the project.

Chillicothe Foundation president Bill Batek presented the check to IVC District Superintendent Dr. Nick Polyak Tuesday morning at First National Bank in Chillicothe.

The IVC District will purchase 87-inch SMART Boards for each classroom where the technology may be utilized.

The technology of the SMART Board is comparable to an iPad in that it is touch sensitive and interactive.

Educators and students can navigate their way through the Internet on a SMART Board.

The technology comes with 50,000 vetted lesson plans, allowing teachers to download activities to complement their lessons or create their own projects. The 800 Series allows two students to work together on the board.

The SMART Boards will be installed in classrooms over the summer months, making IVC District the only district in the state of Illinois to have the 87-inch 800 Series SMART Boards throughout its classrooms.

According to Chillicothe Foundation president Bill Batek the decision to help fund the SMART Board Campaign was an easy one for their board.

“Our goal is always to touch as many lives as we can with the resources we have available. After we saw the superintendent’s presentation, and saw how many students this will impact and for how long we just knew this was something we wanted to be a part of,” Batek said.

He also noted that projects which reach so many people, in this case so many students, carry on the legacy of the Chillicothe Foundation, and especially the legacy of one of its founders, Barb Truitt.

“Barb passed away in 1994, but I can still remember that little smile she would get when we were able to help. She liked to remain behind the scenes, but always wanted to do good where possible. I can’t help but think she’s up in heaven with that smile right now.

Batek also credits his board’s foresight and guidance in selecting the projects they assist. “This was an easy one for us. In the 21 years I’ve been here, this is one of the best feelings we have had about a project. We hope we can provide inspiration for even more groups and organizations to step forward and help.”

“I am thrilled that the Chillicothe Foundation is able to make such a sizable gift to this project. Thousands of students will benefit every year thanks to their generosity. It makes me proud to work at IVC and proud to live in this community,” said Polyak.

The SMART Board Campaign began when the South School PTA decided to use fundraising dollars to purchase a SMART Board for the school. They shared their goal with other IVC District PTAs and administrators. Soon the IVC Families for SMART

Students was formed and the plan to bring SMART Boards to all district classrooms became a campaign.

“The gift from the Chillicothe Foundation is extremely generous. It brings tears to my eyes to know that I live in a community where this type of gift is being donated to support the education of our children. On behalf of all the parents of IVC School District, I thank the Chillicothe Foundation for donating such a substantial gift which will have a huge impact on the way our children learn and succeed in the classroom. This gift is an investment in the future of all our children and for that we thank you,” said Brook Cranford of the IVC Families for SMART Students.

The Chillicothe Foundation was organized for charitable, religious, educational and scientific purposes. Through grants and donations the Foundation strives to combat community deterioration and to lessen the burdens of government through the generation of new employment, increased payrolls, expanded business volume and new industry in the city of Chillicothe, and the surrounding community, according to Chillicothe Foundation Coordinator Donna Armstrong.

Since 2000, the Chillicothe Foundation has distributed more than $550,000 in grants and donations to meet its mission, she added.

Some of the recipients of the Chillicothe Foundation dollars have been: Pearce Community Center, Chillicothe Historical Society, Chillicothe Public Library, Chillicothe Park District, Community Needs Agency, Chillicothe Fire Department, IVC Math and Science Departments, IVC Baseball and Crossword Café.