Collaboration between higher education partners fills big need for local school district
The Ohio State University at Marion recently donated an estimated $45 thousand worth of desks, chairs, and computer tables to the students of Ridgedale Local School District in Marion, Ohio.
The donation of classroom furniture was made possible when Ohio State Marion’s Delaware Center, a classroom convenience site in southern Delaware County officially closed its doors on August 1, 2011. The center closed to make way for a new partnership between The Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College, in which Ohio State classes, taught by Ohio State faculty, will be offered on Columbus State’s Delaware Campus.
According to Ohio State Marion Dean and Director, Gregory S. Rose, finding a good home for the furniture was paramount, and the ability to help area students was an additional welcome benefit.
“I think it was a great opportunity for us to help a school in our area. We had desks that we couldn’t use anymore, we had a school district that could use them, and so it was a great opportunity to partner up,” said Rose. “Everybody benefits.”
Ridgedale Local Schools Superintendent Bob Britton shared that the donation supplied new desks for 5 classrooms, a number of study halls, and a computer room with new top quality furniture.
“We got approximately a 150 desk units from The Ohio State University and we also have some special education tables, computer tables, and individual chairs, with which we were able to replace all of our chairs in our computer lab.” said Britton.
A majority of the furniture and equipment donated is already in place and is currently being utilized, primarily at the Ridgedale Junior/Senior High School building.
“It is very, very high dollar, very good furniture,” he said. “The kids aren’t going to come in here and destroy them within a year or two.”
Because of the quality construction of the desks, tables, and chairs donated, Britton estimated that they would last the district 10 to 15 years.
“What this means to the district,” said Britton, “is our ability to replace some furniture that was worn out without having to spend the money to do so.”
“We would have had to replace the furniture,” he said. “In turn, the money would have had to come from somewhere. We don’t have to replace it now.”
The donation was clearly a welcome surprise for the school from the standpoint of saving money that can be invested in other academic endeavors, but the additional benefits Ridgedale students realize from Ohio State Marion’s donation are immeasurable, said Ridgedale Junior/Senior High School Principal Brian Napper.
“These chairs are nice because we have some heavier bodies. Kids are bigger, and no matter if you’re a male or female, it’s embarrassing to try and get into a desk that’s too small.”
“Kids have pride and we’ve got to spend money on your kids,” he said. “I’m not saying they need everything that they want, but you’ve got to take care of their needs.”
Napper felt his students would definitely notice the change.
“It’s like you built a new school, but it’s not a new school. It’s just better furniture,” he said.
“The psychological part of education is very important. Motivation is something I was thinking about,” Napper explained, “We’re being held accountable in public education for motivation.”
“When kids come in and see this versus what we had,” said Napper, “it’s a motivation factor.” “It’s a pride thing, and they want to be prideful.”