The Monumental Marathon is the largest donor to the IPS Education Foundation. Executive Director Blake Boldon recently visited Meredith Nicholson School 96 to see the great things IPSEF is doing with these funds. Here are his thoughts on the visit:
I left this morning’s visit to IPS #96 compelled to share some personal thoughts. The overall appreciation for our contribution was incredible and the impact was extraordinarily tangible.
We toured a number of classrooms that were upgraded to 21st century educational technology due to our support. Students were impressively interactive in reading, counting and a wide array of effective educational activities. Of course, they were performing for their “honored guests” as we were introduced, but the learning and enjoyment was absolutely authentic. Then the principal guided us to a class that has not yet been upgraded. It remained exactly how I remembered school in the 90’s. The teacher was using the same type of overhead projector that was used in classrooms 20 and 30 years ago. Despite the teacher’s best efforts, students were noticeably less engaged and the atmosphere was in stark contrast to the other rooms.
I also think it’s worth mentioning the students that are served. Over 80% of the students at IPS 96 do not speak English at home. It was very racially diverse as well.
At the end of our time at the school, we had a nice visit with the principal, Mary Siefert. She shared that her fifth grade son who attends Hamilton Southeastern schools will be issued an iPad for school projects this year. To say that the students within IPS are at an educational disadvantage is an understatement. Our work, and the great leadership of Linda Broadfoot with the IPSEF, is making a difference in our city schools and closing the gap, even if only in a small way.
It’s hard to fully grasp the challenges that IPS teachers and students face until you see something like the comparison that we saw today.
With donations from organizations like the Monumental Marathon, the IPS Education Foundation is able to equip IPS students with the tools they need to build a bright future for themselves and the city of Indianapolis. You can get involved by and registering for this year’s marathon, held on November 1.