Landrum Endowment Fund Presents Grants to Local Agencies & Schools

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and the Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities, known locally as the Pioneer Center, says four Ross County projects have received funding through the Landrum Endowment Fund. These grants will support projects related to improving lives of individuals with developmental disabilities in Ross County.

The Landrum Endowment Fund’s inaugural grant round was designed to support nonprofit and public organizations in or focused on Ross County and working across the areas of advocacy, community inclusion, community employment, and parent/family support.

“We are happy and grateful to be able to support four wonderful projects through the Landrum Endowment Fund’s first grant round,” said RCBDD Superintendent Leia Snyder. “These projects will have a positive impact on the lives of people with developmental disabilities in our community.”

The Landrum Endowment Fund’s inaugural grant round awarded nearly $50,000 to projects serving those with developmental disabilities in Ross County. Grant recipients include Goodwill of South Central Ohio, Downtown Chillicothe, the Ross-Pike ESD, and Chillicothe City Schools.

Goodwill of South Central Ohio was awarded $25,000 for their Handy Helpers Program. The program provides opportunities for people with disabilities to work and build skills through planting flowers, raking leaves, painting rooms, and more. In addition to their wages, Goodwill Handy Helpers also gives their participants the chance to make connections with those they are helping and can take pride in giving back to the community. The grant, along with a 10% investment match from Goodwill, will help provide the startup capital for the program to purchase safety gear, uniform vests, basic tools and supplies, advertising, and aid in transportation and staff costs.

Downtown Chillicothe was awarded $15,425 to support free, portable ramps for businesses. The 501(c)(3) organization is partnering with First Capital Enterprises to make downtown buildings more accessible by providing portable ramps to hand out, free of charge, to businesses that have steps at their front door. These ramps will allow people in wheelchairs to more easily work and shop downtown.

Ross-Pike ESD was awarded $2,045 to support its therapeutic listening program. This program will work with preschool and school-age students living with autism and sensory disorders. Therapeutic listening is a sound-based intervention that gives the listener unique and controlled sensory information. Music is electronically modified to highlight parts of the sound spectrum that naturally activate body movement and capture attention in order to trigger the nervous system. The program has been found to help with issues such as difficulties interacting with peers, poor attention, difficulty responding to sounds and verbal directions, irritability, and much more. The Ross-Pike ESD currently serves students in five Ross County school districts, as well as four Pike County school districts.

Chillicothe City Schools was awarded $4,330 to support new equipment for the sensory room at Chillicothe Intermediate School. The new equipment will allow students to swing at the sensory room. Swinging helps promote whole body awareness, body coordination, and the development of the proprioceptive system- the part of the nervous system that senses location, movements and actions. The grant will also help provide the necessary materials for a motor lab/sensory space, which gives teachers an additional option to get their students moving by using equipment such as bouncing balls, whiteboards, punching bags, swings, and yoga. The motor lab is designed to help students with reading and writing difficulties, language and speech delay, disorganization, poor concentration, and chronic body aches.

The Landrum Endowment Fund was created in 2016 after George Landrum, a lifelong resident of Ross County, left an endowment of $1.2 million to the Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities, also known as the Pioneer Center. George’s brother, John Landrum, received over 30 years of service from the Pioneer Center. George was very involved in John’s life and cared deeply about him. John lived with his parents until their passing, after which he lived with his brother, George.

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