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By TONI COLLINS
Special to the Citizen
It is no surprise that Levy ARC has faced some critical financial challenges lately. However, Executive Director, Betty Walker is determined to find ways to match up available resources to create a win-win situation for all involved. Her latest challenge coupled LARC with the Plum Creek Foundation and the Exceptional Student Educational Program of the Levy County School District.
The chain of events started several years ago when LARC Board President, Sean Mullins asked then Superintendent of Schools, Cliff Norris, if the school district’s out-of-date computers could be donated to LARC. This past spring, current Superintendent, Bob Hastings made that happen when he delivered 25 desk top computers to the LARC facility in Otter Creek.
LARC did not have the funds to buy software but put out several appeals to the community for donations of educational software. About this time Betty Walker met with Dr. Rosalind Hall of the Levy County School District to discuss a cooperative instructional program whereby Exceptional Students would spend several days a week at LARC. The program would include community awareness, adult skill training, and work experience, laying the groundwork for a seamless transition if and when the time comes for the students to enroll at LARC.
Board member Toni Collins got busy and submitted a grant to the Plum Creek Foundation to fund the purchase of five up-to-date desktop computers and academic software to accommodate the needs of the many learning levels of the LARC clients. The grant was funded and Greg Galpin, Senior Land Asset Manager representing the Plum Creek Foundation, attended the LARC Board of Directors meeting last week to present LARC with a check for $3,516. The Plum Creek Foundation supports non-profit organizations that improve the overall quality of life in the communities where Plum Creek operates.
“When we open our purses and pool our resources,” said Dr. Hall, “we can accomplish so much more.”
Betty Walker could not agree more. “We have a dedicated staff, wonderful clients who have been coming to LARC for years, and a supportive Board. When you add to that mix the support of the Plum Creek Foundation and the School Board of Levy County, everyone wins!”