The McLean County Educational Foundation has recently set a sizable goal.

Chairman Earl Melloy said Tuesday that the foundation has set a fundraising goal of $115,000 to purchase Chromebooks for each student in grades three and up who don't have them already.

"This group has graciously agreed to this aggressive goal, so the Educational Foundation, that's our main focus," said Melloy, who served as the district's superintendent for nearly a decade.

The foundation, he said, has "done some great things in the past, we feel like," such as helping students take trips and assisting with the purchase of assistive technologies.

"Our primary goal is to offer students opportunities and experiences outside of the regular classroom setting that they normally wouldn't have," said Melloy.

see goal/page A4

Melloy said the Foundation kept receiving requests for Chromebooks and they were wanting "something big" that they would get buy-in from, not only from teachers, administrators, but families as well.

"We needed some item that would make everybody want to make a contribution to the foundation for that sole purpose," he said.

They "know it's extremely ambitious," Melloy said of the goal.

Foundation member Kim Gatton, assistant principal at McLean County High School, said the technology is in high demand by principals at the schools.

"They have lots of different platforms or online technology that they want their students to have access to," she said.

The reason the district has set a goal with the Chromebooks is because of the "cost of it in relationship to what it can do," Gatton said. "It's very economical for a school system to purchase Chromebooks and get their return that the student needs to run the systems."

Whether students will be able to take the devices home with them will be left to the discretion of the principals, she said.

Foundation member David Scott said the organization has fundraised for several years in the past "but this is a new project. We spent money on other things, many other things. I guess you could say we're kind of starting new as far as this project is concerned."

"I've been looking since I've been chair for something big to create buy-in for the whole county to get them interested in making a donation to the Educational Foundation," Melloy said. "I'm hoping this is it, this will create the buy-in."

Scott said the devices will be purchased "as we get the money."

Melloy said all academic areas will benefit from the technology.

As far as a timeline for the Chromebooks, "I'd like to think we could get it done by the end of this (school) year, but I realize we may not," he said.

Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. Those interested in donating to the effort can mail checks made out to the McLean County Educational Foundation to P.O. Box 245, Calhoun, Kentucky 42327.

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