by Terri Marratta
Educational Outreach Chair, Champaign County Historical Museum
Teachers are always looking for ways to spark their students' interest in their subject matter. For me personally, as a teacher of history to young people who sometimes struggle to see the relevance of the past on their lives, it was often a challenge to make my lessons come alive to draw them in. Regardless of how well organized a lesson plan was, my students were always more engaged if the learning was experiential, such as interacting with a visual aid, rather than passively listening to a lecture.
The Champaign County Historical Museum is a treasure trove of over 13,000 artifacts which could bring history to life for Champaign County students and the public in general IF it is more readily accessible. Presently, lacking a dedicated source of steady income, the museum's hours of operation are quite limited due to the forced reliance on volunteer help, thus greatly restricting the museum's ability to serve the interests of the county.
On November 6th CCHS is seeking passage of a 3/10 mil operating levy to finance and expand educational outreach and hours of operation. The effective cost of the levy amounts to $10/year on a $100,000 property. For a nominal cost Champaign County residents will realize an exponential benefit, the very definition of a bargain. Please join me on November 6th in voting "YES" for the Champaign County Historical Museum levy. As Santayana also said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
We have worked hard to increase our presence throughout the county and people have noticed! If you have not had a chance to take our 10-question survey on our website, please do so. We are receiving valuable input and welcome more of the same. Moreover, we received many visitors at the fair and learned a lot from them.
A number of supporters weighed in on our levy campaign and suggested that many voters do not realize just how small the millage is. Others seemed to think that it will apply to all citizens, not just property owners. We’re listening and will highlight:
3/10 of a mil
in our promotional materials and further explain that this equates to about
$10 per year on a property appraised at $100,000.
More than ever, we need the support of all members to pass this issue and thus stabilize our museum operation. Contributions made to the CCHS Campaign Committee will be deposited in the First Central National Bank of St. Paris and may be sent to:
P. O. Box 65, Urbana, OH, 43078.
As always, we thank you for your support.
Our organization continues to march forward in a number of areas including the cyber world. Our website - www.champaigncountyhistoricalmuseum.org - exhibits ongoing innovation and improved accessibility, and our Facebook page is receiving a record number of “likes.”
This is most timely in that the board of trustees voted on April 25 to place a levy for “maintenance and operation” on the November ballot. As before, the levy is for 0.3 mil (3/10ths) for 5 years which would cost a Champaign County property owner about $10/year on a $100,000 property. We were only 439 votes short the last time, and we are mounting a maximum effort to pass it so that we can hire full-time staff, something most organizations of a similar nature have already accomplished; in the meantime we continue to seek volunteer assistance.
What will we do differently this time? We know that we need to reach out to younger voters, particularly in the county, and our new electronic capabilities will help us do that. Since last November we have worked steadily to bolster our presence in the community by recruiting and training volunteers to open the museum on Sundays, engaging the county schools more often and efficiently, posting Ward Lutz’s “Then and Now” and “Looking Back” items in the newspaper and on Facebook, presenting monthly programs of interest, and speaking to local groups. Moreover, Ken Wright’s Community Outreach committee is hard at work establishing partnerships in an around the villages.
The Levy Committee begins weekly meetings in June and will work diligently right up to Nov. 6. More than ever, we’ll need the support of all members to pass this issue and thus stabilize our museum operation.
Contributions made to the CCHS Campaign Committee will be deposited in the First Central National Bank of St. Paris and may be sent to CCHS, P. O. Box 65, Urbana, OH, 43078.
Thank you for your support!
Champaign County Historical Society Board President