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ECEF is an independent organization not affiliated with any national or state youth group.  ECEF relies primarily on grants, program assistance and contributions from caring people.

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”

— Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady of the United States

In 2014-2015, over 45% of the students received some form of financial assistance to attend ECEF programs. Students received $40,000 in scholarship assistance in 2014.

Grants in Action

Ely Chapman Education Foundation

The Ely Chapman Education Foundation (ECEF) strives to provide academically-oriented, hands-on learning for our local youth. Today, this is being achieved through the restoration of a mural and the living rivers water display — a $10,000 project funded by the Ohio Arts Council and Marietta Community Foundation.

Both displays reside on the first floor of ECEF’s building, and have been admired and studied by thousands since their installation in 2000-2001.

Now they’re serving as a different kind of educational tool.

Alongside one of the original artists, Geoff Schenkel, the children enrolled in the S.U.N.S.H.I.N.E. Learning Station are actively involved in the restoration efforts. This allows kids of all ages to engage in art and self-expression, while learning about math, construction, historical significance, preservation and aquatic life.

Each week, the kids practice their skills and learn painting techniques on canvas, then apply what they learned to the wall and sculpture when Geoff is there. They’re also able to help with the construction aspects of the project as the water display progresses toward being functional again.

Lori Ullman, Executive Director, said that the kids are always excited to help with the project.

Experiential learning isn’t the only benefit of this project. Ullmann believes that the restoration of the displays will attract visitors to the building and help preserve the vision of the organization’s founder, Alice Chapman, who passed away in December 2020.

Ullman said that one goal is to restore the display to its original vision, but update it a little and seal it differently to help the colors pop.

“It has all of Alice, all of Geoff, a little bit of me… but it’s about bringing her back to life,” said Ullman. “It’s a beautiful project to be a part of.”

Ohio Arts Council

Marietta Communty Foundation

Transforming Lives

“I was a nervous 8 year old third grader and wouldn’t get along with anyone.  My first week at Ely Chapman we had awesome activities that kept me focused and also required teamwork, so I began to be able to make friends.  My homework improved and so did my work habits.  I realize now that Ely Chapman gave me the tools for success.  That success continues today.  I am a senior at West Virginia University and ready to step out into the world, and I hope to pay forward for what I have been given.  I hope that the community will continue to support Ely Chapman since I know first hand how it changes lives for the better.”

-Elizabeth Parr, Former Student at Ely Chapman

Our Mission

The Ely Chapman Education Foundation (ECEF) is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that provides academically oriented, hands-on learning and mentoring to youth in the Mid-Ohio Valley