GAYVILLE — Gayville and Volin have become a bit more high-tech, thanks to a gift from South Dakota State University Horizons.
The two communities have been undertaking projects as part of the Gayville-Volin Horizons Project for the better part of the past year. For their efforts, they received two laptop computers and a digital projector during a ceremony held in March.
"It's equipment that we really need," said Horizons planning committee member Barbara Egbert. "The church has been borrowing the projector from the school for 10 years, and so is anybody else who needed it. So there's that — just the fact that we don't have the technology in our community resources."
Horizons focuses on community leadership to reduce poverty. It is funded with grants from the Northwest Area Foundation.
The communities received the equipment for being so close to completing the objectives of their various Horizons projects.
"We're just about completely done," Egbert said. "We have received the $10,000 award that we were working toward. We've had a check-signing ceremony, and in addition to that money, they gave us (the computers and projector)."
The communities had previously received a digital camera when they first began their involvement with Horizons.
"The rest is all new, and we're really happy to have it," Egbert said.
The equipment is currently housed at CorTrust Bank in Gayville, but once a resource room has been constructed in Volin, one of the laptops will be stored there.
CorTrust employee Missy Taggart said the bank was chosen for its community accessibility.
"It's a public location that's open during the day," she said. "Obviously, we're not here on the weekends, but they can always get it on Fridays, and we're here until 6 p.m. on Fridays. It made more sense than keeping them somewhere else."
The items are available to any individual or organization who wants to check them out, both for business and personal use.
"The laptops have wireless access, so if you were to go to a public area and wanted to use the Internet, job searches would be a primary use," Egbert said.
Residents could also use them to brush up on their basic computer skills, she added.
"The major thing you could use them for with the projector is slide shows and presentations. The camera, the projector and the computers work seamlessly for that," Egbert said.
"One person used (a laptop) for a class she was presenting," Taggart said. "Another one was used at the church for a talent show. I'm not so sure that the camera wasn't taken out for a new baby that someone had."
The check-out process is simple, Taggart said.
"People just come in and tell me they want to check it out, and if no one else has it, I put it on the calendar and mark it down," she said. "I just have people fill out basic name, address, phone number, what they're taking and approximately how long they'll use it. This is just to keep track of where they are and who has them for the next person who needs them."
The items have been available for use since April, and they have all been checked out at least once, Taggart said.
"People say that they love having them, to be able to use them," she added.
Egbert expressed her appreciation to CorTrust Bank and its employees for their assistance throughout the Horizons program.
"They've made so many public community contributions through this facility and through these people's time and talents," she said. "They've just been a blessing to this community."
Horizons is a partnership between the South Dakota State University Cooperative and the Northwest Area Foundation of St. Paul, Minn.
For more information about the Gayville-Volin Horizons Project, visit http://gayvillevolin.communityblogs.us/.