Nearly $30,000 in grants have been awarded recently to the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) by the Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF), announced BCEF director Anne Wilson. Three program areas were included in the awards: a large grant to continue the flexible learning spaces (FLS) initiative, fall classroom grants, and the annual “Students Choose” special grant. The most recent donations bring the foundation’s total giving to BCSC and its students in 2021 to just over $60,000.
“BCEF is pleased to announce a large grant donation of more than $23,000 to help the Batesville Middle School (BMS) convert its previous choir room into a new multipurpose meeting space called the Bulldog Collaboration Room,” Wilson said. “This is a continuation of the BCEF flexible learning spaces initiative. Our donation is earmarked for movable seating and tables that will allow BMS to utilize this new space in a variety of ways.”
“Once everything is installed in the room, we will be able to use it for staff meetings, student groups, and classroom activities, just to name a few possibilities,” said Dave Strouse, BMS principal. “Prior to this, we had no private space in the building large enough to hold our staff meetings. We are grateful to BCEF for providing the necessary funds so our vision for the room could become reality.”
An opportunity to view the completed BCEF Bulldog Collaboration Room at BMS will be provided during an open house, currently planned for early 2022. Besides touring the new BMS music wing, community members will be able to see the Bulldog Collaboration Room and learn about the BCEF contribution.
“Our flexible learning spaces initiative began in 2017,” Wilson added. “Since that time, we’ve donated money for some materials in all four school buildings. This Bulldog Collaboration Room at BMS puts the total value of our FLS gifts at just over $93,000. We’re proud to be able to provide these types of components that a large number of students and staff can use.”
Besides the large FLS grant, two fall classroom grants awarded in December from BCEF will focus on student health—both physical and mental. First, four new air bikes will be purchased for student use at BMS, thanks to a grant awarded to that school’s physical education (PE) teachers. All 500 BMS students will be able to use the bikes as part of their PE class. The mental health of mid-year transfer students throughout BCSC will be addressed through the second grant, coordinated by counselors at all four schools. New students will be provided with a cinch sack, which will include a Batesville Bulldog t-shirt. The counselors hope to receive donations from area groups for other items to put in the bags. The goal of the welcome bag idea is to help the students feel connected and to provide them with apparel for spirit days as they become adjusted to the Bulldog community.
“The last of our recent donations provided just over $500 each to two of our schools for a fan favorite—the ‘Students Choose’ grant program,” Wilson explained. “This program allows the students at these schools to decide where the grant money goes. This year’s schools are Batesville Intermediate School (BIS) and BMS. Last year’s money at Batesville Primary School (BPS) was used for STEM-related indoor recess materials and Batesville High School (BHS) students had motivational murals installed. Students love this chance to give input on how our gift is spent, and we look forward to finding out what the decide.