BCEF Donates $25,000 Toward BIS STEAM Lab

After a successful annual campaign, the Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF) recently donated $25,000 to the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) for furnishings in the Batesville Intermediate School’s (BIS) new Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Math (STEAM) lab. This remodeled room will provide a creative space at the school in which all third through fifth graders can explore STEAM activities on a weekly basis.

“The BCEF board of directors is grateful for the community and alumni support of the annual campaign,” said Anne Wilson, BCEF executive director. “Thanks to our donors, our foundation was able to provide funding to complete the STEAM lab, as we had hoped. We are excited to see how the new space at BIS turns out.”

Renovations in the old classroom have already begun, including a fresh coat of paint and new flooring. Now that the amount of the BCEF grant has been announced, BIS principal Dana Cassidy will work with a committee of teachers to select the lab tables, chairs, and other educational components to complete the modern makeover. Batesville High School (BHS) alumnus and local graphic designer Jimmy Rowland from Rowland Graphics has offered to donate some STEAM-themed graphics for the lab walls. The final completion date for the room will be dependent upon the availability of the items ultimately selected by the BIS committee.

“Just one year ago, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that this could even be a possibility,” Cassidy said.  “This is going to change the trajectory of STEAM education in our school this year and for thousands of students in the future.  I want to thank BCEF for listening to our needs and seeing the value in this project.  The foundation’s support is more meaningful than I can put into words.”

Since 2017, BCEF has donated more than $143,000 toward flexible learning components at all four BCSC school buildings. Past projects include collaborative pieces for classrooms, as well as all movable furnishings in the Bulldog Center at BHS and the new Bulldog Collaboration Room at Batesville Middle School. In total, BCEF has supplied more than $320,000 in funding to BCSC for programs and grants that support public school students and staff. To date, the foundation has also provided more than $70,000 in scholarships to BHS graduates.

“As we all collectively feel the squeeze from this economic downturn, the BCEF board of directors wants to thank everyone who believed in this project and in the foundation’s mission,” said Ashley Walls, BCEF board member and 2022 annual campaign chair. “Raising money for public education can be a tough sell, but our donors really came through to show their support for BCEF. We feel so fortunate to have had so many people helping us to make this dream of Dana Cassidy’s a reality.”