Take a look at what we've done for our community and schools.

BCEF grants funds for special projects, programs, and classroom tools. Additionally, we provide funds for needs impacting the school corporation as a whole. Here are some highlights of past grants we’ve awarded:

HeartMath Program Seeks to Reduce Student Stress and Anxiety

A new program to help students address anxiety, stress, and lack of emotional control will be piloted at Batesville High School and Batesville Middle School, thanks to a BCEF grant. BCSC wellness coordinator Lisa Tuveson has been awarded funds to bring the HeartMath program to the schools. Through the grant, a select number of school counselors will be trained and computers/materials will be purchased so the program can launch in the fall. HeartMath’s goal is to teach students to reduce their stress and balance their emotions using their heart rhythm as one indicato

Bulldog Ready Summit at BMS Shows 8th Graders the Real World

At BMS, counselor Bridgitte Price received a grant to help fund a new event, the “Bulldog Ready Summit,” for all eighth graders on May 3. The summit will give students the opportunity to work with community agencies and partners who are donating their time to help our students experience life as a 27-year-old for one day. In the afternoon, students will hear from the community agencies and partners through a panel discussion to learn more about their journey into their careers today. This will allow students to learn about both trade careers, as well as careers that require a college diploma. The full-day experience will be continually offered for all 8th graders throughout the years to come.

Additional Small-Group Table Helps Students Learn at BMS

Batesville Middle School (BMS) seventh grade social studies teacher Travis Smith was awarded funds to purchase an additional horseshoe-shaped table and accompanying stools for his classroom. Smith reported that the students enjoy working in small groups with him at the current table he has like this (also funded by BCEF)—so much so, that he realized a second table would provide even more benefit. Student engagement, especially among those students who are more likely to participate when in a smaller group, has increased since the first table was installed last year.

High Schoolers and First Graders Interact through Child Development Class

Supplies for activities that Barb Hartman’s BHS Child Development Class share with BPS first graders will be purchased with funds from BCEF. From reading to math to crafts and food fun, a variety of supplies are needed to enrich the experience.

Activity Table Encourages Student Participation

A horseshoe-shaped activity table will provide BMS teacher Travis Smith with a space to work with a handful of students, encouraging those who are less likely to participate in front of the entire class to become more engaged.

Dissection Kits for Middle Schoolers

The cow eye will be explored in sixth grade science using new dissection kits provided by BCEF. This unit shows students how light travels through the eye.

New Bulldog Mascot Costume for BMS

A new Bulldog mascot costume will be purchased for BMS with funds provided by BCEF. Used by both the counselors and the athletic department, this costume will enhance school spirit, foster a sense of community, and serve as a unifying symbol for students, faculty, and supporters. Besides being used at school events, the counselors hope to use the costume when showcasing the personal attributes that all Batesville Bulldogs are to embody.

Professional Development Library for BPS

Batesville Primary School Mandarin teacher Guili Zhang was awarded a grant to establish a professional development materials library for teachers at the school. These materials will allow teachers to learn about new research in the area of education, as well as work at their own pace to explore professional growth opportunities.

BCEF Celebrates BIS STEAM Lab Grand Opening

An official grand opening of the new Batesville Intermediate School’s (BIS) STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Math) Lab was held by BCEF on Wednesday, May 17, to celebrate the months-long quest to transform an outdated, seldom-used classroom space at the school into a state-of-the-art STEAM lab. Proceeds from BCEF’s 2022 Annual Campaign were primarily targeted to assisting BIS principal Dana Cassidy in converting this space into a hub of STEAM-related activities for all of Batesville Community School Corporation’s (BCSC) third through fifth graders. BCEF provided a check for $25,000 to purchase flexible furnishings to help Cassidy make this dream a reality. In addition, BCSC was able to assist with paint for the walls and new flooring, light fixtures, and counter surfaces. Jimmy Rowland of Rowland Graphics supplied colorful and relevant graphics for the cabinets and windows. Students rotate into the room for STEAM activities on a regular basis, and a new STEAM Club will start meeting in the fall, thanks to Kids Discovery Factory. Before and after photos of the room are displayed below.

Free Lunch for All BCSC Staff

Through a collaboration with the Batesville Educator’s Association and thanks to the generous owners of Junior’s Delicatessen, BCEF’s “We Care” program was able to provide a free lunch to all BCSC staff.  One week, each day found us delivering lunches to one of our four school buildings plus the bus drivers and central office. Enjoy our slide show of happy BCSC employees!

BMS Teacher Lounge Upgrades Coming

Teachers at Batesville Middle School will be able to upgrade their community space through a collaborative grant from BCEF and the VISION Fund. A committee of teachers has plans to make the space brighter and more welcoming/relaxing.

Day of Wellness for BCSC Staff

BCSC Wellness Coordinator Lisa Tuveson and her committee applied to BCEF for funding for a day-long training event for staff called “A Day of Wellness.”  Expert Dr. Lori Desautels will present information about how to cultivate a classroom environment that fosters emotional, social, and academic wellness. BCEF thanks the VISION fund for also supporting this grant.

Two BIS Grants Provide Opportunities for Students

The Batesville Intermediate School was awarded two grants in the spring of 2023. Teacher Julie Ryan will be able to provide all students with the chance to participate in a board game tournament during indoor recess through our funding.  A variety of challenging board games will be purchased and students will use indoor recess time to engage their minds off their screens.  Also at BIS, teacher Amanda Meyer applied for and was awarded funding for enrichment activities for all third graders. These materials can either be used to provide additional opportunities for struggling students or extra fun for those who need a challenge.  Kits to be purchased include items such as nature walk materials, animal classification charts, astronomy materials, and unit study information about the Viking Age, to name just a few.

XAG Apply Brings Drone to Schools

Through a unique collaboration with BCEF sponsor Linkel Company, LLC, local business XAG Apply brought its 7-foot drone to students at Batesville Primary School, Batesville Intermediate School, and Batesville Middle School to demonstrate how the drone works. BPS students, some of whom had just studied what pesticides do, were excited to learn how the company uses a drone to apply pesticides to help plants grow.  BIS and BMS students also learned about the mechanics of the drone and how the technology is helping farmers.

Brandes Legacy Fund Grants Showcase Locker Art and Provide New Pencil Sharpeners

Thanks to the generosity of the family of the late Bobbie Brandes, the BCEF Legacy Grants Fund supports one of our school buildings each semester with a $500 grant. Dubbed “Students Choose” by our foundation, this money must be used for a grant idea on which the student body has direct input. Last fall, the Student Council at Batesville High School proposed using our $500 fall grant to apply inspirational decals on some of the lockers. Student Council advisor Paul Satchwill worked with art teacher Kyle Hunteman to have digital design students develop images for the graphics. Thanks to additional funding provided by Batesville Area Arts Council’s Art in Education program, three different designs were produced by Rowland Graphics. Business owner/BHS alumnus Jimmy Rowland was able to visit BHS recently to demonstrate the decal application process with students, providing them with a hands-on art experience. We thank BAAC for its generous collaboration with BCEF on this project to make this “Students Choose” grant have a bigger impact.

Batesville Middle School was awarded the $500 grant for the spring semester and their Student Council got right to work. After proposing several ideas, the entire student body voted and selected: ELECTRIC PENCIL SHARPENERS FOR ALL OF THE CLASSROOMS! BCEF loved this idea as it certainly isn’t anything that the grants committee would have proposed. Having input on grants helps our students have ownership of their learning environment. We thank the Brandes family for its support of this unique initiative. If you’d like to donate specifically to the “Students Choose” grant program, please use this form.

BMS Esports Club Gets a Boost from BCEF

BCEF granted $1,000 to Batesville Middle School principal Dave Strouse for materials to expand the new Esports Club at the school. Esports is a new and growing area of interest nationally, where students compete on video game teams in a tournament. This new program, part of a state-wide initiative of the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP), also involves team building exercises, employs marketing strategies, and offers students a chance to present their organization to a panel of judges to win prizes.

BHS Yearbook Staff Awarded New Camera

Approximately $1100 was awarded by BCEF to Batesville High School (BHS) teacher Sidney Howard and the yearbook staff for a new Nikon camera with an extra lens. While yearbook is a class at the high school, it also is a business and has a very limited budget. The other cameras the staff has are nearly 10 years old. This new camera will impact all BHS students, as it will produce high quality photos for the yearbook and for other school events during which photos are needed.

BCSC Occupational Therapy to Begin Therapeutic Listening Program

BCSC occupational therapist Brandi Hofer was awarded a BCEF grant, through a collaborative funding partnership with the Joan and John Hillenbrand VISION Fund, to bring The Listening Program (TLP) to Batesville Primary School (BPS) and Batesville Intermediate School (BIS). TLP is a therapeutic program that supports increased self-regulation skills within the academic setting through music. Therapeutic listening helps improve students’ ability to manage sensory input, increases attention span and working memory, and develops communications skills and other cognitive functions. BCEF’s donation rounds out the total Hofer needed to get the program off the ground.

BMS 6th Graders Experience Virtual Planetarium Visit

During the fall 2022 grants cycle, a grant was awarded to Batesville Middle School (BMS) science teacher Tara Mills for a SkyDome Planetarium school assembly. This portable, inflatable planetarium visit will provide all 165 sixth graders a chance to explore the solar system in an in-depth way. Students will witness the night sky in different seasons and from different global perspectives.

Welcome Bags Ease the Transition for New Students at BCSC

Each student moving into the Batesville Community School Corporation now is given a welcome bag to help ease the transition, thanks to a grant awarded to our school counselors from BCEF last year. Each bag includes a Batesville Bulldogs t-shirt to wear, pencils, a lanyard, and other items from community partners, such as the Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville, Ivy Tech, McDonald’s, and the Community Mental Health Center.


BCEF Launches Engineering Design Certification at BHS

The Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF) has added another program to provide Batesville High School (BHS) students with an advantage over their peers. Thanks to a grant from BCEF, BHS students enrolled in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering courses will now have the opportunity to obtain engineering design software user certification at no cost, announced BCEF executive director Anne Wilson.  BHS is one of only a few high schools in the state currently offering this testing opportunity.

“For several years, BCEF has been funding certification costs for BHS students who are enrolled in Ivy Tech programs that culminate in taking an exam to prove their competency in a certain field, such as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs),” Wilson explained. “It’s a tangible way that our foundation can assist our students who are pursuing careers that require certification, so they don’t have to pay a penny for those tests out-of-pocket. So far, we’ve supplied BHS with just over $15,000 in certification reimbursement funding. When PLTW teacher Craig Hughes told us that he wanted BHS to become an official testing center for the design software exams so his students could become certified, we wanted to learn more about the program to see if it would be a good fit for what we’re already doing.”

Hughes attended the April BCEF board meeting to present his proposal to the members of the foundation. During his presentation, he stressed how PLTW has long-partnered with the vendor Autodesk to incorporate Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software into its curricula to provide students with learning experiences that use the same industry-grade software used by engineers, designers, architects, and makers. In the various engineering design courses at BHS, students use the software as a design tool for various activities, projects, and problems, such as designing a puzzle cube, laser-cut bridge designs, and aquatic devices for collection of plastic pollution. In the civil engineering course, students use the software, to design, document, and create physical models of projects like a utility shed.

“There are two levels of certification within the Autodesk program,” Hughes explained to the BCEF board. “The Autodesk Certified User (ACU) certification, which our students will be pursuing, is an industry-recognized credential that can effectively start students’ careers as designers, engineers, and makers. The non-expiring certification is an excellent way for students with about 150 hours of real-world Autodesk software experience to validate their software skills.”

According to Hughes, earning this level of certification while in school will give students confidence as they continue to master Autodesk products and potentially pursue professional-level certification in the future. In addition, these certifications will enhance their higher education applications and resumes by providing evidence of competency and proficiency.

“One of the goals of BCEF is to provide innovative programs that give Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) students a competitive edge,” Wilson said, “so we wanted to know what this certification will do on a practical level for these students who are pursuing mechanical engineering or related fields in college.  According to Hughes, these industry credentials will be helpful for students who may be seeking a part-time job for summer, co-op, or internships in college. After college, they will definitely help with obtaining a full-time job that may need computer-aided design skills for the desired position. This will separate them from others who don’t have the certification. If an employer asks how well-versed they are in the software, this credential shows they have achieved mastery of the objectives outlined by the ACU, which is much preferred to the user who simply used it in high school. That sounded like a worthwhile program so BHS graduates would be well-prepared for the workforce.”

Upon learning more about Hughes’ plan, the BCEF board of directors approved adding this new certification designation to its existing list of programs receiving support annually.

NCAA Wrestling Champion/UFC Fighter Matt Hamill To Come to BHS American Sign Language Classes

Thanks to a grant from BCEF, Mr. Hamill will visit BHS’s ASL classes to share his story about growing up deaf in a mainstream educational environment. Now a motivational speaker, Hamill will share about the frustrations he faced on a daily basis, giving students an in-person encounter with someone doing authentic signing to tell their story.

BMS Athletic Department Receives Two Grants

The athletic department at Batesville Middle School was a big winner in the latest round of grants. Thanks to grant applications written by coach Blaine Timonera, approximately $1200 was awarded to replace one of the existing AED (automated external defibrillator) devices used for athletic practices and events. In another upgrade, BMS was awarded $600 for a new field sprayer and paint supplies, which will impact the 40+ middle school football players, as well as youth football teams that use the field.

BHS Special Education Department Receives a Set of Calculators

A 10-pack of calculators for students to use while enhancing math skills in the Basic Skills course or for general education students to learn calculator strategies was awarded to special education teachers at Batesville High School. Since students move in and out of the resource room all day, these calculators will impact a large number of students.

BCEF Collaborates with VISION Fund to Provide iPads and Apple Pencils to BIS 4th Grade

BIS 4th grade teachers Shannon McBeath, Kera Gauck, and Lauren Boesken received a little more than $4,000 from BCEF ($1,000+) and the VISION Fund ($3,000) for iPads and Apple Pencils to be used in small group instruction. Certain activities in the curriculum lend themselves better to using a stylus and iPad instead of a laptop, and these items will help facilitate learning.

Flexible Learning Space Donations Total $93,000 with Latest Gift to BMS

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. 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. For more information, go here.

Welcome Bags for Mid-Year Transfer Students

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.

Airbikes Replaced at BMS

Four new air bikes will be purchased for student use at BMS, thanks to a grant awarded to that school’s physical education teachers. All 500 BMS students will be able to use the bikes as part of their PE class.

Izzy’s Fundraiser Leads to New Baking Pans at BHS

Local restaurant owners Adam Israel and Bill Gardner sold gift certificates and donated 20% of their proceeds to BCEF. The BCEF board wanted the grant money to be used in a way that connected the restaurant to the schools, so various baking pans and other supplies were awarded to BHS family and consumer science teacher Barb Hartman.  With a lack of adequate pans, in past years students had to remove their culinary creations from the pans before completely cooling in order to have pans available for the next class.  Not any more! Thanks to the creativity of a local business, the almost $500 donated will impact Hartman’s students for years to come.

Creative Newspaper by Fifth Graders Coming to BIS

BIS teacher Tricia McPherson requested funding to create a student-driven monthly digital newsletter by fifth grade students. Her grant application shared her vision: “Fifth grade roving reporters will be in charge of all aspects of publication—designing, interviewing, photographing, editing, and publishing. This will allow a variety of students the opportunity to work on the project.” BCEF provided McPherson with enough money to purchase one camera and accessories, allowing the students to begin taking photos and work on their editing and writing skills.

More VEX Robots for STEM courses

New VEX V5 Robotics Kits for the engineering courses and VEX Robotics Competition teams were provided by BCEF.  Engineering and technology teacher at Batesville High School Craig Hughes told BCEF: “The current VEX equipment will become obsolete in the next few years. It is my goal with this grant request to provide the best opportunities for our students and to alleviate the stress on the BHS budget.” Hughes received enough funding to purchase two new kits.

Close Reading in BHS English Department Will Use Apple Pencils and iPads

A request from the BHS English department for iPads and Apple Pencils to be used during Close Reading lessons was funded by BCEF. Close reading is a method to engage the students in delving into text in a deeper manner by writing notes in the text. The equipment will also be used for other creative English activities. Teacher Paul Satchwill shared: “The iPads and Apple Pencils will be used in concert with the TV displays to work with the students in examining the text while they each have physical copies, highlighters, and writing utensils. This will allow our teachers to lead rigorous, top-notch instruction.” BCEF awarded the English department with enough funds to purchase three sets of technology for the department to share.

BMS Receives Funding to Add Social Studies IXL to Curriculum

Seventh-grade teacher Travis Smith reached out to BCEF to ask for grant funding to add the Social Studies version of the popular learning program IXL to his classroom for two years.  IXL provides standards-based lessons that allow the students to work at their own pace and provides additional questions based on previous answers. During the pandemic in the spring of 2020, IXL provided this program free of charge to all schools and Smith saw the benefits of the program. With that complementary service no longer available and no room in the BMS budget to add it, BCEF stepped up to provide funding for the program.

Modern Small Appliances Coming to BMS Cooking Lab

Upon the suggestion of her students, Batesville Middle School (BMS) family and consumer science teacher Megan Spreckelson applied for and was granted funding to purchase updated small appliances for her cooking lab. The idea for the grant developed when her students were tasked with an assignment to find recipes they were interested in cooking.  Many students wanted to test out recipes which required air fryers or instant pots—appliances which Spreckelson does not currently have in her classroom. Spreckelson received enough funding to purchase four of each type of small appliance for her cooking lab.

iPad Technology to Teach Algebra II Graphings at BHS

Updated technology will also be coming to Katie Griggs’ Batesville High School (BHS) algebra II classes, through the innovative integration of a new iPad and Apple Pencil to teach graphing to her students.  Having an iPad will provide her with the capability to draw directly on the plane using an iPad app and then display it on the monitor for my students to see. This grant will direct impact not only her 118 students this year, but also the students of other algebra teachers with whom Griggs plans to share the instructional videos she creates.

Back-to-Basics Paperback for BMS 7th Grade Nelson Mandela Unit Study

Using a unique pitch that physical books are considered innovative in today’s technology-focused educational climate, Batesville Middle School (BMS) seventh grade social studies teacher Travis Smith submitted his idea to BCEF. Smith teaches a unit on Nelson Mandela each year and discussed the benefits of having a paperback copy of a Mandela biography in his students’ hands. Smith will receive enough funding for a physical copy of the paperback entitled “No Easy Walk to Freedom” for each seventh-grade student, which he can use each year in his classroom.

Additional Standing Desks and Mats for BHS Special Ed Resource Room

BHS special education teachers Randi Stirn, Sarah Jaisle, Kathy Gutzwiller, and Nanette Foster received funding for flexible learning equipment. Stirn’s classrooms needed standing desks and mats to help engage students. BCEF’s long-standing commitment to flexible materials to meet students’ learning requirements will continue with funding for four standing desks and four mats for the resource room at BHS.

Collaboration with Other Local Nonprofits to Bring Kindness Mural Artist to BIS

Batesville Intermediate School (BIS) art teacher Olivia Branch reached out to BCEF, asking the foundation to join a local non-profit collaboration to bring a visiting artist to the school to create a kindness mural.  After receiving funding from the VISION Fund and the Batesville Area Arts Council’s Arts in Education initiative, BIS requested funds from BCEF to secure the remainder of the total needed.

Water Bottles for All BPS Students for School Re-entry

As part of the BCSC school re-entry plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BCEF has awarded grant money to Batesville Primary School to cover the cost of an individual water bottle for every BPS student as they start the school year.  One of the benefits of being a foundation which focuses on innovation in education is that we can pivot our mission to provide what the schools need from year to year. While we’re known for creative learning initiatives, we are prepared to step up and help BCSC in whatever way we can this school year.

New Greenhouse for Batesville Primary School

A new 12′ by 12′ greenhouse will be coming to Batesville Primary School, thanks to a $2,400 donation from BCEF. Teacher Vickie Heil, who has been instrumental in developing the cross-curricular garden program at the school, donated the original greenhouse and it needed to be replaced. Utilizing the greenhouse, Heil can teach students the importance of starting the planting process from seeds they have harvested in the fall. Planning, organization, responsibility, and teamwork are important skills learned through this project. BCEF is happy to donate to this worthwhile program.

BMS Century Fair Gets an Upgrade for a Decade

Working with materials which students might think are from a previous century, the two BMS seventh grade language arts teachers, Sheryl McCreary and Lisa Barnett, have been awarded $2,000 to purchase gator boards, high quality display boards, for their annual Century Fair project. This popular annual project will impact approximately 170 students every year and should last about ten years.

BPS to Provide Music Library to Students

BPS music teacher Lori Spears was awarded a grant of $600 to establish a singing library in her classroom. The library would be accessible during stations, for partner work, and for students who finish their work early. These singable books will be used for vocal exploration, for development of higher levels of thinking in music, and for students to explore their singing voices.  Wordless books can be used for the littler students with markings for pitch. This is another amazing way to integrate music into the world of the littlest learners.

Recent School Grants Impact Many

“Our new ukulele project funded by BCEF was added to the 5th grade general music curriculum,” reported Kari Kinsey, Batesville Intermediate School music teacher. “Ukuleles are now being taught in the spring semester of 5th grade. The goal is to have all students able to do the following by the end of the school year: read and understand a variety of chord charts, play multiple chords, and successfully play a variety of strumming patterns.”

Alec Branstetter, Batesville Middle School (BMS) music teacher shared, “My project involved updating the guitar classroom to create a better learning environment. The guitar hanging system will be able to be used in the new BMS music room when the addition is finished and will affect 200 students per year over the course of a decade. The speakers are perfect for a small classroom and allow more students to play electric guitars. I wanted to ensure that students have the best resources to foster a great learning environment.”

“With our BCEF grant, we were able to purchase additional headsets and a wireless router for our virtual reality (VR) classroom experience program,” said Kyle Laker, Batesville High School (BHS) technology department.  “This allows us to provide about half the class with VR headsets at a time to view content while the other students work on a different activity. Students have done virtual field trips to many locations across the world! The wireless router allows us to create a separate network for the VR headsets so the teacher can control what content the student is able to see. This has been great for Google Expeditions because the teacher is the tour guide and gets to tell everyone to look left and see a certain landmark. This has impacted over 300 students so far this school year.”

BIS third grade teacher Cindy Weisenbach’s butterfly-themed project, funded in part by BCEF, involved many community organizations:  “Our ‘Fluttering Around Town’ project exceeded our expectations.  We began with the observation of butterfly larvae in the classroom.  Students were so excited to watch them go through their life cycle while reading about each stage. Teachers were given many different butterfly-themed language arts and math lesson plans that were incorporated into centers and whole class learning opportunities.  During art class, students then painted a metal butterfly stake with their art table groups. Students also worked with high school art students painting a mural on our entrance wall. On Saturday, May 11, students and families were invited to meet at the gazebo downtown where we had close to 40 people present.  We began by releasing our adult butterflies that emerged, then families were asked to ‘flutter around town’ learning more about our community by reading the Portal to the Past doors and finding the perfect temporary home for their painted butterfly stake. Schmidt’s Bakery also sold butterfly decorated cookies. On Saturday, May 18, a booth was set up at the Farmer’s Market with our butterfly stakes.  We had many families and community members come by to place a bid. I am proud to say that every butterfly received a bid! The money raised will continue to fund our project for years to come and expand our garden at BIS.”

Additional funding for Weisenbach’s project was provided by the Vision Fund and the City of Batesville.

New Bulldog Archery Club Receives Grant for Cases


With a BCEF grant of $1300 in hand, the new Bulldog Archery Club will be able to purchase four rolling cases to transport bows. The club had been using the cardboard boxes the bows were delivered in. This club is open to any students in grades 6 through 12 and currently has 74 members. Club sponsor Mike Weiler tells BCEF that students learn focus, self-control, discipline, patience, and life lessons required to be successful in the classroom and in life. Archery is an activity that doesn’t discriminate based on popularity, athletic skill, gender, size or academic ability. It’s a different kind of team sport and many times appeals to students who otherwise do not participate in other school activities. BCEF is proud to support this innovative club.

Third Grade Teacher Combines Butterfly Life Cycle, Art, and Community Enhancement in New Project

In this “Fluttering Around Town” project at the Batesville Intermediate School coordinated by third grade teacher Cindy Weisenbach, students and families will gain a deeper understanding of our community history while learning about butterflies. In the classroom, students will learn about and observe the life cycle of the butterfly and its importance in our environment. Students will work together in art to paint butterfly stakes that will be placed in the flower pots around town, as well as work with high school students painting a community mural on our entrance wall. Third graders and their families will then be invited to a special night to gather and release our butterflies into the community. Families will then be encouraged to “flutter” around town to read the doors, learn more about Batesville’s history, shop our local businesses, and enjoy our downtown’s beauty.  With $1,000 from BCEF, as well as support from the VISION fund and the City of Batesville, this project is a great example of creativity and community involvement.

Sixth Grade Guitar Program Gets a Tune-up

BMS music teacher Alec Branstetter has big plans for the sixth grade guitar classroom.  He is going to purchase new guitar hangers for more secure storage, additional stands, strings, and amplifiers to enhance the students’ musical experience, and even guitar picks with the BCEF logo on them to thank us for the $925 in grant money.  Impacting 200 students per year, we are excited to support this arts grant.

Trio of Talent to Come to BIS

A 3-day visit from author Susan Stevens Crummel, author/illustrator Janet Stevens, and author/illustrator Dorothy Donohue will happen the week of September 24-26, 2019, thanks to an approved grant idea submitted by Anne Amrhein, BIS Media Specialist.  The three women have collaborated with one another on over a dozen children’s books, many of which are bestsellers and/or award winners. The opportunity for our students to get the creative perspective from both the author and the illustrator on how the same picture book is created is a unique experience. This grant is another collaborative effort, thanks to additional funding from the Batesville Area Arts Council and the VISION Fund.

Laser Cutter/Engraver in the Future for Engineering and Tech Students at BHS

According to BHS engineering and technology teacher Craig Hughes, rapid changes in technology require a regular update of tools, equipment, and raw materials, which means a change in curricular practices with the teaching and learning of fields associated with engineering, manufacturing, and STEM-related careers. To assist BHS in its efforts to stay ahead on the tech front, BCEF awarded the school funds to help purchase a Glowforge Pro laser engraver/cutter. This device will aid in the student learning of design, prototyping, and fabrication of products for solving problems.

New Ukulele Unit for BIS 5th Graders

BIS music teacher Kari Kinsey wowed our grants committee with her request for $2,431 for 30 ukuleles and necessary supplies so she could introduce the instrument in the fifth grade.  Kinsey told BCEF that maintaining interest in music is difficult in this age group, which is transitioning between general music and more advance concepts. With the ukulele’s smaller size and fewer strings, students should be able to master it quickly. Introducing this instrument for the first time at BCSC, this music grant will impact between 150 and 175 students annually.

BCEF Pledges Additional $30,000 to BCSC for Flexible Learning Spaces Initiative

BCEF awarded $30,000 to the Batesville Community School Corporation in the fall of 2018 so that the flexible learning spaces initiative could be expanded at the Batesville Intermediate School and Batesville Primary School. Rather than transform an entire classroom, BIS plans to put some items in each of the third grade classrooms, impacting 168 students and seven teachers. All BPS first-grade teachers also were able to choose items to help the approximately 160 students in that grade level learn better.

Football Program Awarded $2,000 for Protective Safety Caps

In an effort to prevent concussions in the middle school and high school football programs, BHS football coach Evan Ulery and BCSC Athletic Director Bryan Helvie received $2,000 from BCEF for the purchase of 50 football safety caps. These caps, strapped to the outer shell of the helmet, are an extra layer of protection and will be used during any practices that involve the players wearing helmets to primarily help reduce trauma to the head. This grant will make Batesville the only school in our area with these cutting-edge safety caps, and the Batesville football program hopes to raise an additional $2,000 to match the BCEF grant, thereby doubling the grant’s impact.

Mandarin Chinese Dual Language Immersion to Receive New Media Materials

In a first for BCEF, a grant was awarded by BCEF for a proposal written by parents.  A group of parents of the students currently in the Mandarin Chinese program — including parent Kendra Basler, who served as grant writer with input from BCSC librarian Rachael Berkemeier and media specialist Anne Amrhein — submitted a request to BCEF for additional reading and media materials that would encourage students to read and learn in the foreign language. BCEF awarded $500 toward these materials to augment this innovative program.

BHS Ag Teacher Going to STEM-based Training

A new type of grant was added this year, thanks to a restricted donation by Hillenbrand and Batesville Casket. Each spring, one BCSC teacher will be awarded $2500 for a STEM-related grant.  The 2018 grant was awarded to BHS agriculture teacher Cassie Wallpe, who will be attending a STEM-based training event this summer in the area of Principles of Agriscience-Plants.

This ten-day training will allow classroom success beyond the core standards. Using these STEM skills, Wallpe’s students will be able to perform weekly hands-on labs that will give them a distinct understanding of soil properties, uses, and deficiencies.

BHS Students View Kidney Transplant

Through a cooperative grant funded by BCEF, BHS, and the VISION Fund, students in BHS teacher Taira Lynch’s Anatomy and Physiology II class stepped out of their classroom and into the operating room in February of 2018 using interactive technology. The group used a Center of Science and Industry (COSI) program to follow a kidney transplant process. The three funding groups joined together in the spring of 2017 to pay for the innovative program, along with a new webcam and microphone to facilitate its use.

Click here to see the full report.

BPS Kindergarten Students Improve Writing Skills with New BCEF-funded Program

In the spring of 2017, BCEF awarded a grant to BPS kindergarten teacher Kathy Gutzwiller to fund a new pilot writing program. Click here to see what she had to say about her students’ progress now that she’s been using the program for a semester.

BIS Develops a Different Kind of Library

Because one day is not like the next — not to mention one student is not like the rest — BCEF recently awarded a $2,000 grant to BIS to develop a sensory lending library, enabling teachers to give students what they need to enhance concentration and learning. Teachers will be able to check out sensory and calming tools that assist in self-regulation, such as therapy balls, wiggle seats, and standing desks. BIS Dean of Students Dana Cassidy worked on the grant application, along with BIS teacher Katie Hunter, ROD Occupational Therapy Assistant Laura Nagel, and ROD Behavioral Consultant Chris Dittmer. Their hope is that they can dive deeper into instruction by meeting the core needs of their students first.

BCEF Tops the $100,000 Giving Mark with $20,000 Grant to BCSC for Flexible Learning Spaces

A successful first-ever annual campaign conducted by the Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF) in the summer of 2017 has led to an initial donation of $20,000 to the Batesville Community School Corporation to purchase innovative flexible learning spaces in the public schools.  This brings the BCEF giving total to BCSC, since the foundation’s inception, to more than $100,000.

The annual campaign offered community members the opportunity to receive engraved pavers to be installed outside the new BHS addition in return for their donation. BCEF also received a substantial amount of other cash donations from individuals and businesses, raising the net total for this campaign to nearly $35,000.

The first $20,000 donated by BCEF will supplement grant money received by the school corporation from the State of Indiana for installation of flexible learning spaces. Jackie Huber, BCSC Director of Instructional Curriculum, spearheaded this initiative for the schools. Instead of stationary desks, classrooms are outfitted with a variety of seating and desk options, which give teachers and students the ability to tailor the learning environment based on the type of instruction.  Initially, one classroom at each of the four BCSC buildings is being transformed for the flexible learning space initiative.  Teachers involved during this pilot phase are Paul Satchwill (BHS), Chase Mears (BMS), Eric Peetz (BIS), and Sandy Westerfeld (BPS).

BCSC Buildings Receive Summer Facelifts through BCEF Grant for One Campaign

Through the generous offer of a week of community service hours from associates from Hillenbrand and Batesville (formerly Casket), the four BCSC school buildings and the administration building had “wish list” projects completed with supplies funded in part through grant money from BCEF. One Campaign 2017, a community outreach program started last year by these two local companies, brings volunteers to partner organizations to complete projects that might otherwise be left uncompleted due to lack of funds or resources.  When approached by Hillenbrand about this program, the BCEF Board of Directors decided to earmark $5,000 from its grants budget to provide building improvement supplies to the four school principals and the superintendent. Volunteers crews from Hillenbrand and Batesville worked the week of July 10 – 14 to complete the following projects:

BPS:  Inside painting, front railing painting, and stenciling the playground with games for students.
BIS:  New sensory garden and landscaping and power washing.
BMS: Inside painting of FACS area, bathroom area, media center, band room, outside painting and power washing.
BHS: New storage shelves, garden benches, cafeteria mural, painting of teachers’ lounge and one classroom.
Administration Building:  Wallpaper stripped in prep for painting.

Thank you to all of those involved at Hillenbrand, Batesville, and BCSC for making this a successful week!

Check out this video highlighting our week:

BHS Resource Room to Receive Therapeutic Seating

Students in the BHS resource room will have additional seating choices that will enable them to more easily focus on their work through materials purchased with grant money from BCEF. Having chairs that enable movement and allow students to release extra energy will make for a more conducive learning environment for those in special education. BHS is matching part of the BCEF grant money to allow for even more materials to be purchased. This grant proposal was a group effort, collaborated on by BHS resource room staff members Randi Stirn, Nanette Foster, Sarah Jaisle, Katie Garrett, and Missy Merkel.

Writing Program to be Piloted in Kindergarten

BPS will be honing students’ writing skills at an early age, thanks to a grant awarded to teacher Kathy Gutzwiller. Students in her kindergarten classroom will learn to write in three different styles: opinion, information, and narrative writing, using the Lucy Caulkins writing program. If successful, this program could be expanded to other kindergarten classrooms in the future.

BMS to Replace Amplifiers from the 1970s

BCEF decided that after 41 years, the two amplifiers used for sixth grade general music were long overdue for retirement. BMS music teacher Leon Enneking received a grant to purchase new amplifiers to replace the ones that have been in use since 1976.

3D Printing Technology Expansion

A grant proposal for an additional 3D printer, developed by BHS engineering and technology education teachers Craig Hughes and Tim Mauzy, was approved by BCEF. Through a collaborative funding effort involving the Joan and John Hillenbrand Vision Fund for Innovation, BCEF, and BHS, additional students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) department will have the ability to use 3D-printed parts in their classes, meaning faster production time and more hands-on experience with this cutting-edge technology for our high school students.

Unique Interactive Video Conferencing in Anatomy and Physiology

BHS science teacher Taira Lynch received funds from BCEF toward two interactive video conferencing sessions through the Center of Science and Industry for use in a new Human Anatomy and Physiology course at BHS. Through another partnership between BCEF and the Vision Fund and some funding from BHS, students will be provided an experience that goes above and beyond a regular anatomy class. A kidney transplant and an autopsy will be viewed with a group conference webcam while students perform interactive assignments. Mike Weiler, Jackie Huber, and Kyle Laker from the BHS IT Department assisted with the technological research portion of this grant.

Collaboration with BHS Student Council Leads to Student-Run Spirit Store

The first project from a pilot program to encourage student leaders to give BCEF input regarding potential grant areas is about to be unveiled at BHS .  With the offer of a $1,000 grant from BCEF, BHS Student Council members developed two grant ideas and presented them to BCEF last spring.  Of the two ideas offered, a new BHS Spirit Store was chosen by foundation members to be implemented. Since that time, business teacher Cathy Martini, Student Council advisor Charlie Raab, and BHS student Julia Hunter have been working hard to make the new store a reality. The Spirit Store will offer a variety of Bulldog-related items for sale and will be run by BHS students. While the permanent location of the store will most likely be in the new BHS addition, a temporary store will hopefully be up and running in the foreign language hallway sometime before the end of this school year. For more information on this story, check out our blog post here.

Outdoor Basketball Goals Returning to BMS

With $1300 in grant money from BCEF, a group of BMS teachers is working toward bringing outdoor basketball goals back for their students. While the students currently have outside time if the weather permits, the previous basketball goals had to be removed as part of the BIS expansion.  As part of the Healthy Schools Initiative, the teachers hope to get enough money to install basketball goals for the students to use to stay active and release energy.

Scientific Calculators Coming to BMS

Twenty-five scientific calculators will become a permanent part of the BMS Math department, thanks to a $1100 grant from BCEF. With fewer students at this age owning their own scientific calculators, providing them at school will allow the teachers to provide instruction for general math use and testing now instead of having to delay this until high school.

Partnership with Music Boosters Brings New BMS Marching Drums

BCEF partnered with the Batesville Music Boosters and provided $1,000 to BMS toward new marching drums. The previous drums were hand-me-downs from BHS and were too heavy for the smaller drummers.  The Music Boosters offered to pay the remaining $1900 so BMS drummers can concentrate on performing the music instead of wrestling with the weight of bulky, oversized drums.

Expansion of Movement Lab and Calming Rooms at BPS

Three rooms at BPS will be modified to meet the multi-faceted needs of young learners.  With a $1500 grant from BCEF, these rooms will receive more supplies so that an expanding number of students can be reached. Perhaps a student needs some time in the Minds in Motion Lab to get his or her brain organized to learn. For some students struggling with emotional needs, time spent in the more fully equipped calming rooms will provide a safe environment to allow them to have a mental and emotional break so they can return to the classroom ready to learn.

Innovative Stand-up Desks Coming to BMS

In order to provide a flexible learning environment for students who prefer to stand during learning, BCEF has awarded a grant of just over $2500 to the Batesville Middle School to purchase 12 stand-up desks. One reading/language arts classroom and one math classroom per grade level will each get two stand-up desks. Studies show that providing a standing option during instructional periods can increase student engagement, memory capability, health, and overall functioning during academic periods.

Seventh Grade Students Experience Live Theatre

Through a small grant from BCEF’s Student Opportunity Fund (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Batesville), each BMS seventh grader was able to attend the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” on November 16 for a slightly reduced rate.  Prior to attending the theatre, the 165 students acted out the play in class. After seeing IRT’s version, the students compared and contrasted the two productions and wrote a four-paragraph essay summarizing their thoughts.

BMS Receives $2,000 Grant for Updated Fitness Equipment

The fitness mezzanine area at BMS will receive a much-needed update, thanks to a grant from BCEF. Teacher Shelly Prickel applied for a grant, citing that it had been 25 years since the last major weight machine was purchased for the school. According to Prickel, “purchasing upgraded equipment will not only improve fitness but also greatly enhance the quality of physical education provided to students overall.” The funds received from BCEF will assist BMS in transitioning their curriculum into one that is more fitness-based rather than unit-oriented.

Little Bulldog Academy Classroom Library Established

Our littlest Bulldogs will have a new classroom library, thanks in part to a new grant from BCEF! Preschool students in the Little Bulldog Academy at BPS will be able to enjoy books targeted for their age group when they arrive at school in August. This grant will help support the literacy goals of the Academy during its initial year of operation and beyond. BCEF is happy to provide financial support for our youngest learners.

BHS Destination Imagination Team Granted $1,000 for Global Competition

A $1,000 grant for costs involved in attending the prestigious Destination Imagination Global Competition was awarded by BCEF to the BHS “Fluffy Marshmallows” DI Team. The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage, and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts, and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem-solving process. BCEF is proud of the outside-the-box learning showcased by our DI team, supporting these students by helping to fund their trip to Knoxville, Tennessee.

BPS to Expand Popular Gardening Program

The Batesville Primary School will expand its popular gardening program, thanks to a $2,000 grant from BCEF.  Plans include for the BPS garden to be an interactive, interdisciplinary learning space to extend learning beyond the classroom. Students will have the opportunity to explore vegetable/herb gardens, water conservation with the use of rain barrels, care for plants with a watering system, helping our environment through the use of a composter, a global connection with a butterfly garden, and connecting to nature through art. The garden will be complete with a pergola, trellis, and defined walkways to provide ease of gardening and exploring.

English 10 Students Explore Literary Interpretation

One hundred and seventy-five BHS English 10 students and their teachers were able to attend the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s stage adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” through a grant from BCEF. This experience allowed students the opportunity to discuss different modes of presentation and exposed them to the benefits of live theatre.

BHS Theatre Experience for Students Studying Edgar Allen Poe

Students from Rose Lacey’s Modern American Literature class were able to experience Poe’s iconic works jump off the page when they were awarded a grant from BCEF to attend Q Artistry’s “Cabaret Poe.” This trip allowed the students to encounter through live theater what they otherwise would have just read in class, bringing new meaning to their understanding of this genre of literature. According to Lacey, this event “provided an intimate and engaging experience in a live theater setting, helping teach parts and processes about theater that I couldn’t otherwise teach in an English class setting.”

BHS Student Lounge

A new student lounge for BHS students was completed thanks to a $2,000 grant from BCEF. Designed by BHS Project Lead the Way Civil Engineering & Architecture students, this new gathering space brings a college-type Internet café atmosphere to one section of the current media center, providing comfortable couches and café tables for students to use while they work on projects. With new furniture provided by the BCEF grant and coordinating artwork produced by BHS art students through funding from the Rural Alliance for the Arts, this space brings a teen-friendly feel to the study hub of BHS.

Funds to Clean and Repair BMS and BHS Instruments

The cleaning and repair of instruments is an ongoing issue for Batesville Middle and High School. This costly process is vital to keeping the instruments in working order and BCEF was happy to be able to help with this worthy cause.

Batesville Steel Drum Band

BCEF was able to aid the Batesville Steel Drum with the purchase of new instruments. The Steel Band offers BHS students a chance to expand their musical interests and abilities. They have entertained crowds at the Harlem Wizards game and the Music Departments Spaghetti Dinner.

SAT Preparation Courses

Through a generous donation, BCEF sponsored SAT Preparation Courses at Ivy Tech for area high school students free of charge. This community partnership offered our students a chance to improve their applications for college admissions and scholarships. The courses consisted of weekly two-hour classes in the six weeks leading up to the three Batesville High School SAT Test dates.

Family and Consumer Science Supplies

Working together with the Rotary Club, BCEF was able to provide additional supplies to Family and Consumer Science Teacher, Megan Spreckelson, at BMS. These supplies supplement those required for work on class projects.

BHS Technology

BCEF granted funds to purchase digital measuring devices, ergonomic hammers, layout tools, and electronics equipment to be utilized by the BHS engineering, manufacturing, and construction courses. Batesville High School offers engineering courses from Project Lead the Way – the nation’s leading provider of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs used in more than 6,500 schools nationwide. Through your contributions, BCEF has been able to help support classes such as Intro to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Engineering Design and Development, and Introduction to Construction.

BCSC China Trip

BCEF helped to send six BCSC teachers to China for three weeks. While there, they taught classes, met the students who eventually came to Batesville to visit, and got to see Chinese culture first-hand.

Ruby Bridges Batesville Visit

BCEF was happy to help bring Civil Rights icon Ruby Bridges to Batesville for kids at BIS, BMS, and BHS to hear speak. Ms. Bridges carefully controlled the size and format of the presentations allowing
for close interaction with students. They were able to hear first-hand what it was like to be a small child leading the way to desegregation. In two-hour presentations tailored to the students’ age groups, Ms. Bridges provided these students with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn about history from the person who actually made it.

BHS New Video Equipment

BCEF has granted funds to purchase a new video camera for BHS Senior video productions. This equipment allowed for videos to made for school functions for My Big Campus, school websites and potentially ETC.

$37,500 to BMS Laptops

The largest donation to date provided by BCEF was a $37,500 pledge over four years, including $15,000 in the first year, to BMS for the 1:1 digital initiative. The donation allowed the corporation to keep parent book bills for the computers approximately the same as they have been in recent years for books. Every student in grades 6 – 12 in the BCSC currently has a laptop computer, enabling our students the best preparation for the technical world in which they will live and work.

Weekend Backpack Program

Donations made to the Weekend Backpack program go to send a backpack home with kids in need who receive free and reduced lunch during the week from BPS and BIS, so they can continue to receive healthy meals over the weekend. Former BHS student Emily Helvie started the program as an independent study project and it has grown to the point that it is now housed by BCEF. Donations to BCEF can be designated for the Weekend Backpack Program. The Weekend Backpack program has received a $5,000 donation from Main Source Bank as well as donations from CVS.

Dr. Roberts’ Trip to China

BCEF funded a portion of former superitendent Dr. Roberts’ trip to China. Dr. Roberts visited China as part of an Indiana delegation of school superintendents to observe and learn about the Chinese educational system, as well as to teach them about ours. Additionally, it helped to pave the way for a possible sister school for BHS in China.

BIS Paw Print Newspaper

Mrs. Weisenbach’s class created “BIS Paw Print,” a newspaper written by third graders for third graders. BCEF supplied the funds for the supplies needed for the newspaper. This project gave kids a chance to see a real-world application for writing and included original stories, BIS news, surveys, and quotes from students and staff.

New Technical Equipment for BHS Students

Hillenbrand, Inc, presented BCEF with a $5,000 check to be used to purchase a new piece of equipment for the Advanced Manufacturing Logistics students. BHS has received recognition from the governor for leading the way in partnering with local businesses such as Hillenbrand, Inc. and Batesville Tool and Die in innovative internships and classes at Ivy Tech, enabling our students to be prepared for Indiana’s manufacturing environment of today and tomorrow.

Lego Engineering Kits for BIS

New Lego Mindstorm EV3 kits purchased through a grant from BCEF were used for the first time at a Fall Intercession at BIS. These kits allow for engaging, hands-on, engineering, and computer-based problem-solving.

Fluoride Rinse

The BCEF partnered with local dentists from Children’s Dental Care and Batesvile Dental and the Ripley County Community Foundation to provide funds for the Indiana School of Dentistry Fluoride Rinse Program. BPS children are given fluoride to rinse with once week helping to reduce cavities by up to 30%.

Bound Books for 5th Grade Writing Project

Each student in Mrs. Pinckley’s 5th grade class wrote and illustrated their own books. With funds from a BCEF grant, the students were able to each receive a professionally bound copy of their work.

BCSC Marketing

BCEF has granted funds to BCSC for billboards to advertise and promote the BCSC schools.

4th Grade Science Kits

BCEF donated money for science kits for 4th grade in order to meet changing science curriculum standards, which called for additional hands-on learning. BCEF provided funds for the purchase of kits to keep teachers from dipping into their own pockets for these supplies.