The generous donation comes by way of the Batesville Community Education Foundation.
(Batesville, Ind.) - For the third straight year, the Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF) is donating a sizable sum to the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) to expand its flexible learning spaces (FLS) initiative, according to BCEF executive director Anne Wilson. In addition, BCEF is helping pilot a new career assessment tool for select students at Batesville High School (BHS).
“Sixth grade classrooms at Batesville Middle School (BMS) have been chosen by the school administration to receive $15,000 from BCEF for this next round of items,” Wilson said. “These classrooms follow our complete English room at BHS (2017) and components in all first and third grade classrooms (2018). Our goal is to eventually impact a majority of BCSC students by introducing flexible learning items in more spaces every year. In 2018 alone, our FLS initiative impacted 14 additional classrooms. We think that’s a worthwhile cause.”
Flexible learning space components can include items such as adjustable-height desks, chairs with motion feedback, and tables with integrated technology features. Local exit studies of BCSC students who have used flexible learning spaces have shown that student interest and engagement is higher when learning takes place in a such an environment.
“This donation brings our three-year grant total for this signature project to $65,000,” Wilson added. “With technology changing so rapidly, BCEF continues to give our local public schools more flexible classroom environments that work with a variety of assignments. When teachers are provided with these pieces, they can move from a traditional classroom atmosphere with rows of desks to clusters for small group projects or one big group for full class participation—all within seconds.”
A new BCEF-sponsored program at BHS will be piloted this year, coordinated by principal Andy Allen and the two guidance counselors, Arika Burck and Jen Steinkamp. A number of BHS students will be identified to participate in a career pathway assessment program. While BHS is funding the cost of the administration of the assessment tool, BCEF has agreed to sponsor follow-up small group sessions for these students with a certified professional who will help provide information useful in making informed post-graduation plans, based on their assessment results.
“The job fair we hosted for BHS students with some of our corporate sponsors last May was just the beginning of a broadened BCEF effort to help students while assisting employers in meeting critical local employment needs,” BCEF president Jama Linkel-Cleghorn remarked. “As the education foundation, our board thinks that we need to be a driving force to ensure that our students are succeeding not only while in school, but after graduation as well. Providing them with guidance about their practical skills, personality attributes, strengths, and communication styles is a way to help them narrow their focus and perhaps even match them with a local employer where applicable. We’re pleased to be able to expand our workforce development programs.”
The Batesville Community Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides funding for additional learning opportunities that go beyond the basics in academics, athletics, and the arts in the Batesville public schools, enhancing the educational environment for all students. Since its inception, the foundation has donated more than $200,000 to BCSC. BCEF’s main program areas include innovative learning, scholarships and sponsorships, workforce development, and alumni relations.
For more information about BCEF or to find out how to support its intiatives, contact info@BatesvilleEducationFoundation.org or 812-934-2194.