The biannual program by BCEF allows up to $5,000 to be awarded each fall and spring
(Batesville, Ind.) - The further integration of technology into the classrooms at the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) seemed to be the theme of the grants chosen for funding by the board of directors of the Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF) during its spring award cycle, according to executive director Anne Wilson. This biannual program by BCEF allows up to $5,000 to be awarded each fall and spring to projects selected by a committee of reviewers.
“The BCEF committee reviewed all of the applications and worked hard to stretch its grant dollars as far as they could go,” Wilson commented. “BCEF relies on donations to fund its programs and sometimes the board must make difficult decisions on grants awarded based on budgetary constraints. We are excited to see these technology-driven ideas come to the schools.”
A list of the grants awarded follows:
- Fully funded Batesville Middle School (BMS) seventh grade teacher Travis Smith's request for a two-year subscription to IXL for social studies. According to the IXL website, it is an online personalized learning platform that combines curriculum, individual guidance, and real-time analytics to help teachers differentiate instruction. Smith shared this with BCEF in his grant application: "IXL provided its social studies program at no charge when Batesville went to e-learning last spring. I found it to offer quality content to be used as an introduction to or review of relevant topics. It was also used to differentiate instruction via enrichment and/or remedial activities. In short, I found much value in adding it as a resource to my classroom. Unfortunately, the school budget did not allow the purchase of a subscription when the free service ended." BCEF is pleased to bridge that funding gap and award Smith with a grant to purchase a two-year subscription to IXL.
- Partially funded was a request from the Batesville High School (BHS) English department for iPads and Apple Pencils to be used during Close Reading lessons, which engage the students in delving into text in a deeper manner. 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.
- Partially funded was a grant application from BHS engineering and technology teacher Craig Hughes for new VEX V5 Robotics Kits for the engineering courses and VEX Robotics Competition teams. 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 will receive enough funding to purchase two new kits.
- Partially funded was a grant by Batesville Intermediate School (BIS) teacher Tricia McPherson 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." While the foundation did not have enough funds to purchase two sets of the equipment requested, BCEF will provide McPherson with enough money for one camera and the accessories needed. This will allow students to begin taking photos and start working on their editing and writing skills.
“The BCEF board wants to thank all of the grant applicants for their innovative ideas,” Wilson noted. “Through broader financial support and donations from the community, we can hopefully expand our budget for grants each year so that more projects can be fully funded.”