By: Jud Fisher—
Muncie, IN—A series of Rapid Grants awarded by Ball Brothers Foundation this spring and summer is supporting efforts to connect learning, nature, and youth.
“Recent research suggests that the average American child spends several hours a day in front of digital screens,” shared Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of Ball Brothers Foundation in reflecting on grants recently awarded by the private family foundation. “While we certainly recognize the value that this kind of technology can play in society today, we also know that spending time outdoors is absolutely vital for children’s overall health, well-being, and development.”
Among the funding awarded by the foundation was a $5,000 grant to Muncie Public Library to support the completion of an outdoor garden pavilion and nature play area at the Maring-Hunt Library. The outdoor space was constructed in partnership with Ball State University Landscape Architecture students as well community residents and members of the surrounding neighborhood’s 8Twelve Coalition. Features includea slide, tunnel, pergolas with seating areas, outdoor kitchen, colorful window boxes, and gardens.
Rapid Grants totaling $3,723 are supporting renovations at Camp Adventure, an environmental education facility on Muncie’s southwest side. BBF has been a long-time supporter of Camp Adventure which is operated by Muncie Community Schools and annually hosts hundreds of K-12 students from MCS and other districts across Delaware County. The camp offers a variety of programming including natural science classroom activities, walking trails, a pond, low and high ropes courses, and team-building programs.
An additional $1,660 Rapid Grant awarded to Cowan Community Schools is supporting a popular “Challenge Education” program which takes 7thgrade students to Camp Adventure. Students participate in a day-long program that instills confidence and teambuilding skills and utilizes the high and low-ropes courses, among other activities.
“Support for these outdoor spaces and programs demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that children from across Muncie and Delaware County can participate in meaningful outdoor activities. We want children to enjoy outdoor areas that inspire creativity and wonder, instill a love of nature, and boost confidence.”
Other Rapid Grants for environmentally-focused efforts included a $1,000 award to Indiana Humanities for its Next Indiana Campfires program which combines literature by Indiana authors and outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and canoeing. A $5,000 grant to the Indianapolis Museum of Art—now known as “Newfields”—supported planning for a bank stabilization project along the White River.
Other Rapid Grants awarded during the first half of the year included:
Arts and Culture
- Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Vertical Lift, $4,995
- Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, Three Trails Music Series, $5,000
- College Mentors For Kids, Delaware County/Ball State University, $5,000
- Delaware Advancement Corporation, FAFSA Labs 2018-2019, $5,000
- Destiny Christian Academy-Yorktown, Outdoor Play Structure, $5,000
- Purdue Research Foundation (Purdue Polytechnic Institute), MunSEP Feasibility Planning: Muncie Science and Engineering Partnership, $5,000
- Lawrence Catholic School, Student Technology Enhancement, $4,912
- Christian Ministries of Delaware County, Facility Improvement, $2,375
- Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity, 8Twelve Leadership Conference, $1,000
Public Society Benefit
- Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Funders Forum Collaborative, $5,000
- Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Summer Kids Camp, $2,500
- Muncie Action Plan, Neighborhood-based Initiatives, $5,000
- Muncie Homeownership and Revitalization, Kilgore Avenue Home Construction for Veterans, $5,000
The Rapid Grant program is designed to allow BBF to respond quickly to community needs and to allow the foundation to take advantage of unique opportunities. Organizations can submit a proposal requesting up to $5,000 and funding approval or denial is typically communicated within one week. A limited number of Rapid Grants are available each year.
A full listing of grants awarded in 2018 is available at www.ballfdn.org.
Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. Annually, Ball Brothers Foundation awards approximately $7 million in grants supporting arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county and state.