Robert P. Bell Teacher Creativity Grants Awarded to Local Teachers

Robert P. Bell Education Grants AwardedRobert P. Bell Education Grants Awarded

By: Eunice Whitlock—

The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. has announced that the following Robert P. Bell grants totaling $5,139 have been awarded to local teachers for the first grant cycle of the 2015-2016 academic year. It is estimated that over 1,771 Delaware County students will benefit from these grants.

  • Julie Rinker Bailey, Northside Middle School, was awarded $211 for middle school English students to establish the connection between emotions and writing through use of emoticons and text speak drawings on personalized whiteboards. Students will use visual and social components comfortable to them to perform character analysis on short stories.
  • Christy Bilby and Whitney Whitehair, Albany Elementary, were awarded $378 for second grade school students to participate in a fairy tale/fable museum including listening and reading fables and folktales, creating character art with displays and puppets, and participating in a living book report with self-designed aprons to describe their character. Students will also personify their favorite character in costume and share with the school and their families.
  • Barbara Miller, Yorktown High School, was awarded $444 for high school English students to grow literature skills by studying The Hero’s Journey as readers, analysts, and creators using small literature circles and graphic novels. Students will chart The Hero’s Journey and create their own original graphic mini novels both electronically and printed and bound.
  • Sheri Watson, Muncie Central High School, was awarded $200 for high school special education students to work on their functional skills by shopping, taking care of hygiene needs and practicing work skills through community volunteerism. These hands-on experiences will help improve productivity and independence to prepare for adulthood.
  • Jacquelyn Vegh, East Washington Academy, was awarded $309 for elementary special education students to participate in a monster puppet project designed to address communication difficulties experienced by students with autism. Students will create monster puppets and easily change their features to practice spontaneous, imaginary, and symbolic play to understand abstract concepts and ideas.
  • Lisa Brand, East Washington Academy, was awarded $150 for third grade students to expand their knowledge of China by replicating the Chinese paper-making process and learning calligraphy. Students will make their own handmade paper and teach the paper-making process to students in other classes altering the process to include wildflower seeds that will be planted for Earth Day.
  • Carol Burt, East Washington Academy, was awarded $250 for elementary art students to learn experimental watercolor techniques using more advanced materials and a more authentic process including demonstrating different techniques found in famous works and imitating in small scale compositions. Students will also examine the history of watercolor and hear a presentation by a local watercolor artist.
  • Nicole Zirkle, Heritage Hall Christian School, was awarded $166 for second grade science students to utilize a gardening system to grow lettuce. Students will observe and record plant changes through writing and presentation and harvest the lettuce around Thanksgiving to be partnered with a language arts unit about thankfulness.
  • Abigail Comber and Michael Dodrill, Burris Laboratory School, were awarded $297 for high school English and science students to engage in a collaborative project benefiting the Muncie community about the traffic patterns and potential problems at the intersection of Tillotson and McGalliard by collecting data, researching costs, forging relationships, conducting surveys, and presenting the findings to Muncie City Council. Students will use GoPro HERO cameras and tripod mounts to collect accurate traffic numbers at the intersection at specified times.
  • Jennifer Kile and Lynde Bratton, Royerton Elementary, were awarded $404 for fifth grade students to participate in a three week mysteries adventure lesson including reading mystery novels with “lights out” reading using flashlights, solving actual mysteries, dramatic reenactment, and playing mystery games. Students will be put in literature circles to better understand the mystery genre.
  • Felicia Gray, Burris Laboratory School, was awarded $325 for fourth and fifth grade students to develop sailboat prototypes that can sail the length of a rain gutter in cooperative teams using structure and engineering concepts. Students will test designs, record findings, create digital presentations, and participate in a “Raingutter Regatta” race.
  • Laura Kingsley, Storer Elementary, was awarded $289 for elementary severe disabilities students to work with a variety of sorting and packaging materials in order to increase independence in academic, vocational, daily-living, and leisure time skills. Materials will include common household items and nuts, bolts and washers to improve bilateral hand motions, eye-hand coordination, and other organization and task completion skills.
  • Barbara Miller, Yorktown High School, was awarded $238 for freshman students to examine archetypes used in narrative literature such as Japanese Noh Theater masks, relating them to myths and legends and role playing games. Students will take on the persona of a role playing game archetype by creating a mask for their character and telling a story from his or her point of view.
  • Bethany Clegg, Burris Laboratory School, was awarded $450 for sixth grade health students to learn about nutrition and exercise through hands on experiences using Nutri-cize large group game. Students will also keep food journals, learn how to read food labels, and use math and science calculations to evaluate sugar, salt, and fats in popular snacks.
  • Kelly Miller, Yorktown Middle School, was awarded $200 for middle school students to design and create chariots using engineering and computer coding techniques. Students will race chariots during Computer Science Week and Hour of Code celebrated in December.
  • Christina Vetor-Suits, Burris Laboratory School, was awarded $448 for fourth and fifth grade physical education students to set goals, plan, practice, journal, and perform individual hacky sack routines and analyze their skills using video analysis post performance. The top videos will be displayed during spring performance night for the school community.
  • Bethany Clegg, Burris Laboratory School, was awarded $380 for elementary physical education students to participate in a cross curricular oversized game of Scrabble, incorporating English language arts into physical education. Students will use rubber letters and other materials to include their spelling words into active play.

Bell Grants of up to $450 are awarded to teachers with innovative ideas, programs or projects designed to stimulate learning in their students. The deadline for the next round of grants in the 2015-2016 academic year is December 1, 2015. For more information about Bell Grant applications, contact Marcy Minton, Community Engagement Director at Information is also available at


Eunice Whitlock, is the Communications Administrator for The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County