City’s Two K-12 Public School Systems to Benefit from Ball Brothers Foundation Grants

Jud Fisher, President & COO, Ball Brothers Foundation. Photo by: Mike RhodesJud Fisher, President & COO, Ball Brothers Foundation is pictured. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

By: Jud Fisher—

MUNCIE, Ind.—Students attending Muncie Community Schools (MCS) and Burris Laboratory School will benefit this year from several curriculum additions supported by two Ball Brothers Foundation grants. Of the more than $3 million distributed by the foundation in its first grant-making cycle of 2017, the local schools shared $580,000—MCS receiving $305,000 and Burris, $275,000—to introduce and strengthen innovative and digitally rich programming.

“At a time when education budgets are tight, these funds will expand opportunities within Muncie’s urban core,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of the foundation. “This is part of our internal Central City Education Initiative and is designed to support what our board calls ‘margin of excellence activities’ that otherwise might not be possible.” Fisher commended both school districts for their efforts to “focus on ways to prepare students for a competitive and digital-savvy world.”

In keeping with its strategic plan, MCS will introduce a television broadcasting sequence at the high school level and improve student access to honors and advanced placement courses. Middle-grade students will benefit from a fully functional learning management system, and elementary school students will have the option to participate in a bilingual immersion program.

Burris faculty members plan to expand the school’s computer science curriculum, continue to develop its innovation center and strengthen the range of extracurricular options that encourage students to pursue activities that reflect their interests and abilities. “One of the great things about the Ball Brothers Foundation grant is the flexibility to identify key areas in the building that we want to enhance,” said Dawn Miller, principal at Burris Laboratory School. “We want to provide as many robust opportunities as we can for our students, but finances are always a challenge. That’s where foundation support has made the difference.”

Of all Indiana schools ranked recently by U.S. News and World Report, Burris placed 11th out of 736 schools and received a silver medal citation; MCS earned a bronze medal for its 58th place listing out of 736 schools. “Our grant to MCS is designed first and foremost to expand opportunities for students and then to support teacher and administrative needs,” said Fisher. “Our Burris grant recognizes the unique role the school plays in the community. Since its establishment as part of BSU’s Teachers College, Burris truly has served as a laboratory for innovation in teaching and learning. These funds will build on that tradition.”

Other organizations and programs to receive Ball Brothers Foundation support in the most recent grant-making cycle are:

Health and wellness

  • Ball State University, Optimus Primary—Healthy Lifestyle Centers, $100,000
  • IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation, Optimus Primary—Primary and Behavioral Health, $150,000
  • Indiana University School of Medicine-Muncie, Optimus Primary—Enhancing Physician Training and Improving Community Health, $150,000
  • Meridian Health Services, Optimus Primary—Integrated Health Care Education Institute, $100,000

Organizations benefiting youth

  • Boys and Girls Club of Muncie, Operating Support, $40,000
  • Indiana Youth Institute, Organizational Effectiveness Grants, $60,000
  • Motivate Our Minds, Operating Support, $40,000
  • Project Leadership, Career and College Readiness Initiative, $300,000
  • Project Leadership, ICE League, $35,000
  • Roy C. Buley Community Center 2017 AIM Summer Program Collaboration, $80,000
  • Roy C. Buley Community Center, EDGE After-School Program, $40,000
  • Teen Works, Career Pathways Initiative, $60,000


  • Cardinal Greenways, Inc., Operating Support, $350,000

Arts and culture

  • Music for All, Summer Symposium, $25,000
  • Muncie Arts and Culture Council, Operating Support, $10,000

Facilities upgrades

  • Transition Resources Corporation, Muncie Head Start Boiler Replacement, $50,000
  • United Day Care Center Playground Renovation, $15,000
  • Roy C. Buley Community Center, ICE League Facility Enhancements, $75,000
  • Ross Community Center, ICE League Facility Enhancements, $75,000
  • Boys and Girls Club of Muncie, ICE League Facility Enhancements, $75,000
  • Muncie YMCA, ICE League Facility Enhancements, Northwest Facility, $75,000
  • Sustainable Muncie Corporation, MadJax ADA Entrance and Website, $50,000


  • Ball State University Immersive Learning Seminar Support, $25,000
  • Shafer Leadership Academy, Growth and Sustainability Support, $30,000

Human services

  • Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity, Growth and Expansion—Housing Program and ReStore, $280,000
  • Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity, 8Twelve Coalition Projects, $60,000
  • United Way of Delaware County, 2017 Campaign, $75,000


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With assets of approximately $160 million, Ball Brothers Foundation annually makes grants in support of arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The foundation is led by members of its founding family and gives priority to projects and programs that enhance life in Muncie, Delaware County and East Central Indiana. Last year BBF’s total grant payout exceeded $7 million for the first time in its 90-year history.