By: Jud Fisher—
Muncie, Indiana—Following the historic announcement earlier this year that Ball State University would take a leadership role in helping to transform Muncie Community Schools, BBF has awarded a $1 million grant to assist with these efforts. The grant was one of sixteen requests that received funding during Ball Brothers Foundation’s board meeting in October.
Dollars from Ball Brothers Foundation will assist BSU and MCS in creating a long-term plan for the school corporation. Specifically, BBF funding will support the placement of BSU faculty liaisons inside each of the district’s school buildings to assist teachers with professional development, to integrate BSU teaching candidates into classrooms, and to research new methods of teaching and learning, among other duties. Funding will also support innovation planning, marketing efforts, and the establishment of a national panel of experts to advise the university and district throughout the transformation process. Finally, BBF funding will also support out-of-school activities designed to engage students beyond the school day.
While the $1 million is awarded directly to Ball State University, an additional $140,000 in a separate grant is being directed to Muncie Community Schools to support classroom, technology, and teacher training needs. For example, BBF support will assist with advancing innovative course offerings within the district including enhancing a high school broadcasting program and a Spanish-language immersion program at the elementary level. Grant funding will also support an instructional technology facilitator who is dedicated to working closely with teachers to effectively integrate technology into classrooms.
Several other BBF grants will also support education efforts for students attending Muncie Community Schools:
- David Owsley Museum of Art: Funding will support MCS 4th grade field trips to the art museum located on BSU’s campus, including curriculum support for teachers that draws on Indiana state standards. This grant also includes funding to begin digitizing the museum’s collections, making artifacts, paintings, and other works of art visible through a simple internet search. Awarded $35,000.
- Leadership Training via BSU’s Teachers College: Support will help to launch a new program for high school students from Muncie Central and Burris. Selected students will work together to identify challenges at school and in their neighborhoods. They will receive leadership development training as they work to address community needs. Awarded $30,000.
“Ball Brothers Foundation believes strongly in public education and in the students and teachers of Muncie Community Schools. We are enthusiastic about the unprecedented opportunity for MCS to reinvent itself and to work in collaboration with BSU and the wider community in these efforts. BBF funding is designed to support this transformation at every level: from enhancing the day-to-day experience of students in the classroom to ensuring teachers have access to the very best resources and training available, to supporting the district’s long-term planning efforts,” shared Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer, in reflecting on the grants awarded by BBF.
Additional education-related grants include the following:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Indiana: Expansion of one-to-one mentoring program. Awarded $10,000.
- BY5: Operating support for Delaware County’s leading early childhood awareness organization. Awarded $45,000.
- Independent Colleges of Indiana: Support for the Ball Venture Fund, a competitive funding program among Indiana’s 30 private colleges. Selected colleges launch or support innovative programs. Awarded $75,000.
- Purdue Polytechnic: Funding for Purdue to establish a clearinghouse that will promote existing K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming in the community and coordinate new opportunities to fill programming gaps, establish a regional robotics competition, and support local schools’ career and technical course offerings. Awarded $30,000.
Several grants awarded during the foundation’s board meeting will enhance local arts and culture venues, programs, and public art efforts:
- Cornerstone Center for the Arts: 2019 Operating Support. Awarded $85,000.
- Delaware County Historical Society: Artist fees and casting of statue honoring Hurley Goodall. Awarded $30,000.
- Minnetrista: 2019 Operating Support and Capital Improvements. Awarded $2,700,000.
- Muncie Civic Theatre: Mainstage Theatre Balcony railing. Awarded $15,000.
Finally, other grants will support efforts to improve the quality of life and support human services in the city and county:
- East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, Inc: Regional marketing efforts. Awarded: $80,000.
- Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity: 8Twelve Coalition Projects. Awarded $80,000.
- Muncie Land Bank, Inc: Startup consulting for operations, policies, and procedures. Awarded $30,000.
- Second Harvest Food Bank: Software conversion and technology update. Awarded $30,000.
Organizations interested in applying for funding from Ball Brothers Foundation in 2019 should review submission requirements and deadlines on the Foundation’s website at www.ballfdn.org. It is also encouraged that organizations contact the foundation via phone or email to discuss a potential request in advance of submitting a proposal.
About Ball Brothers Foundation
Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. Annually, the foundation makes approximately $7 million in grants to support 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.