Muncie Community Schools Expands Preschools to all Elementary Buildings, and Project Lead the Way STEM Curriculum at all Muncie Community School Buildings with Support from the George and Frances Ball Foundation
By: Thomas J. Kinghorn—
Muncie, IN—The George and Frances Ball Foundation awarded the second allocation of a $1 million, 3-year commitment to the Ball State University—Muncie Community Schools partnership. The first year’s grant supported summer professional development for teachers, introduction of Project Lead the Way curriculum in 4 schools, and revision of English Language Arts and Mathematics curricular maps.
One key element of the second year’s grant, and one of the most critical components to building a Cradle to Career district, is high quality preschool experiences at every elementary school. Director of Public Education and CEO for Muncie Community Schools Dr. Lee Ann Kwiatkowski explained, “Every child needs and deserves a chance to receive a great education. When it comes to early childhood education programs, quality is critical. High-quality preschool gives children a strong start on the path that leads to college or a career. One of the best investments MCS can make is providing strong kindergarten programs. We are thrilled to offer a Pre-K program in each elementary school next year to make sure our students enter kindergarten ready to read and learn.”
In addition to the final expansion of high quality preschool experiences to classrooms at West View Elementary and North View Elementary, this second grant allocation will support the district’s continued growth in key ways, including:
- Provide engaging STEM experiences for elementary and middle school learners through Project Lead the Way expansion. This high quality STEM offering will now be available at all MCS elementary schools and both middle schools.
- Continue to align K-12 math and language arts curricula to ensure equitable educational experiences and vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment.
- Expansion of career training experiences in Muncie Community Schools to prepare learners for postsecondary success. This includes the reconstruction of the dental clinic teaching laboratory at the Muncie Area Career Center, as well as the rebuild of training stations for electrical and construction labs.
The George and Frances Ball Foundation adopted a proactive grantmaking strategy in 2018 focused on Cradle to Career, a framework that outlines the importance of education from birth through career and showcases the inseparable connection between educational attainment and economic prosperity.
President of Ball State University Geoffrey S. Mearns emphasized, “The Cradle to Career model is built on the premise that every child, every student, every adult is critical to the success of the community. By collaborating with Muncie Community Schools, Ball State can lend expertise and support at each of the critical stages.” President of the Muncie Community Schools Board of Directors Jim Williams added, “These goals (outlined in the grant) run the gamut from Cradle to Career as we continue implementation of a comprehensive educational experience at all levels.”
The George and Frances Ball Foundation was founded in 1937 as a private foundation endowed by George and Frances Ball. The Foundation was organized exclusively to promote charitable, scientific and educational purposes, with a strong commitment to the needs of East Central Indiana. The Foundation adopted a new proactive grantmaking strategy in 2018, which carries forward the legacy of George and Frances Ball with efforts to increase educational attainment through a community Cradle to Career Initiative.
To learn more, please visit: www.gfballfdn.org.