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Foundation Secretary Drew Ballard hugs fourth grade teacher Andrea Greer.
Bardstown City Schools (BCS) educators were surprised by the Bardstown Foundation for Excellence in Public Education (BFEPE) recently during their annual mini-grants prize patrol. The organization distributed $13,661.70 toward engaging classroom projects at all five schools during surprise visits on September 25.

“Our board members truly enjoy this time of year. Mini-grants give us the opportunity to help teachers bring their innovative ideas to life and ultimately make a difference for our students,” said Sarah Hite Ballard, Foundation President.

Founded in 1985, Bardstown Foundation for Excellence in Public Education is an independent non-profit organization operating exclusively to enhance learning opportunities for students in Bardstown City Schools. With the help and support of community sponsors and the generous monthly contributions of BCS employees, the Foundation awards teacher grants to creative classroom projects and also invests in major projects like the Bardstown City Schools STEAM Academy.

“None of the work that we are able to do would be possible without the support of businesses and individuals throughout our community and we are most grateful for that support,” said Ballard.

The grants of up to $1,000 each are designed to provide funds to implement creative and innovative instructional programs in the classrooms for which federal, state or local funds are not available.

After reviewing all applications, foundation board members awarded 15 mini-grants ranging from $500 to $1,000.
“We are very fortunate to have an incredible support organization like the Bardstown Foundation for Excellence in Education,” Superintendent Ryan Clark said. “These mini-grants promote our teachers' innovative spirit and provide our students unique educational experiences.”

The 2019-20 mini-grant recipients, and their projects, are:
  • Jenny Hagan, Bardstown Early Childhood – Learning Without Tears curriculum for all preschool students.
  • Sierra Rodamaker, Bardstown Early Childhood – Social and emotional support materials for all three-year-old preschool students.
  • Marci Ballard, Bardstown Primary School – Coding tools to host week-long Robotpalooza events every month for all 650 primary students.
  • Laura Gabbert, Bardstown Primary School – Equipping Minds Curriculum for all K-2 grade students.
  • Mary Boston, Bridgette Bowman, Danielle Hill and Stacey Hinkbein – Bardstown Primary School, Fine motor skills workstations
  • Dana Tindle and Jenny Pageau, Bardstown Primary School – Brain bins to foster creativity and problem solving skills in first grade students.
  • Kelly Ferrell and Jenni Osborne, Bardstown Primary School – Brain bins to foster creativity and problem solving skills in first grade students.
  • Erin Waldridge, Bardstown Elementary School – Video equipment to enhance the Morning Roar broadcast featuring students.
  • Andrea Greer, Bardstown Elementary – Coding software for students to explore robotics in the engineering club. 
  • Faith Leonard, Bardstown Middle School – Broadcasting studio for students to learn video production and broadcasting skills. 
  • Walt Eveland, Bardstown Middle School – Audio equipment to launch a student-led podcast that teaches students the important digital literacy.
  • Ann Guthrie, Bardstown Middle School – Arts education experience for all 6-8 grade students during Black History Month. The Lexington Children’s Theatre will travel to the school to perform The Long Road to Freedom. 
  • Shawn Boggs, Bardstown High School – Underwater robot kits for Integrated Chemistry/Physics students. 
  • Bryan Kellem, Bardstown High School - Interactive readers for students to see and hear interactions between native Spanish speakers. 
  • Emily Wimsett and Christy VanDeventer, Bardstown Child Care – Gross motor equipment for toddlers.

This spring, the Education Foundation will award its first-ever Dream Big Grants. The new Dream Big Grants will award up to $10,000 to teachers or staff members that have an innovative educational initiative for students beyond their classroom walls. Applications are due December 2, 2019 and will require a presentation at the Education Foundation’s March meeting.

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