VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Foundation, primarily through its VISIONS Endowment Fund, has awarded $14,225 in educational grants to support such innovative initiatives as the launch of a biomedical sciences program, Muse Machine artists-in-residence and an exercise program designed to develop healthy habits in children.
In addition, Butler High School received a $3,440 grant to install a logo and the name of the school on the front façade. A commemorative plaque will pay tribute to the class of 1980, which funded half of the project with a $1,720 class reunion gift that was matched by VISIONS.
The $17,665 provided to the school district is the largest grant disbursement in VISIONS’ 16-year history, thanks largely to the generosity of families and businesses in the district and the creative ideas of teachers who applied for the grants. Edison Lightworks, a Butler Township communications and technology firm, provided a significant boost to this year’s fundraising efforts with a $6,000 commitment, most of which is helping to launch Project Lead the Way, a nationally recognized STEM curriculum, at the high school.
“We’re so grateful to Edison Lightworks and dozens of businesses, families, individuals and teachers who have stepped forward with donations over the past year to help us provide extra financial support to our schools and create a margin of excellence in the classrooms,” said Greg Toman, chair of the VISIONS committee. “It’s a privilege to help support creative teaching opportunities and spark a love of learning in children.”
Here are this year’s educational grants:
- $8,340 to Butler High School — $5,000 for materials and supplies for new biomedical and computer sciences programs, part of a proposed Project Lead the Way curriculum; $2,340 for adjustable piano benches for the school’s new piano lab; and $1,000 for a 3D printer for industrial technology classes.
- $4,200 to Helke Elementary School for a Muse Machine artist-in-residence for first and third grades. The Cotterman Fund provided $2,100 for the third grade grant. Approximately $900 of the first grade grant is funded through the foundation’s Mary Ann Wietzel “What’s In It For The Kids?” Fund. Working with a professional actor, the students create an original script, choreography and music for live performances.
- $1,000 to Demmitt Elementary School to help underwrite a walking/running exercise program for second and third graders.
- $410 from the Cotterman Fund for yoga classes at Vandalia Preschool.
- $275 for break out/escape supplies that will help fourth graders at Smith Middle School hone critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills.
Every year, the VISIONS Endowment Fund grants a minimum of $6,000 to classroom teachers to fund creative learning opportunities for students in the district. To date, more than $87,000 have been awarded through dozens of grants.
Launched in 2002, the VISIONS Endowment Fund now operates as a special advisory committee to the Vandalia-Butler Foundation, a component of The Dayton Foundation.
For those wishing to make a contribution to the VISIONS Endowment Fund, tax-deductible donations can be mailed to VISIONS Endowment Fund, c/o The Dayton Foundation, 40 N. Main Street, Suite 500, Dayton, OH 45423-1038. To make an online donation, visit www. visionsendowmentfund.org.