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BATESVILLE – April 9, 2014 – Applications are now available for the 2014 Citizens Bank Education Initiative, the fourth annual program in which educators in the Batesville School District receive the opportunity to share in $15,000 in grants to fund unique and innovative classroom concepts and projects to make learning interesting and fun. 

Teachers can email Pam Brooks at pbrooks@batesvilleschools.org(link sends e-mail) for a grant application.  This year’s grants will raise to $60,000 the total amount of funds Citizens Bank has contributed to Batesville educators through its Education Initiative.  The bank has also expanded the concept to assist teachers in the Southside, Midland and Mountain View school districts.

Last year, the Citizens Bank Education Initiative program awarded eight grants to Batesville area projects that were dominated by plans to improve literacy and learning skills.  One project – “Create Independence for Future Success,” created by Kristi Cox of West Magnet Elementary School – received $1,000 to foster independence among Kindergarten through 5th grade special needs students to achieve academic success in their current grade level as well as in the future. 

Mrs. Cox is enjoying success through her grant, which allowed her to purchase software and equipment to develop reading comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, word analysis and study skills to achieve at least grade-level reading skills. 

“All students who were able to utilize the curriculum have made progress in reading skills,” she said.  “One third grade student has improved from a beginning second grade reading level to an end-of-year second grade reading level.  His reading comprehension has improved remarkably.” 

Mrs. Cox noted improvements in the student’s willingness to participate in reading as well as his own recognition of the progress he has made. 

“I am very thankful to Citizens Bank for their support of the Batesville School District,” she said.  “I am pleased that because of their generosity, students will benefit for many years to come.”

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, June 6.  Each submission will be evaluated by an independent panel representing the Social Sciences and Secondary Education Division at Lyon College.  The panel will also determine the amount of funding each project will receive.  Applicants will be notified of the results by Friday, July 18.

About The Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank of Batesville was established in 1953 by a group of local businessmen who shared a vision of creating a bank that would be committed to serving the working people of Batesville and Independence County.  Today, Citizens Bank is Independence County’s largest financial institution by market share, and has expanded its service area to include Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp and Stone counties.  The bank operates 10 fully staffed financial centers in Batesville, Cave City, Imboden, Mountain View and Pleasant Plains.

Batesville Ed Initiative - Kristi Cox

Teacher Kristi Cox uses instructional materials purchased last year with Citizens Bank Education Initiative funds to help a West Magnet Elementary student improve his reading skills. 

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