Citizens Bank’s 2015 Education Initiative Benefits Science, Literacy Curriculum at Southside Schools

About Us

BATESVILLE, Ark. – July 28, 2015 – Five projects conceived by ten Southside educators will share in $5,000 in funding through the Third Annual Citizens Bank Education Initiative for the Southside School District.  This year’s Southside grant recipients were announced at an awards banquet Monday night at Elizabeth’s Restaurant.

“All too frequently, a lack of resources is a challenge to exceptional teachers who work so diligently every day to educate our children,” said Phil Baldwin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Bank.  “That’s why we created the Education Initiative program, and continue to be impressed with the creativity and resourcefulness of our area’s educators.”

 “We are so fortunate to have partners like Citizens Bank who believe in us and who help us so much with what we do,” said Southside School Superintendent Roger Rich.

This year’s Southside recipient projects were selected from 13 grant applications that were considered by a panel representing the Social Sciences Division and Teacher Education Division at Lyon College.  The panel reviews each project anonymously and then determines the amount of each grant.  The 2015 Southside Education Initiative grant recipients are:

  • “Energy & Electromagnetism,” proposed by Britney Warner, Melissa Russell and Alicia Mize, Fourth Grade Math and Science teachers at Southside Middle School, was awarded a $2,000 grant.  The project will provide students with opportunities to explore and make sense of concepts related to electricity and magnetism.  It will engage students with investigations that introduce and reinforce concepts in physical science dealing with energy and change.
  • “Generating Engagement in Science,” conceived by Seventh Grade Science Teacher Jessica Vines, received a grant of nearly $500.  The funds will help purchase a 7.5-volt generator so students can create electricity and see how all forms of energy need kinetic energy.  This was the second consecutive year that Ms. Vines has received an Education Initiative grant from Citizens Bank.
  • “Ramping Up Fine Motor Skills” was designed by Pre-School teachers Lisa McGhee, Jalesa Reed, Jen Ryan and Bobbi Skipper.  The project was allocated nearly $700 to purchase a second set of the “Handwriting Without Tears” curriculum to help four-year-old students develop their fine motor skills and improve handwriting at the beginning of their formal education.
  • “Science + Technology - Learning,” proposed by EAST Lab Teacher Jason Weaver, will receive more than $900 to fund a project intended to make science memorable and meaningful.  Weaver says his students who are “artistic and tech savvy” will use 3-D pens and an Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display to utilize new technologies to study science in non-traditional ways.
  • “The Shared Knowledge Project,” developed by Jillian Grady of Southside Junior High School, was allocated nearly $900 to help Pre-AP and Regular English 9 students use Google Nexus 7 tablet computers to publish their work on the Southside Schools website, YouTube, TeacherTube and Facebook.  The tablets will allow students to use internet and database research, but also share their work with other students and the community.

Since 2011, Citizens Bank has committed $115,000 in Education Initiative grants to allow the implementation of curriculum ideas and projects that otherwise would have gone unfunded.  To date, Citizens Bank has provided grant awards to educators in the Batesville, Cedar Ridge, Midland, Mountain View and Southside school districts.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank was founded in 1953 by business and civic leaders to serve the financial needs of middle income families and small businesses.  Citizens Bank works to improve the quality of life for all community residents by promoting educational opportunities, economic growth and innovative civic partnerships.

Date Of Release