Technology, Literacy Concepts Gain Funding in Citizens Bank’s Education Initiative for Batesville

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BATESVILLE, Ark. – August 5, 2015 – Seven inventive curriculum projects conceived by Batesville educators will be implemented through $15,000 in grants provided by the Fifth Annual Citizens Bank Education Initiative for the Batesville School District. 

Since 2011, Batesville educators have benefited from $75,000 in bank grants to implement ideas and projects that otherwise might have gone unfunded.  Citizens Bank now has committed $115,000 in Education Initiative grants over the past five years to area teachers in the Batesville, Cedar Ridge, Midland, Mountain View and Southside school districts.

“These grants are well-deserved recognition for exceptional teachers who develop innovative ideas to further their curriculum,” said Phil Baldwin, Citizens Bank President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We continue to be impressed each year by their creativity and their commitment to educating our children.” 

A panel representing the Social Sciences and Teacher Education divisions at Lyon College selected this year’s recipient projects from all of the grant applications.  The panel reviews each project anonymously and then determines the amount of each grant.

This year’s Batesville grant recipients, announced at an awards banquet Monday night at Elizabeth’s Restaurant, are:

  • "ID Global Classroom,” a project developed by Jeanne Roepcke, Technology and Computer Aided Design (CAD) teacher at Batesville High School, received a $5,000 grant to develop a global online classroom to interact with high school students in a village in Romania.  Ms. Roepcke was assisted on the grant and will be assisted on the project by Lori Campbell, EAST Lab coordinator at Sulphur Rock Magnet.  Through the purchase of three laptop computers, a 3-D printer and related equipment, EAST Lab students in Batesville plan to teach the sophisticated CAD software to Romanian students who normally would not have access to such instruction or technology. 
  • “Grow Our Library,” created by educator Lorrie McClure, was approved for nearly $2,700 in funding to provide a library for the Batesville Early Learning & Enrichment Center.  In her application, Ms. McClure said the center annually serves about 750 of the school district’s “earliest and most high need readers.”  With the grant funds, she will purchase quality books, and promote the library as a resource for both parents and students.
  • “Project-Based Learning Through Kinesthetic Labs” was allocated more than $2,600 to help acquire interactive whiteboard software and equipment, a camcorder and cameras to develop hands-on activities that integrate core academic subjects and physical activity for Kindergarten through 6th Grade students at Eagle Mountain Magnet.  The project was proposed by Gloria Brown, Tina Fowler, Julie Grace, Susan Parker and Wendy Stanfield.
  • “Book by Book:  Students, Reading, Discussing, Meeting & Greeting,” designed by Tammy Gillmore of Batesville High School, will form a Student Book Club that will read, as a group, one young adult book per month, and then create a video discussion of that book for  presentation to literacy teachers.  The project’s funding of more than $1,600 will help students who currently read below grade level and encourage them to read independently.
  • “Make Your Mark!” is a project that will receive nearly $1,100 to allow Sandra Malone to provide concentrated writing lessons to English as a Second Language students in Grades 3-6 at West Magnet.  This instruction will allow ESL students in each grade to collaborate on writing, illustrating and publishing their own grade level book, which will then be presented to families, teachers, students and community members. 
  • “Building Background Knowledge:  One Book at a Time,” conceived by Carlie Qualls, a  Fifth Grade Literacy teacher at Eagle Mountain Magnet, will use a $1,000 grant to purchase books to provide background knowledge to support the four modules contained within the school district’s new literacy curriculum.  Goals of the project include increasing students’ domain-specific vocabulary and their prior knowledge of each module, and improving their oral communications skills.
  • “Encouraging Higher Order Thinking Through STEM,” developed by Central Magnet First Grade teachers Jessica Dockins and Katie Jackson, will receive nearly $1,000 to purchase four STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) kits and related equipment.  STEM Education is a process for teaching meant to help students make sense of the world around them, and take charge of their learning.

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.

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Lori Campbell, Jeanne Roepcke, Tammy Gillmore, Jessica Dockins, Katie Jackson

Creative curriculum concepts provided Education Initiative grants for (from left) Lori Campbell, Jeanne Roepcke, Tammy Gillmore, Jessica Dockins and Katie Jackson.


Carlie Qualls, Tina Fowler, Susan Parker, Wendy Stanfield, Lorrie McClure, Sandra Malone

Among the recipients of Citizens Bank Education Initiative grants were (from left) Carlie Qualls, Tina Fowler, Susan Parker, Wendy Stanfield, Lorrie McClure and Sandra Malone.

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