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Project School receives $1,000 grant for a third year



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The Project School on Walnut Street teaches kindergarten through eighth grade. The school received a $1,000 Tools for Schools grant from Old National Bank in October. Emily Eckelbarger Buy Photos

The Project School in Bloomington received in October a $1,000 Tools for Schools grant from Old National Bank.

Old National awarded a total of $21,000 to 16 schools throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.  This is the third consecutive year the local K-8 charter school has received the Tools for Schools grant.

The Project School, a selective nonprofit K-8 charter school, was among the options. The Project School serves 297 students, 25 percent of them with special learning needs and 35 percent of them experiencing poverty, according to its website. 

Enrollment is determined by an open lottery system that is open to all families in Indiana.

The bank decides the recipients of the grant through a community vote.

“It's a testament to the support we have from our families and from the larger community,” said Amy Jackson, director of philanthropy and outreach for the Project School, via email. 

Jackson said the funds will be set aside to expand the school and train faculty interns, who function as support teaching staff and show promise to become lead classroom instructors.

“We are preparing them for a future in which we are in need of additional lead teachers who are able to demonstrate our mission, vision, values and pedagogy,” Jackson said.

The Tools for Schools grant consists of two phases. The first is the bank donating school supplies — 32,874 this year — to over 80 different schools. 

The second phase is giving $1,000 grants to various public and non-private schools recognized on the Department of Education website. 

This year, the Old National announced that if it hit 20,000 likes on Facebook, it would donate an additional $5,000 to the school with the most votes. This went to Sacred Heart School in Warsaw, Indiana. 

Old National Bank, based in Evansville, Indiana, serves customers throughout Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, and it created the Tools for School campaign to build ties with local schools and their families. 

“Old National takes great pride in making a positive difference in our communities,” said Kortney Blaylock, community relations manager of Old National Bank. “The third annual Tools for School campaign was created to help get the school year started right for countless children in our communities that will go to school without basic school supplies.”

The Project School also announced it was awarded a $100,000 four-year grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to expand its academic achievement, career planning and personal/social development counseling programs.

“All students in our inclusive school are treated as individuals with unique learning needs and goals," Jackson said. 

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