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SIA AWARDS $28K IN LOCAL GRANTS
Written by Max Showalter
A safety program for children, training equipment for firefighters and classroom tables and chairs are among items that will be purchased with the latest round of grant money awarded by the SIA Foundation.
Created in 1997, the foundation is financed by $2 million provided by Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in Lafayette. Eight recipients shared an allocation of more than $28,000 during ceremonies Tuesday at SIA.
"We had a tremendous number of grant applicants," said Tom Easterday, SIA executive vice president. "The work you do has a positive impact on thousands of people in Indiana."
Grants are awarded to qualifying organizations for specific capital projects in the areas of arts and culture, education, and health and welfare.
"We need to do everything we can do to make kids interested in science. We're very fortunate we have this avenue for funds," said Chris Mathias, a science and math teacher at Sunnyside Middle School in Lafayette, which was awarded $7,000 to purchase tables and chairs for two science classrooms.
"When we tried to do experiments with slanted desks, it created a lot of problems for us. Science is doing. It's not simply sitting there and regurgitating things onto a test."
The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette also received a substantial grant through the foundation -- $7,395 -- to expand educational outreach programs. Included in the project is an upgrade of the digital media curriculum at Oakland High School. "We have a goal of celebration of the arts," said Sue Carr, an art museum volunteer who also serves as president of the Art League. "We are just delighted to be able to do this with your help. We are so, so thrilled to be able to continue our mission in the community."
Other Tippecanoe County recipients of SIA Foundation funding included the
• Heartford House, which received $2,230 to purchase the RADKids safety program which provides education and enhances the ability of children and parents to protect themselves from violence and abuse.
• Lafayette Housing Authority received $3,168 to purchase the Intertype Communication System, which allows communication with deaf, hearing- and speech-impaired clients. It also performs real-time language translation to Spanish. "For some of our families, English is a second language. A lot of times we have to translate through their children who are 8 or 10 years old, and you're not sure if everyone understands what you're telling them," said Kerry Landon, LHA housing technician. "This allows us to ensure that Spanish-speaking clients don't do something wrong and get taken off the program."
Other recipients of SIA Foundation grants Tuesday included:
• Noblesville Fire Department -- $2,553. The funds will allow for the purchase of two Rugged Red training "victims" and one training "torso" to simulate the full weight and characteristics of an unconscious person in any type of emergency.
• Mulberry Community Library -- $1,200. The money will be used to purchase furniture and accessories for the children's area at the Mulberry Community Library.
• Danville Public Library -- $2,850. The grant will be used to purchase an Early Literacy Station computer to replace an outdated version currently in use.
• Off-Main Street Players Inc. -- $1,700. The theater group will use the funds to purchase equipment to enclose the stage area and have a defined backstage area for productions in the Community Room at the Zionsville Town Hall.