Technology Concepts Dominate Citizens Bank’s 2014-2015 Education Initiative

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BATESVILLE, Ark. – August 26, 2014 – Six creative curriculum projects conceived by Batesville educators will be implemented through $15,000 in grants provided by the Fourth Annual Citizens Bank Education Initiative for the Batesville School District. 

Since 2011, Batesville educators have benefited from $60,000 in bank grants to implement ideas and projects that otherwise would have gone unfunded.  Citizens Bank last year expanded its Education Initiative to also include the Midland, Mountain View and Southside school districts and has now committed $90,000 in grants to area educators.

“The Citizens Bank Education Initiative has been incredibly successful at challenging our educators to think creatively as they strive for educational excellence,” said Bank President Phil Baldwin.  “Our judges continue to be impressed – and challenged – by the scope and originality of the projects that are submitted for funding.” 

The six recipient projects were selected from 13 grant applications that were considered by a panel representing the Social Sciences and Secondary Education Division at Lyon College.  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:

  • “Implementing iPads in Intellectual Integration,” budgeted at nearly $5,000, was proposed by Kathy Hyslip, Bonnie Young and Mary Lynne Webb on behalf of the Sulphur Rock Magnet School’s Special Education Department.  The grant will allow the use of iPads to motivate students in core subjects, improve performance on class assessments, involve parents in the learning process, and help teachers overcome diversity challenges.
  • “Visual Literacy in Art & Vocational Business,” conceived by Carla James and Penny Sturdivant of Batesville High School, was approved for funding of more than $3,800.  With the grant, professional digital photography equipment will enable AP Studio Art and Digital Communications students to study and learn the art of digital photography, professional image editing, visual design, communications and visual literacy.
  • Through “Chronicling Our History,” English Teacher Tammy Gillmore and a team of colleagues will ask students to select a year in the history of Batesville High School, research and write about the events or people from that year, with their work to be published in a book highlighting the school’s 130-year history.  The project will challenge students to research, gather data and write creatively about their chosen year.  Most of the $2,800 approved grant will help print copies of the books.
  • “Medics On the Move,” developed by Susan Parker and Carol Williams, will enable Eagle Mountain Magnet students in 4th through 6th Grades to experience interactive exhibits, technology and exposure to experts in the field of medical science.  The Education Initiative grant exceeding $1,300 will help purchase a digital microscope that interfaces with a computer, plus a basic anatomy and atlas slide set.
  • “Kindles in the Classroom” will allow Crystal Williams to give 7th, 8th and 9th Grade Batesville Junior High School students an opportunity to increase their engagement in grade level literacy activities in the classroom with Kindle Fire tablets and using the “text-to-speech” function.  A grant of more than $1,000 will help purchase four Kindle Fire tablets and books to be used throughout the year.
  • With her “Chromebooks for Education” concept, Michelle Blevins, a 6th Grade Science Teacher at Eagle Mountain Magnet, will utilize her $1,000 grant to purchase three Chromebook laptop computers to provide students in cooperative learning groups to gain greater internet access for research and interactive websites, and to collaboratively work together to complete lab reports.    

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.

CITIZENS BANK EDUCATION INITIATIVE RECIPIENTS – (From left) Tammy Gillmore, Carla James, Michelle Blevins, Susan Parker and Carol Williams.


CITIZENS BANK EDUCATION INITIATIVE RECIPIENTS – (From left) Mary Lynne Webb, Bonnie Young, Crystal Williams and Kathy Hyslip.