Duke Energy awards $30,000 for summer reading program

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. will use a $30,000 grant from Duke Energy to give 100 students struggling in reading some personal tutoring.

The grant will fund the district’s Summer Learning Academy, which provides instruction for students in kindergarten through Grade 6 who are struggling with reading comprehension.

Money from the grant was used to hire four teachers and four aides to bring the student-teacher ratio as close to one-to-one as possible, said Teresa Heiny, BCSC director of elementary education.

Much of the focus at the academy will be on helping incoming second- and third-graders improve their reading skills and their scores on Indiana’s IREAD-3 standardized test for third grade.

The daily academy began Monday and continues for three weeks. Classes are offered from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at Central Middle School. Students were chosen based on teacher, principal or parent recommendations, and the enrollment has been completed.

Studies show that students can lose more than two months of learning during summer vacation, according to Doug Esamann, state president for Duke Energy.

The grant is part of a series of several statewide grants that Duke Energy is distributing to about 20 of Indiana’s school districts that are within Duke’s territory.

Duke is investing about $400,000 in the program through its charitable foundation, with grants ranging from $9,000 to $36,000.

The grants started as a pilot program three years ago in Fayette County and continued after success with rising test scores there.

Duke then awarded money to schools in Shelby County. Improved test scores there persuaded the company to expand the program further.

If test scores continue to improve in Indiana, Duke’s grant program could be expanded to the five other states where Duke operates — Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky, the company said.

Duke is asking all school districts that receive grants to test students before and after their programs to chart progress, said Dawn Horth, Duke Energy Foundation regional lead.

Documented score improvements could mean additional future grant money, she said.

“It will certainly give them an edge to getting funded again,” Horth said.

Duke Energy grants

The following school corporations received Duke Energy summer reading program grants:

Attica: $22,600

Bartholomew Consolidated: $30,000

East Washington: $10,572

New Albany-Floyd: $13,278

North Lawrence: $34,856

Monroe County: $19,385

Franklin: $9,500

South Dearborn: $19,990

Vincennes: $15,000

Rochester: $8,950

Martinsville: $22,639

Shelbyville: $35,800

Decatur: $16,350

Clinton Central: $19,954

Vigo: $16,111

Sheridan: $21,094

Greater Clark: $15,086

New Castle: $9,677

Avon: $25,000

Kokomo-Center: $25,000

To learn more

Visit duke-energy.com/community for information about the Duke Energy Foundation.