Huntington, Ind.— Huntington College recently received a $100,000 grant from the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation. The funds, to be used over a three-year term, will help underwrite the MindScape Program and Academy at Thornhill Nature Preserve in Huntington County.
The English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation was established in 1972 by Mary Tower English, Louise Bonter and Mary Elizabeth Mitchell. The foundation was established in honor of Dr. Calvin English, who was the first medical director of the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. The foundation is administered by National City Bank in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A local committee approves distributions from the foundation.
“We had a beginning step with Huntington College when there was the opportunity to help fund the Science building,” said Jim Johnston, Executive Vice President and Northern Indiana Group President of National City Bank. “Because of that connection, and the English, Bonter, Mitchell Foundation’s history of helping the education system in northern Indiana, the Foundation was attracted to supporting the program.”
“Huntington’s MindScape Program offers a tremendous tie with various youth programs and secondary education systems in the area,” continued Johnston. “The College is an important asset not only to the Huntington community but also to all of northern Indiana.”
Huntington College and the community schools have collaborated since 1999 to bring the MindScape program to students in grades K-12. MindScape has three main objectives: to enhance traditional classroom instruction, to improve students’ attitudes toward learning, and to encourage students in Indiana to aspire to higher education.
MindScape offers outdoor classes at Huntington College’s Thornhill Nature Preserve. Area students participate in the program in two distinct ways: field trips and the MindScape Academy. Field trips are offered to students in grades K-12 in a wide variety of subject areas including math, language arts, history, science, art, and physical education. All curriculum units align with state standards and are meant to provide enrichment activities which complement what is being taught in the classroom. The curriculum was designed by Huntington College professors and local school teachers. Classes are taught primarily by Huntington College education majors.
The MindScape Academy is offered to eighth grade students based on the recommendation of teachers and guidance counselors. The academy meets one Saturday per month during the school year, and each month a different subject matter is covered. These classes all provide outdoor, experiential learning. Some of the courses include forensic science, nature photography, web page design, creative writing, music composition, dog sledding, and wilderness survival. In addition, students are provided with information and training on how to explore and choose careers, pick a college major, and what steps in take during high school to prepare for college.
Huntington College is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 60 academic concentrations. US News & World Report ranks Huntington among the Top 10 comprehensive colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana.
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