Angels are rarely seen, which may explain why most BCACS families don’t know our schools have a whole host of angels. They move in and out of a small office in the St. Joseph Parish Center staffed by a single employee. It is the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools Foundation.
“We’re always looking for ways to support the fund-raising needs of our schools,” BCACS Foundation Director Louanne McIntyre said.
Formed in 1983, the BCACS Foundation is an entirely separate entity from our schools, yet this non-profit’s sole mission is to support our schools.
“The Foundation helps find money when we need something that will benefit our students or our teachers,” St. Philip High School principal Vicky Groat said. “I don’t think parents fully understand all that the Foundation does for us.”
Every year, the Foundation subsidizes a portion of the schools’ operating budget through its Annual Giving Campaign, which lightens every family’s tuition burden.
Every year, the Foundation raises money for items like building maintenance and technology upgrades. Recently, they secured a $32K security grant to improve buildings on both campuses and raised another $58K to supply a new Chromebook for every high school student and a new iPad for every middle school student.
“Every student has the same, reliable device,” St. Joseph Middle School science teacher Tina Sprague said. “I spend a lot less time troubleshooting technology and more time teaching. A lot of what we do to enrich our teaching would not be possible without the Foundation.”
Every year, the Foundation helps our teachers with special projects. When St. Philip history teacher Kyra Rabbitt secured funding to take the entire high school to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, the Foundation secured a BC Community Foundation grant for charter buses, student lunch expenses, as well as equity and inclusion training for BCACS staff.
“Many teachers have ideas for projects or trips, but they don’t have experience with grant writing,” Mrs. Rabbitt said. “The Foundation is great because they can help with that piece.”
Every year, the Foundation bridges the gap between our donors and our schools. They process these gifts so that they are tax-deductible for the giver and put to the best use for our students. They write our patrons thank-you notes and invite them to school functions – hours of paperwork and planning that would otherwise fall to school staff.
These efforts are why, every year, there is tuition assistance available for those attending our schools and college scholarships available for those graduating from our schools.
“Tuition assistance isn’t derived from an anonymous source, corporation or program, but from parents, parishioners, grandparents, alumni, or parents of alumni who believe in our schools and want to help provide children with the opportunity to experience an excellent, faith-filled education,” BCACS Enrollment Director Cathy Erskine said. “Our BCACS Foundation enables this to happen.”
Right now these angels are looking for a few more angels.
The Foundation has an anonymous donor willing to match every $2 pledged to the 2017-18 Annual Giving Campaign or the building facilities fund with an additional $1 up to $100K. Pledges made by April 1st and paid by May 1st qualify for the match.
If you have a gift to share, contact Louanne McIntyre at 963-4771 or give online at www.bcacs.org.