Topic: Teachers College

March 22, 2007

The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities is seeking donations to offset housing fees for students who might not otherwise be able to attend the school and for other institutional initiatives.

With donations totaling $102,000 already in place, the academy is well on its way to reaching the $150,000 goal set in 2005. The initiative was developed to address a reduction in state funding that required the academy to charge a room and board fee of $1,500.

While students will continue to cover other required costs such as book rentals and yearbook fees, the academy wanted to ensure the new fee didn't keep students from attending, said Vickie Barton, the academy's executive co-director and director of residential and student affairs.

"It's especially important because this is the first year we had to charge our students any cost for any part of room and board," Barton said. "We want to make sure that all of the children who come to the academy have the opportunity to be here no matter what their financial background."

The fundraising is part of the Indiana Academy Plan, designed to strengthen, sustain and advance the institution through three identified financial needs within the school, to which donors can specifically contribute.

They include:

  • The scholars fund — established to offset the $1,500 student housing fee.
  • The impact fund — created to cover requirements and registration fees for students to participate in activities such as camps and conferences
  • The academy fund — set up as an administrative discretionary fund

Donations are encouraged from those who have been impacted by the academy and from anyone who supports educational programs for gifted and talented students.

In Barton's experience, students attend the academy because their educational needs are not met in public school classrooms, where a significant amount of attention is focused on the academically challenged as part of the federal No Child Left Behind programs.

"There is a lot of funding going toward leaving no child behind, but not enough funds going toward helping all children reach their full potential," she said. "The essence of our school is letting children reach their full potential. We don't want them to just be academically OK. We want them to be their best."

For more information or to contribute, contact Karen Staley, development director, at (765) 285-7056 or For more information about the academy, visit

By Jennifer Strempka