IPS elementary to receive $154,000 donation

IPS # 58 will receive a $154,000
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Indianapolis - On the same day IPS is announcing its plan to cut $21 million from its budget, the district will celebrate a law firm's six-figure donation to one elementary school.

Wednesday, the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister is contributing $154,000 to IPS #58 and its 200 students.

The money will be used in a variety of ways, all of them aimed at helping children in the inner city school get a better education.

It is a needed donation at the school where 85 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches. Only half of them pass the ISTEP exams, but the school is working to improve. The state report card gives the school exemplary progress rating.

Wednesday's donation will provide students with programs to improve their math, reading and writing skills as well as after school activities.

While some of the money will be spent building additional partnerships with other businesses and organizations in the community.

"So then specific businesses can forward and say, we have a solution for that. We can provide tutoring, we can provide mentoring, we can provide some support financially so that if your kids are going home hungry on the weekends we can set up a food pantry. If you kids need clothing, we can purchase uniforms," said Mary Louise Bewley, IPS.

A spokeswoman for Taft Stettinius & Hollister says they adopted the school for a variety of reasons. Some employees are IPS alumni and they believe it is important to support the future of the community.

In addition to paying for educational and outreach programs, employees of the firm are committed to working directly with the children.

"Our kids need lots of support, lots of support. Just to be ready to learn, so these kind of partnerships are huge, and especially it is the human interaction. For many of these kids, more and more of our children are growing up with grandparents. They aren't around male role models. They aren't around folks who maybe get up every morning and go to a job. They learn lots of skills and great advice from people who can tell them what it is like in the world," Bewley said.

The firm isn't the only business stepping up. Last month, Kroger donated nearly $4 million to all IPS schools.

Still, the district is struggling. Wednesday administrators will announce a $21 million budget cutting plan. That plan includes the elimination of 270 teaching positions.