SIDNEY — A new charitable fund was recently established to provide materials and programming to support a wide range of arts education for local students. The fund’s donor believes that participation in the arts helps students to develop language, social, decision making and risk-taking skills and helps children become more well-rounded students.
The Ruble Family Keep Art in Your HeART Fund was created by retired Sidney City Schools art teacher Donnajean Ruble to support and augment program expenses for visual, literary, musical or performing arts. 2019 grants are available to educators serving Shelby County students in grades kindergarten through eighth. In 2020, the grants will expand to grades kindergarten through 12.
“My late husband Dennis and I grew up in families that believed in helping others,” said Ruble. “We established this fund because we felt blessed in our lives in so many ways and wanted to share our blessings with the community.”
After discussing the fund and its focus, the Rubles decided upon arts education. “Having been an art educator for over 30 years, I understood how limited arts budgets can be and how extra funds were needed to enhance and supplement programs for students in Shelby County. I was fortunate during my tenure as a teacher to have received several educational grants from a local industry. These grants helped me bring several creative programs to my students because of the extra funds. I just want to put a smile on a teacher’s face when he or she learns that they will be receiving extra money for a needed project,” said Ruble.
The Rubles began issuing arts grants in 2012 from a gift account at the Community Foundation, with the intention of creating a self-sustaining fund in the future. A recent anonymous gift from an individual who is a product of the Sidney City Schools helped launch the Ruble Family Keep Art in Your HeART Fund and will expand its granting resources in 2020.
Classroom teachers and those specializing in visual, literary, musical, or performing arts for students in grades kindergarten through eighth should complete an online application by Nov. 22. The form is accessed on the Community Foundation website at www.commfoun.com. Select Apply for a Grant from the Grants & Scholarships menu and then select the Arts Grants section to locate the Arts Grants Online Proposal.
Any questions can be directed to Marian Spicer at the Community Foundation at 937-497-7800.
Last year’s Ruble Family Arts grants were awarded to Mary Dapore of Russia Local School, Cari Beth Noah of Jackson Center Local School and Peggy Jacob and Kathy Gillman of Sidney’s Longfellow Elementary. The Longfellow Elementary grant provided an inclusive project on birds requiring students to read, write and present. In addition, an Artist In Residence taught students to draw birds, create models from clay and use other hands-on materials that were featured at an evening presentation attended by family and other students.
Over the past 67 years The Community Foundation of Shelby County has helped individuals carry out their charitable wishes during their lifetimes and into the future by establishing a charitable fund. Funds are used to award and support the donor’s chosen organization.