‘Terrific’ friends come together for community reading project

A person in a green and white shirt sits on a low chair reading to children gathered around in an arc around him on the floor
Longfellow Elementary School student Isabella Foster reads Charlotte’s Web to Longfellow Principal Gerry Moore and her schoolmates A’Nyiah Shannon and Rashaud Hill.
Longfellow Elementary School student Isabella Foster reads Charlotte’s Web to Longfellow Principal Gerry Moore and her schoolmates A’Nyiah Shannon and Rashaud Hill.

“Some pig’ really brought the community together in September.
“Charlotte’s Web” was the focus of a community-wide reading initiative, culminating in Muncie Civic Theatre’s production of the classic tale at Southside High School. 
The initiative, designed to get kids excited about reading, was led by a team of executives from Muncie Civic Theatre, Heart of Indiana United Way, Muncie Community Schools, and Muncie Public Library.


  • Every third and fourth-grade student in Muncie Community Schools received a free copy of the book, thanks to support from Northwest Bank and Altrusa Foundation. 
  • Muncie Public Library locations offered audiobooks – in several languages – available for families to check out and listen to together. 
  • Muncie Civic Theatre offered four free daytime school matinees for MCS students, sponsored by Meridian Health Services. 
  • Muncie Community Schools students made “Charlotte’s Web”-themed art and prepared special songs that were part of the Civic Theatre performance.  
  • Muncie Civic Theatre provided free performances of the play for families participating in this community read initiative.  
  • Muncie Altrusa Club volunteered to read “Some Pig,” an early-reader picture book version of “Charlotte’s Web,” to elementary students. 
  • Several childcare centers and after-school programs worked on crafts, activities, and games they shared with each other and families to build interest and fun around the story.  
  • Muncie Civic Theatre presented “Charlotte’s Web” at Southside Middle School.

Promoting Dual Language Immersion

Screenshot of video showing a laptop screen advertising dual language education

In this project Advanced Spanish students collaborated with elementary schools to promote their dual language immersion (DLI) programs. Students explored the state of bilingualism in the U.S. and the benefits of programs like these to enable students in developing proficiency in both Spanish and English, strengthening academic learning and achievement, and cultivating intercultural sensitivity. The final community products included ten-week virtual reading/mentoring sessions in Spanish for 2nd graders, design and production of promotional materials to promote the benefits of dual language immersion programs, and Spanish translations of several procedure and policy documents for DLI programs to make more materials accessible to Spanish-speaking families. Blog Post | Digital Showcase 

Spring 2021 Semester

Faculty Mentor: Chin-Sook Pak
Department: Spanish
Community Partner: Muncie Community Schools
Students: Dani Allen, Rachel Armstrong, Madeline Backs, Jazmin Castillo-Soto, Bethany Elmore, Rebekah Hoffer, Amanda Huynh, Denise Jacquez, Jacob Newlin, Elizabeth Rieth, María Sanchez Cisneros, Darla Thomas, Peyton Thompson, Carl Torrence, Amy Wyse & Jerome Zirnheld

Fall 2020 Semester

Faculty Mentor: Chin-Sook Pak
Department: Spanish
Community Partners: Muncie Community Schools, West View Elementary
Students: Rachel Armstrong, Bethany Elmore, Bailey Fields, Joely Gause, Rebekah Hoffer, Denise Jacquez, Jordan Kasuboski, Cecilia Lambertson, Alexandra Martin, Justin Persinger, Maddie Ramsell, Elizabeth Rieth, Abigail Shaw, Grant Sturgis, Darla Thomas, Peyton Thompson, Jerome Zirnheld, Jenni Cruz, Edgar de Santiago, Karina de Santiago, Rosa Gonzalez, Stephanie Gutierrez, Hannah Hyde, Denise Jacquez, Lauren Lara, Diana Martinez, Daisy Mendoza, Alina Murrugarra, Ashley Navarro Rodriguez, Blanca Ortiz, Yatzari Perez-Muñoz, María Sanchez Cisneros & Isabelle Wright


Fall 2019 Ball State Immersive Learning Projects

Ball State faculty, students, and community partners worked together this Fall on a number of immersive learning projects in and around Muncie.

Beneficence Records (ongoing)
Faculty Mentor:  Daniel Porter, School of Music
Community Partner:  Indiana Public Radio

Campus Sexual Assault and Rape Culture in the Age of #MeToo 
Faculty Fellow:  Jill Christman, Department of English
Community Partner:  Jana’s Campaign and The Facing Project

Computer Science for Middle Schoolers (CS4MS) (ongoing)
Faculty Mentor:  Dave Largent, Department of Computer Science
Community Partners:  Burris Laboratory School, Muncie Central High School, Northside Middle School

i-Made (Indiana Made) Muncie:  Custom Fabricated Design-through-Production (ongoing)
Faculty Mentor:  Kevin Klinger, Department of Architecture
Community Partners:  Indiana Hardwoods (IHLA), Midwest Metals, Minnetrista, Mobile Market

The Junior Producers Club
Faculty Mentor:  Christoph Thompson, School of Music
Community Partners:  Boys and Girls Club, Buley Community Center

Makerspaces as an Opportunity to Cultivate and Reinforce Cultural Identity in Post-Industrial Cities 
Faculty Fellow:  Laura Romano, Department of English
Community Partner:  Muncie Arts and Culture Council

Muncie Micro-Cinema
Faculty Mentor:  Maura Jasper, School of Art
Community Partner:  Muncie Arts and Culture Council

Muncie Neighborhood Visual Identity Design (ongoing)
Faculty Mentor:  Shantanu Suman, School of Art
Community Partners:  Building Better Neighborhoods, Muncie Action Plan

Preserving the Past and Looking Toward the Future:  Historic Preservation and Digital Storytelling for a Muncie Landmark Church
Faculty Mentor:  Peggy Fisher, Department of Communication Studies
Community Partner:  St. Mary Church

Reconstructed Early Language and Literacy Learning: Addressing school readiness through critically conscious listening centers
Faculty Mentors:  Emily Hoffman, Department of Early Childhood, Youth and Family Studies; Kristin Cipollone, Department of Elementary Education
Community Partner:  Huffer Memorial Children’s Center

Resiliency Plan for Muncie
Faculty Mentor: Michael Burayidi, Department of Urban Planning
Community Partner: City of Muncie

Sitting at the Feet of our Muncie Elders:  Stories of Resistance and Resiliency
Faculty Mentor: Darolyn “Lyn” Jones
Community Partner: Westminster Village, Muncie Delaware County Senior Center, Moth Danner and YART (Yard Sale for Art).

Children Facing Challenges Literature Project

Students enrolled in a two-course practicum partnered with Wes Del Elementary and learned about life-challenges faced by children in the Muncie community. Areas of research involved such difficult topics as food insecurity, child neglect, divorce, drug addiction, in addition to other challenges. Ball State students then evaluated and selected children’s literature that provides support to these children and the immediate community. Supportive text-related activities were developed around book selections and students worked within the school to provide in-service training for the curriculum. Finally, they worked to determine the impact of the project on the school community and the students themselves.

Faculty Mentor: Carolyn Hitchens
Departments: Elementary Education
Community Partners: Wes Del Elementary
Students: Natalie Carder, Julia Coons, Dannielle Delee, Courtney Eck, Audrey Gemberling, Lauryn Gray, Hannah Hewson, Jessica Howell, Chrissy Kennedy, Kelsey Kincanon, Megan Marchal, Anna Portwood, Mackenzie Sheets, Riley Worden

Second Harvest Food Bank Video Project

Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission is to provide food, education and advocacy for people experiencing food insecurity. Most people in the area are familiar with Second Harvest’s hunger-relief and food banking activities, but the organization offers a range of lesser known programs and services that focus on the root causes of food insecurity and assist people in becoming more financially independent. This digital media project was Phase I in a series of projects that will explore how digital media assets, especially video, could help Second Harvest prioritize and promote its continuum of programs and, in doing so, help to attract more clients, volunteers and supporters in the future.

Faculty Mentors: Tim Pollard, Suzanne Plesha
Departments: Telecommunications, Immersive Learning
Community Partner: Second Harvest Food Bank
Students: Miguel Arteaga, Troy Baker, Emma Brashear, Matthew Carson, Daniel Clements, Courtney Correll, Randal Dorsett, Malorie Gill, Briana Hale, Colton Howard, James Johnson, Lauryn Jones, Sean McGarry, Sherill Osborne, Nikolas Risser, Mariana Rodriguez

Second Harvest School Pantries Study

Sociology Capstone students partnered with Second Harvest to conduct face-to-face interviews to gather program evaluation data regarding community member needs and to measure the impact that school pantries are having on student and family engagement.

Faculty Mentor: Melinda Messineo
Department: Sociology
Community Partner: Second Harvest
Students: Adriana Arthur, Katrina Brown, Katina Clark, Whittney Coffman, Julia Conn, Jazmin Deshazer, Laura Drascic, Sam Fields, Sara Garland, Tonya Gregorash, Jennifer Harkcom, Jaze Harris, Stacey Hodges, Griffin Janosky, Devaugn Jones, Drea Kolkinn, Amber Levi, Kerrigan Mccormack, Katie Morris, Sam Mulholland, Emily O’Lena, Malik Paeham-Dunner, Sarah Powell, Ian Quasat, Shelby Sims