Eagle for Life Foundation continued soaring last year with a $21,000 purchase of STEAM Lab equipment for Newton Community High School.

The STEAM Lab allows students to improve their understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics or STEAM. The goal is to provide an area for integrating curriculum rather than isolating those disciplines, which is a trend in education nowadays. A STEAM Lab offers expanded opportunities for problem solving and creativity.

Creativity is how Eagle for Life Foundation was started in 2017 by Newton High School student Mitch Bierman. He worked out the Foundation idea as his Jasper County CEO business project.

The Foundation has funds for endowment or savings and school improvement purchases. The endowment establishes a permanent fund for future projects, while the improvement fund allows for expenditures each year. The spending for the schools is based on a wish list that has input from different people.

The name Eagle for Life refers to the Foundation supporters, mostly graduates of Newton Community High School. This enables different generations of NCHS alumni to give back to the schools where they got started in education. Yet people who moved to the community recently or years ago are also welcomed to support the Foundation as well.

The first purchase in 2017 by the Foundation includes mats for the high school gym. The mats include an Eagle head and feature the word “Pride.” The cost was $8,000.

In 2018, the Foundation provided $16,828 for a new sound system and helped the PTO with the purchase of new playground equipment at Newton Elementary School. The new playground equipment has been very popular with the students.

This year, Eagle for Life aims to fund purchases of equipment for hands-on and interactive learning experiences. These tools will include physical science equipment, standing student desks, Chromebook classroom management technology, creative writing and vocabulary software, dissection supplies and much more.

The fundraising goal is $21,000 by March 27. Two ways to contribute include online: https://donate.enrichingourcommunity.org/Soaring-to-Success or bring donations to Newton Public Library on March 27.

Corporate sponsors for the 2020 Day of Giving are Agracel, Peoples Bank, Dieterich Bank, First National Bank of Olney and Hershey Inc.