Bluestem Association for Student Education (B.A.S.E.) originated in 1997 with a few people who met with the idea that Bluestem Schools needed a charitable foundation to benefit the district. Thus in 1998 after writing the Articles of Incorporation, receiving 501(c)3 status, and developing our Mission Statement, BASE was established. Funding began with a trickle of gifts and the first small classroom grant was awarded.
Over the years, BASE members have held a number of fund-raising events including haunted houses, garden and home tours, concession stands, serving dinners & receptions, and Turkey Hunt lunches; each to raise money for the foundation. All the while, numbers of Bluestem employees continue to make monthly charitable contributions to BASE. These funds have been returned to the classroom in the form of grants to support innovative curriculum and teaching materials for Bluestem students including weight training equipment, video equipment, health curriculum, science set, Reading A-Z, microphone headsets, digital photography, pottery wheel, TruTouch TV, Overdrive ebooks, electronics, partial funding of an iPod lab, greenhouse projects, Kids Writing Tablets, STEM Education, Flex in the Middle and others.
BASE awards 7 scholarships in memory of Sam Parsons, Donna Cornish, David Kohls, Don Jones, Cathy Wilson, “CHOKE” and John Worrell. BASE also provides the funding for the Community Service Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded annually to Bluestem graduates. Other memorial gifts have included providing Christmas gifts to needy families in our community, purchasing yearbooks for underprivileged students and library books for our school library.
Members of the community as well as businesses, both large and small, have made a significant difference in the number and quality of BASE grants awarded. This has made a big impact on our community over the last 24 years. Employee giving, memorials, and other gifts have allowed BASE to give out $65,000 in scholarships and $90,000 in classroom grants to benefit Bluestem students.