Birge family establishes new $1,000,000 endowment to support ENL at North Central
NC Class of ‘89 alumnus Tag Birge and his wife Marta Birge are giving back to North Central in a big way with a generous gift commitment of $1,000,000 to establish an endowment in support of English as a New Language (ENL) programming. The Birge family will provide $500,000 to fund the endowment over the next 5 years as well as a $500,000 estate gift.
The Taggart and Marta Birge North Central ENL Support Endowment will help to expand the ENL program at North Central, providing additional resources to the ENL department faculty and expanded opportunities that support the unique learning needs of ENL students. North Central’s ENL Department Chair Judith Sponseller shares, “This generous endowment will progress our vision to engage our school’s multilingual learners and advance their education, partnering with them and their families to reach English fluency, content knowledge, and high school graduation, and college/career readiness.”
At present, the North Central ENL staff consists of nine staff members who support 538 ENL students. With the help of this endowment, the team is already able to add two new ENL positions this spring.
“The challenge facing us today and in the semesters and years to come will be building and maintaining the faculty and staff needed to provide quality, high-expectation teaching and learning environments for our growing ENL population. This endowment will fund that effort.” – Judith Sponseller
Additionally, the endowment will support an annual recognition award given to an NCHS student who has excelled in their ENL journey.
In honor of this transformational gift, and to express the district’s gratitude to the Birge family for their significant support, the newly renovated NCHS Auditorium will now be known as the Birge Auditorium.
Why North Central
Having attended North Central, Tag knows firsthand the impact it has on students and the future of our community.
“To keep Indianapolis strong, North Central needs to be strong. In our mind, North Central is a gateway to college and society at large. North Central is educating thousands of kids, but the needs have changed. We must make sure North Central has the resources to support these needs and to prepare students for success the way we were. Marta and I hope that our gift will continue to contribute to that long tradition.” – Tag Birge
As an immigrant to the United States herself, and someone who holds a Master’s in Translation, Marta understands the challenges associated with coming to the United States and learning new subjects in a second language.
“It’s not easy, but students with resources can overcome these challenges to rise to the academic challenges of North Central.” – Marta Birge
More about the Birges
Tag and Marta Birge live in Indianapolis with their two sons. They are committed to serving central Indiana families and believe everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their potential. Together, Tag and Marta have helped fund programming at the Mosaic Center in downtown Indianapolis (which cultivates a diverse pipeline of youth to achieve meaningful careers in healthcare), established a DEI Scholarship at the Orchard School as well as a minority Scholarship at Cathedral High School (named after his mother Julia Birge), and Tag currently serves as the lead fundraiser for the Tindley Trailblazer event, personally raising over 100k a year for the Tindley School.
When reflecting on their gift to North Central, the Birges hope that their endowment can make a lasting difference by filling some of the gaps that may hold students back from accomplishing their goals and they can’t wait to see it in action.
Interested in endowed giving or ways you can support North Central and Washington Township Schools? To learn more, please reach out to WTSF Executive Director, Emily Kaiser, at [email protected]. Or click here to give to the annual fund.