The Hopkins Education Foundation (HEF) recently awarded more than $38,000 in grants to Hopkins Public Schools. Eleven grants were awarded for their ability to engage students, energize learning and enhance the curriculum.
This cycle of grants have helped HEF propel their total contributions in Hopkins past $2.7 million. HEF-funded projects offer life-long skills, reinforce the curriculum, spark excitement and offer authentic learning opportunities.
The most recent grants include repairing bicycles at West Junior High, a class at Hopkins High School to close a long-standing ACT opportunity gap, STEM enrichment kits at Alice Smith, and much more. See the full list of awarded grants below.
Urban Boatbuilding, $12,000
Alice Smith - Maggie Lund, Mykenna Yesnes
Fifth- and sixth-graders at Alice Smith Elementary will craft birchbark canoes through a hands on building process to practice teamwork and problem-solving. Guided by Urban Boatbuilders of St. Paul, students will use STEM curriculum as they follow building plans, use specialized tools and materials, and work together to troubleshoot. Students will also explore the ways diverse cultures, including Native American, have contributed to technology, engineering, and design through watercraft.
MCubed (Math x Mental Health x Mindset), $5,000
North Junior High - Sue Edwards, Jodi Markuson, Micki Mandell
MCubed is an innovative approach to bring students up to grade level in math while practicing life skills in a socially, emotionally safe after school setting. The group will meet once per week for two hours.
West Junior High - Gillian McNeal, Corenne Larsen, Anamaria Washburn, Morgan McKindles, Adrienne Korsman
West Junior High will get a facility dog. The dog will offer emotional support such as de-escalation, coping with daily stress, and process emotions to succeed in school. Facility dogs are known to improve social-emotional skills and reduce dysregulation.
Sensory Path, $1,500
Tanglen Elementary - Wendy Dellis, Alyssa Winterfeldt
Sensory Path will provide Tanglen Elementary with an interactive sensory path hallway. The path will help with sensory breaks that allow students to use their senses and focus their energy. A few minutes following the directions of the path can increase concentration to create active and willing learners ready to focus.
Backstage ‘Magic,’ $5,663
West Junior High - Janine Burns, Donna Phillippot, Danielle Boor
The West Junior High theater program will use this grant to provide stage lighting and a professional light board for student training. Learning theater technical skills will become a part of the design cycle as students discover that theatrical magic is a true skill set based on attention to detail, math, science, circuits, electricity, following a script, and teamwork.
STEM Enrichment for Young Learners, $2,080
Alice Smith Elementary - Doreen Carlson, Susan Gruidl
More exposure to STEM activities will help build problem-solving skills in Alice Smith’s K-2 learners. Students will use LEGO Early Simple Machines, reusable kits that that act as a tactile activity for young learners and inspire higher level thinking skills. ‘Tinkering’ will induce confidence in a fun, simple level of science. Core math and science curriculum will be addressed.
Growing Healthy Food and Life-long Skills, $800
Transition Plus - Thomas Kvale
Students will learn to grow their own healthy food as well as design and build the gardens with hydroponic gardens. The fast growth of the produce keeps students engaged, and helps them acquire skills required for long term employment and independent living.
Opportunity=Access=Achievement: Closing the ACT Opportunity Gap, $2,655
Hopkins High School - Jeff Matchette, Kristin Greene, Jennifer Heimlich
Through an earlier HEF grant, Hopkins High School students were given access to ACT test-prep software. This grant takes the project a step further by offering tutoring during TASC, the weekly time period already set aside for receiving follow-up or help in any class.
Computerizing the Lending Closet, $450
Harley Hopkins Family Center - Mary Hromatka, Katie Clark
A modern computerized/scanner system will help streamline the library and increase access to those high-demand learning activities and resources, including the Autism Library.
Meeting Families Where They Are, $3,504
Harley Hopkins Family Center - Katie Horner, Justina Miller, Kris Torborg
Early childhood special education speech-language pathologists will help parents promote early communication in their own homes for their child who is communicatively delayed. Speech pathologists will receive training in ‘It Takes Two to Talk,’ a parent-implemented intervention program with a proven track-record of success across a myriad of spoken languages.
Bicycle Repair Program, $400
West Junior High, John Dempsey
Tools and equipment to set up a ‘bike shop’ will be provided for special education students. Guided by John Dempsey, who has been repairing bikes and other machines for more than 40 years, students will learn mechanical skills, physics, and proper tool handling through the excitement of hands-on learning. Discarded bicycles will be collected from local police departments and repaired.