$44,159 for 13 grants; six are focused on cutting-edge student health and wellness
In Hopkins Public Schools, student success is measured by much more than a letter grade. Hopkins believes that actively teaching students how to be well leads to a strong successful community, and active, engaged learners. Health and wellness is for everyone and extends far beyond the classroom, yet has a direct impact on academics. HEF is awarding six ‘wellness’ grants this fall, to kick-off a district-wide initiative in partnership with District leadership. These include a host of hands-on components for students, as well as teacher training. Research clearly shows that social and emotional wellbeing is directly correlated to student learning.
Hopkins Schools Superintendent Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed notes: “By engaging the whole student, we increase his or her ability to concentrate, to meet rigorous challenges, to develop resilience, and to achieve life-long success. Our collective goal is to provide our students with the tools to thrive, now and long after they have left Hopkins.”
Since 1995, HEF has awarded more than 400 grants totaling more than $2.6 million to Hopkins schools. Each grant engages Hopkins students through enriching educational experiences. You can see all of our grants by school, by curriculum area, or by year awarded.
Classroom Supports for Self-Regulation — $4,372 — Harley Hopkins Family Center — Sarah Chovan, Kathy Willett, Lori Lorenz
A large part of being fully ready for Kindergarten is learning to self-calm and focus, to learn to stay positively engaged with a teacher and classmates. Weighted sensory lap pads, breathing balls, and fidget toys are just a few examples of simple yet effective tools that Harley Hopkins will purchase with this grant. Read more.
Give Me a Break — $2,393 — Glen Lake Elementary– Sher Unruh-Friesen
When students learn how to regulate their bodies and calm themselves, they are happier, ready to learn and empowered for the rest of their lives. HEF is partnering with Glen Lake to expand the school’s current offerings to purposefully and proactively address sensory dysregulation for any student who needs a quiet space or sensory input such as a weighted vest, to focus or calm themselves. Read more.
Growing Gardens, Fueling Minds — $9,510 — District-Wide — Barbara Mechura, Erica Iverson, Rachel Valesano
Four mobile tower gardens (fast growing pyramids of 28 plants) will be rotated through all elementary school cafeterias to engage 6th grade students in nutrition, hands-on food prep and healthy eating. In two ‘growing seasons’ at each school, basil will be harvested to flavor a homemade marinara sauce and cilantro will be added to a tropical salad of melon, pineapple and mango. Read more.
Hopkins High School Student Campaign — $5,000 — Community Education — Holly Magdanz, Katie Williams, Doug Bullinger
HEF, along with Community Ed, will co-fund the assistance of Community Blueprint, a local social marketing company that develops successful campaigns around policy, prevention, and behavior change initiatives. Community Blueprint will work with a Student Advisory Board, a representative group of HHS’s student population, to create messaging around destigmatizing the challenges that today’s teens face. Read more.
Student Wellness = Student Success — $5,700 — District-Wide — Linda Gardner, Becky Allen
Wellness is for everyone, and HEF is partnering with District leadership to establish a cohesive wellness program, solidifying and expanding what is already being done throughout our schools. . Read more.
Trauma Sensitive Self-Regulation Room — $4,535 — Alice Smith — Michelle Stanford, Leah Rusakov
Alice Smith Elementary School is one of Hopkins ‘trauma sensitive’ schools, focused on mitigating barriers to student learning, such as high rates of stress and adversity from homelessness, poverty, neglect, abuse, immigration, and more. A team, including special education staff and a therapist, has been evaluating the success of various interventions to help students in crisis feel safe, and to teach them to identify and regulate their often overwhelming emotions, which can lead to behavioral outbursts. HEF will now fund a specific Self-Regulation Room designed for sensory breaks. Read more.
Air-Propelled Racing Car — $571 — Tanglen — Keenan Jones
Tanglen 6th grade teacher Keenan Jones has issued a challenge to his students: who can design, engineer, and build the fastest air-propelled car by race day deadline? This project will involve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) as well as language arts and reading curricula. Read more.
Edquity: Preparing for College with Finances in Mind — $1,600 — Hopkins High School — Erik Thompson, Jennifer Heimlich
Edquity is a software program for juniors and seniors in the AVID program – often the first of their family to go to college – to curate a list of feasible colleges based on GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and financial factors. Edquity helps the HHS school counselors guide students through the application process because it shows what each school’s cost will be, as well as the student’s financial responsibility AFTER graduation, allowing for true comparisons. Read more.
Lego Wall — $500 — Glen Lake — Jeff Radel
Small groups of students will use buckets of Lego bricks for purposeful mathematical challenges, for designing and building, for marble runs, for artistic creations, and for engaging before and after school fun. Glen Lake may even join the schools across the country that participate in engineering challenges via Twitter. Read more.
Mobile Makerspaces — $3,988 — Gatewood — Amy Kodet, Dawn Lindblom
Two Mobile Makerspace carts at Gatewood have the potential to reach every student as they provide both high-tech and low-tech experiences ranging from robotics and coding to sewing, cardboard challenges, and recycled projects. Read more.
Outdoor Playscapes and Environmental Learning — $3,500 — Gatewood Stepping Stones and Ready 4 K — Coreen Hagon, Cathryn Nelson-Wagner, Emily Holmgren
HEF will fund expansion of Gatewood’s enriching outdoor classroom space specifically for its youngest Pre-Kindergarten students, based on definitive research defining the importance of purposeful outdoor learning. Students will practice gross motor skills on a log balance beam and curved wooden balance boards and create wonderful loud music with outdoor xylophones and drums. Read more.
Project-Based Learning Opportunities for Students with Unique Learning Needs– $500 — Transition Plus — Tom Kvale
Transition Plus services special needs students that have graduated from high school but qualify for continued special education services under federal law, and are actively engaged in a variety of project based learning (PBL) activities. This HEF grant will purchase reusable hand tools such as hammers and screw drivers, hand drills, squares, tape measures and paint brushes, along with supplies of screws, nails and wood to actively engage students in hands-on development of practical skills. Read more.
Ukuleles Offer New Musical Opportunities– $1,990 — Eisenhower / XinXing — Jonathan Feulner
Jonathan Feulner, music teacher at Eisenhower/XinXing Academy, is an experienced ukulele teacher and knows the allure of the small instrument. HEF is funding 30 instruments, expanding the school’s instrument library enough for 160 more students to learn chords, rhythm patterns, and the role of harmony. Read more.