In support of Hopkins Public Schools’ trajectory from Great to World Class, HEF is pleased to announce eleven grant awards, propelling our total contribution past the $2.7Million mark.
HEF-funded projects spark excitement as they offer authentic learning opportunities. This cycle, they range in scope from a Facility Dog at West Junior High; a sensory path at Tanglen Elementary school; boat building at Alice Smith Elementary; as well as an afterschool class at North Junior High that will combine math assistance with mental health coaching. Below is a summary of each of the eleven grants.
In our land of 10,000 lakes, crafting birchbark canoes is the perfect medium for Alice Smith 5th and 6th graders to practice teamwork and problem-solving through the hands-on building process. Guided by renowned non-profit Urban Boatbuilders of St. Paul in a ‘lab’ setting, students will gain much more than the satisfaction of creating and launching a water-tight craft. Read more.
MCubed (Math x Mental Health x Mindset) – $5,000 – North Junior High – Sue Edwards, Jodi Markuson, Micki Mandell
MCubed is an innovative and exciting approach for bringing students up to grade level in math while practicing life skills in a socially, emotionally safe afterschool setting. Targeted students are those facing a variety of ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences). Learning the ‘hard skills’ of math dovetails well with training in the ‘soft skills’ needed for all areas of their lives. Read more.
PAWSitivity – $4,000 – West Junior High – Gillian McNeal, Corenne Larsen, Anamaria Washburn, Morgan McKindles, Adrienne Korsman
West Junior High is getting a new full-time staff member with four legs and a tail, who’ll be paid in kibble and hugs. This working Facility Dog will report every day to WJH and be scheduled in a variety of services and activities. It will truly be a community dog promoting relationships with and between students, offering emotional support such as de-escalation, coping with daily stress, and processing emotions to succeed in school. Read more.
Sensory Path – Much More Than a Yellow Brick Road – $1,500 – Tanglen – Wendy Dellis, Alyssa Winterfeldt
All Tanglen students (and staff, too) will benefit from this colorful, interactive sensory path – easily accessible in a Tanglen hallway. Sensory motor breaks are an effective tool to promote learning, and an instructional tool for ALL about the importance of sensory regulation. The path will provide these breaks through a wide range of fun activities, requiring students to use their senses and focus their energy. Read more.
The theater program at West Junior High is expanding its playbill of performances; this grant to provide stage lighting and a professional light board for student training will offer the opportunity for increased student involvement, both in and beyond the classroom. Learning theater technical skills is a detailed endeavor in ‘backward design’ – deciding how a finished product will look and then making that happen. Read more.
The focus of this grant is to build problem-solving skills in Alice Smith’s K-2 learners through more exposure to STEM activities. Enrichment, challenge, and hands-on learning will benefit all students and help decrease the opportunity gap. Read more.
With this grant, Transition Plus (T-Plus) students are expanding their repertoire of marketable skills to include design/build hydroponic grow systems. HEF will fund the tools and materials to seed this new endeavor of the Project Based Learning Class, part of the T-Plus curriculum. Read more.
Opportunity=Access=Achievement: Closing the ACT Opportunity Gap – $2,655 – Hopkins High School – Jeff Matchette, Kristin Greene, Jennifer Heimlich
The ACT test is a high-stakes ‘entrance exam’ for college-bound students. HHS will offer a class specifically for those who have the desire, but not the means, to crack open this sometimes elusive window to higher education. Read more.
For nearly 40 years, Harley Hopkins has been spending staff time laboriously tracking the learning toys, games, and books available to families from their Lending Closet. This HEF grant allows for a modern computerized/scanner system to streamline the whole library and greatly increase access to those high-demand learning activities and resources, including the Autism Library. Read more.
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. Through HEF’s grant, the 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. Read more.
Bicycle Repair Program – $400 – West Junior High – John Dempsey
There’s a special pride earned in repairing something discarded and deemed trash-worthy. This grant provides (Setting IV) special education students with the tools and equipment to set up a ‘bike shop’ (at the Hopkins Pavilion Alternative Setting) to do just that. Read more.