January 15, 2020: District 318 Endowment Fund Awards Over $27,000 in Grants for 2019-2020 School Year

The District 318 Endowment Fund has announced its grants recipients for the 2019-2020 school year. Twenty-five area educators will receive funds totaling $27,472.27 to advance various learning experiences in and out of the classroom for hundreds of District 318 students.

The District 318 Endowment Fund, a non-profit organization, exists to provide supplemental funding independent of the school budget for educational enrichment opportunities for students in District 318 public schools.

Grants awarded for the 2019-2020 school year cover a broad spectrum of education experiences from kindergarten to high school. Every grant winner introduces students to learning opportunities they would not have otherwise had while involving them in activities that build relationships with peers, family and community.

This year’s grants will make possible field trips to the Laurentian Environmental Center and University of Minnesota Duluth’s Marshall Alworth Planetarium. Kindergarteners will stretch their minds using hands-on technology. Woodworking classes will be implemented at the high school. Several projects funded focus on art experiences.

Amy Foster, fourth grade teacher at Cohasset Elementary, has already taken her students to the MacRostie Art Center where students were able to mold clay into pinch pots then glaze them. “Before the trip, we learned some history about ancient pots and what an archeologist does,” explained Foster. “Students also had the opportunity to view and learn about the gallery and meet the artist Leah Yellowbird.”

Megan Dass, third grade teacher at Cohasset Elementary, also wrote an art-focused grant to purchase art supplies for both third grade classrooms. She said, “We will be able to complete masterpieces in a variety of genres with multiple mediums. Our students will truly feel like artists.”

Often grade level teams collaborate on projects and grants. Krista Sjostrand, kindergarten teacher at Southwest Elementary wrote a grant to purchase Osmos for use by all kindergartners at the school. “We recognize the need to introduce technology to our kinders,” said Sjostrand. “Osmo is free of advertisements and provides hundreds of learning opportunities at various levels. These activities will reach our most-struggling learners as well as those who are ready for a bigger challenge, and everyone in between. We are excited to have hands-on manipulatives with technology to assist us in better meeting the needs of all our students.”

The second-grade level team at Southwest also collaborated on a grant to provide several field trips to explore how a community works. They will visit places like the grocery store, post office, and library.

Señora Rachel Pierce, Spanish teacher at Robert J. Elkington Middle School, often seeks grants to fund cultural immersion opportunities. “With these funds my students will be traveling to Festival of Nations in May and experiencing two intense days of hands-on Spanish cooking in class, while using our new food processor,” Pierce said. “They will also be my first group of students who are able to try out the amazing online Spanish interactive subscription called, “Señor Wooly.”

There are many criteria the board considers when determining which grants to fund, encouraging creative and innovative projects to enhance the educational experience. Funds were awarded to each district school that submitted a grant application. Although not directly affiliated with District 318, any district employee may submit a grant to the endowment.

Funding for the District 318 Endowment Fund is community-driven, made possible by generous donors to assist and enhance the education of kids in our schools. Donations to the fund support the view that education is an essential investment in our future. For more information or to donate visit www.legacyofgreatness.org.