The SLP Public Schools Foundation is pleased to present the recipients of the 2018-19 Innovative Classroom Grants.
Twenty-one grant awards totaled $67,662.58 and focus on STEM (15%), Reading (28), the Arts (23%), and Transitions (33%).
SLP Concert Choir to Carnegie Hall
The HS Concert choir will perform at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, June 9, 2019. The concert is "Calling All Dawns" by Christopher Tin, and conducted by the composer himself. All Concert Choir students who have indicated a desire to participate will be able to participate regardless of their ability to pay. Students will all be immersed in the highest caliber musical instruction / rehearsal.This experience will have a lasting impact on these students. The grant will not fund the entire trip, but defrays some of the costs with a matching grant.
Middle School Transition Collaboration
Fifth grade teachers at Susan Lindgren will have an opportunity to observe middle school classes and meet with the MS staff for a discussion. The staff members will address ways to improve communication between sites and discuss skills and experiences that would benefit 5th grade students before entering the middle school. Fifth grade teachers will have a better understanding of what life is like at the middle school and adjust instruction and procedures to better prepare their students academically and emotionally for success at the middle school. Susan Lindgren teachers be able to field parent questions from parents about the middle school. Making connections with middle school staff will make it easier to maintain connection between the sites in the future.
Classroom Books/Guided Reading Books At Aquila
The grant will be used to purchase both guided reading book sets as well as leveled classroom library books. These books will be balanced between fiction and non-fiction and include titles that go along with the IB Planners.This money will support the areas of reading currently lacking in the collection. Our first grade team has spent many hours and energy at trainings regarding independent reading and guided reading.
All first grade students at Aquila will benefit from this grant. The books will be shared and distributed evenly so that every student has equal access to these books.
Replacement Purchase of Afro-Caribbean Drums
The World Drumming class at SLPSH is in it's 8th year.. I have led the program the past 7 years. It has tripled in size , grown in quality/pride, and spread to the SLP Middle School, despite an operating budget of $0 annually.
The grant will be used to purchase new equipment to replace drums that are damaged or beyond repair.
The diverse group of students has performed at the state music education (MMEA) convention, senior homes, PSI Elementary School, HS multicultural events, and at a National BARR convention held in St. Louis Park. The students learn teamwork, respect, work ethic, performance skills, African/Caribbean music appreciation, rhythmic independence, drumming skills, respect for diversity, music composition and music improvisation.
The best of the old equipment will be donated to other schools with even fewer resources.
Audiobooks for Struggling Readers
The purchase of a school/institutional membership to Learning Ally is giving struggling high school readers access to narrated audiobooks with “voice text” (text is highlighted as audio is heard). A second year of an Institutional Membership to Learning Ally will build on the success of this first year, when over 50 students actively used audiobooks. Over 2/3 of the accounts actively used were used by Students of Color.This resource is a way to build reading success. As many as 280 students qualify for use of the program. Reading is a critical component for all academic success and this program reaches out to students who most need the support.
Building and Design: Flower Boxes at the High School
This grant pairs students from the Learning Disabilities Math class with Developmentally Cognitively Disabled (DCD) students and the woodworking class. They are collaborating to design flower boxes, build them, and use a budget to determine what will need to be purchased in terms of dirt/flowers/vegetables etc. SLD math students will put their skills in a geometry unit to practical use as they create a design for flower boxes that can be placed outside the school(s). The SLD math class will collaborate with the Woodworking class to have the flower boxes built to size. The DCD students will then apply basic budgeting skills to determine what and how much can be purchased based on given amounts of money. Planting of the boxes will be completed during the students' plants unit in Science class. Together, multiple student groups will work together to use their academic skills in a practical way. The flower boxes will be on display to show student work.
St. Louis Park Public Schools Family Engagement Event: "Screenagers" Viewing and Wellness Fair
Screenagers is a documentary created by Primary Care Physician Delaney Ruston that delves into the struggles facing our children concerning social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. host a public viewing of this film. This grant will bring this documentary to St. Louis Park for a public viewing in the early fall. All St. Louis Park Public Schools families and their children will be invited to attend. There will be a wellness fair before or after the event to share community supports and resources for families. The goal of this grant is to enhance learning about technology use for all of our St. Louis Park Schools students and their families.
This grant provides money to add one additional pottery wheel to be allow the inclusion of more students. A good quality document cameras for the Painting & Drawing room and the Pottery Room will be used for demonstrations.
HS Pottery students, Community Ed pottery students, as well as painting and drawing students will benefit from this equipment. The recording feature on the camera will enable teachers to post video tutorials for students who miss demonstration or need to go back to review it.
Year II: Using Spoken Word Poetry and Rap to examine Minority Group Cultures
Last year, the students in the course: Revisiting Ethnicity and Culture in US History engaged in a two week Spoken Word Poetry project. This proved to be very successful in terms of establishing a shared definition of race, ethnicity and culture and cultivating a Courageous Conversations protocol for engaging in discussions about race. This project proved paramount to the success of the course.
Year 2 will allow students to engage in a similar, week-long Spoken Word project with artist Toussaint Morrison, followed by a longer period of unpacking, understanding and learning from each other's pieces.
Here are some statements from last year's participants:
"It was a really fun activity, very personal on a good level."
"It was nice because it was the first time in school that I had the time to think about how I felt about my ethnicity."
"Toussaint brought a great amount of energy to the class, and I hope he comes back next year even though I won't be here."
"Spoken word is an amazing art form for expressing yourself and I gained the confidence through this activity."
K-5 Peter Hobart Mind UP Curriculum
The grant funds the supplies, books, and training for each to implement MindUp. The curriculum fosters social and emotional awareness, enhances psychological well-being, and promotes academic success. MindUP teaches students how their brain functions and offers insights that respond to the natural thoughtfulness of young people and lead to self-regulation of their behavior to promote more time in class, growing and learning.
The MindUP curriculum promotes joyful engagement in learning, which is essential to the success of our learners. MindUP addresses these obstacles to productive learning and living by offering students, teachers, and families simple practices and insights that become tools for self-management and self-possession.
The MindUP program will be used at every grade level.
The grant will be used to purchase equipment for the district wide 5th Grade Track meet in May. This includes a starters pistol and primers, award ribbons, stopwatches, rechargable megaphones, a shelter canopy, and batons.
This grant continues funding Aquila Theater Arts for one additional year. The funding would be used to provide costumes for all students participating in the school musical. The rental fee for a backdrop and transportation to the High School for performances is part of the grant. This funding for the 2018-2019 school year will make it possible to collect enough donations and community partnerships to make theAquila Theater Arts program self-sustaining.
Preschool Science Discovery Kits
This grant provides funding for science kits equipped with the tools, equipment, and engaging materials needed to provide compelling science experiences for scientific inquiry for preschoolers. Each kit will have an inquiry theme & each classroom will cycle through all themes over the course of a school year. The inquiry themes are Magnets/The Human Body/Plants/Lights-Magnification/Motion-Ramps-Blocks Play/Sink-Float/Animal Life Cycles/and Outdoor Discovery. The materials in each kit will be materials chosen to foster exploration & hands-on learning integrated with purposeful science lessons.
Leveled Literacy Intervention For HS English Language learners
This grant is being used to purchase the
Fountas and Pinnel Reading program to support the Level 2 (Entering/Basic) EL classroom at the high school. inference, finding the main idea and analyzing text, are critical components of successful reading.
This reading intervention system will build a solid foundation in reading skills, access prior knowledge/skills that students may have in their first language (L1), and prepare students for their next level of English, be it Level 3, Level 4 or mainstream.
Engineering and Fab Lab
This grant allowed the High School to purchase two SLA (3D) printers and start up supplies for the combined science, engineering, Fab Lab and Robotics curriculum. Students use CAD to design custom parts to function with their Lego(TM) pieces to create a robot capable of navigating through a maze. Students can use the SLA to print models and a variety of objects that can be used in Robotics projects. Learners benefit greatly from the SLA printers as they see their design go from the abstract on the computer to a functioning prototype in hours. The cutting-edge technology is an example of real world applications in the classroom.
Girls Empowerment Group: Building Together & Healthy Transitions
The Girls Groups at SLP Middle School and Aquila Elementary focus on ways to help girls to transition into middle school, maintain positive experience in middle school, and then transition from middle school. Through discussions, workshops, group coaching and one on one coaching, girls discover their purpose, learn how to get there, build strong relationships with others.The grant will be used for materials (arts, crafts, curriculum, books), guest speakers (small gifts), snacks, Holiday Community Project, Women's Month Field Trip, team building strategies, workshops, Positive Reinforcements (goal setting),