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.
Expanding Special Education Library
Students who receive Special Education services to improve reading skills will have access to books of high interest (age appropriate) at a low reading level (below grade level). These include chapter books for 4th & 5th grade students that are at a 1st grade reading level. Age appropriate graphic novels and phonics based chapter books will allow all students to be engaged and excited about learning with out the discouragement of reading a books that seem to young for them.
Promoting Literacy for Children Entering Kindergarten
This grant provides every child with a book about ABC’s when they come to pre-school screening and a fact sheet “Tips for Reading with Children” in the families primary language from the Minnesota Humanities Center.
Providing a book to every family will ensure that children have at least one book in their home to help them be better prepared for kindergarten.
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.
Look Before They Leap: Early Childhood Support for a Successful Transition to Kindergarten
This grant will be used to develop transition support from our district’s Early Learning/Preschool programs to our Kindergarten classrooms. The system will
give teachers in the Early Childhood Special Education, Early Learning and Kindergarten programs the opportunity to collaborate with each other.
Teachers will have observation time within classrooms multiple times during the first half of the school year. Early Learning and Early Learning Special Education teachers will go into kindergarten rooms. They will learn about the expectations, routines and learning experiences that happen from September – December. This information will allow them to restructure their teaching so that students are more academically, socially and emotionally ready for the start of kindergarten school year.
Kindergarten teachers will observe in the preschool classrooms at the end of the school year. This supports the collaboration and transition.
A Family Night in January will be an event where families can come, share a meal and learn how they can support their child in this process. Families will go home with practical strategies and ideas they can use with their child that are directly related to kindergarten readiness skills.
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.
Science and Engineering 10-12
The grant will purchase a Wazer via a kickstart of the first desktop water jet printer. This tool will allow the engineering program to continue to grow and teach students another useful tool when designing robots. The lab two types of 3D printers, thanks to the grant process. Students are now able to compare the precision and durability of those printers to determine which one better suits their needs as they design and build. introduction the water jet is yet another choice. The water jet will cut just about anything! This will add another layer to the process of design. Students will be able to now design, cut and install custom aluminum gears!
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),
This grant will make starting at a new school less scary and anxiety provoking for students. Students entering SLP will receive a welcome package and an opportunity to build new friendships at lunch gatherings with the school counselor and fellow classmates The welcome package items relate to academic, personal and social needs.
Friendship gatherings take place during lunch. These gatherings happen at least once a quarter as we have new students joining us throughout the year. The grant supplies the materials needed for cooperative group games and supplies for a friendship photo booth.
The grant provides kids with great new high interest books for use during silent reading time. The books chosen will include characters that represent the fabulous diversity of students that attend St. Louis Park Schools. This grant allows the purchase of books all year long that engage readers.
The grant will purchase a class set of Dash and Dot robots to integrate into our curriculum throughout the year. Students will collaborate with each other as they meet STEAM challenges that involve mapping, addition and subtraction skills, music creation, and animal life cycles.
Dash and Dot gives learners a chance to practice hands on coding and learn through trial and error. Learning to code prepares students for their future. It allows them to use their creativity and sense of wonder. Coding allows students to express their ideas in unique ways, and teaches them skills that they will be able to transfer into the workforce.