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Grants given to local educators

On Tuesday, June 11, members of the FORWARD Foundation presented 10 grants, totaling $10,000, to teachers within the River Falls School District. The following grants were awarded:

--Jenny Hannack and Kim Quayle: $1,500 to design and build solar cars with their fifth grade students to provide hands on learning on solar energy

--Chuck Easton: $1,500 to help with the Farm to School initiative to bring fresh, local foods into the school cafeterias.

--Peggy Krasin: $1,000 to purchase tunable drums, which will make the "Drumming up Character" program possible. The program teaches good character through learning drumming rhythms, patterns and raps.

--Karen Rodewald: $500 to purchase a portable PA system to communicate during the CATS programs, which focuses on matching up general education students with special needs students to help foster friendships and mentorships outside of school.

--Andrea Ganske: $1,500 to purchase student and site licenses with in the elementary schools for the Fast For World series, which provides support to students struggling with reading and language skills.

--Colleen Sowa and Steve Trudeau: $350 for weighted body bars and/or foam rollers to progress in physical development and injury prevention in the physical education program.

--Thomas Cox: $1,500 to purchase live video conferencing between U.S. History classrooms in River Falls, Minneapolis and other locations to discuss content with other classrooms and to expose students to people who are different from them.

--Bridget Lyons: $625 to purchase 25 baritone ukuleles for her fifth grade students so they will have the opportunity to learn the ukulele and build their music reading skills.

--Rita Thorson: $1,000 for her to attend the Character Education Partnerships Train the Trainer program, which is a part of district character education, and then provide the training in the future.

--Pam McCabe: $525 to create an intervention tool closet of supplied for students to check items out during the day to help ADHD, autism, motor skills and sensory need issues, like seating balance cushions and balls, weighted lap pads among other things.

For more information or to donate to the FORWARD Foundation visit