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FORWARD Foundation grants handed out

River Falls School District staff that received FORWARD Foundation grants include, front row, from left: Kevin Dorn, Karen Sizemore, and Marie Anderson-Smolinski; back row: Megan Felling, Sommer Bowers, Rollie Hall, Sue Popelka, Kris Swanson, and Linda Berg accepting for Kyle Stapleton. (Submitted photo)

On Monday, Jan. 20, the fourth round of FORWARD Foundation grants, totally $10,000, were awarded to River Falls School District staff.

The following grants were awarded:

  • Sue Popelka received $1,500 to purchase a pool of calculators for those students who do not have access. The calculators will be used in algebra 2, FST and pre-calculus and learning activities will vary by class.
  • Kevin Dorn received $1,280 to fund a student led project to oversee the electronic display of student work like videos, photos and announcements by utilizing the EZ Sign technology.
  • Megan Felling received $1,140 to purchase books for a shared kindergarten library at Greenwood.
  • Rollie Hall was awarded $800 to purchase equipment for intramural sports like badminton, floor hockey, ultimate Frisbees, etc.
  • Karen Sizemore was awarded $1,000 to create a STEM resource collection to be shared by seven elementary teachers, to enrich the science themes in LEAD 21 and connect students to hands on materials to explore actual technology and properties. Some examples include Snap Circuits, catapults, solar mechanics, bridge builders, etc.
  • Sommer Bowers was awarded $980 to purchase The Second Step curriculum for special education services. The program strengthens skills in empathy, bullying prevention, emotion management, problem solving, goal setting and substance abuse prevention in a series of 25 minute sessions that can be rolled out to a broader group of students.
  • Kris Swanson was awarded $1,000 to complete the mallet instrument section at Rocky Branch to enable all students ample opportunity to learn to play instruments by exploring rhythmic foundations, accompaniment support, improvisation, and literature connections by implementing ORFF techniques.
  • Kyle Stapleton was awarded $1,5000 to purchase a CNC mill ShopBot which will allow Renaissance Academy students to learn to program, run and troubleshoot a 21st century CNC mill with CAM software and allow Project Lead the Way students at both the middle and high schools to create large scale models from computer based design.
  • Marie Anderson-Smolinski was awarded $800 to purchase adaptive materials like balance discs, fidget foot bands, iPad keyboards, etc. for daily use with students in the learning disabilities program at the high school to improve their engagement and experience both in the LD & general setting.