News and Events
The Fridley Schools Foundation awarded 13 teacher innovation grants in December 2019, totaling $10,000 to directly benefit Fridley students across the district. Through an application process held in the fall, Fridley staff members submitted grant applications to propose educational initiatives. The Foundation board selected winning proposals, based on need, innovation and effectiveness, and awarded the grants in December. Funding for the grants is provided by donations from community members and community organizations, along with proceeds from Foundation events, which include the “Get Your Paws Moving” walk fundraiser and Black & Gold Gala.
“The mission of the Foundation is to enhance the educational opportunities for every learner, and each of these grants will impact students across the district in a positive way,” said Foundation President Renee Van Gorp. “We are proud to provide these innovative teaching and learning opportunities to our Fridley staff members and students.”
Fridley Middle School (FMS) media clerk Lizzy Potts submitted a grant application to create a makerspace in the FMS media center and was awarded $2,500. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experience, build and invent as they engage in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) concepts. Potts’ makerspace materials include a 3D printer, sewing machine, and soldering irons, among others. With a background in STEM and library science, Potts is excited to create and design this innovative learning space.
“I am thrilled to be part of a district where there is support for things that help encourage students' curiosity and creativity,” said Potts. “I know that this grant will go a long way towards building a high-quality and well-used makerspace. I am very appreciative of this opportunity to benefit our students.”
The Foundation also awarded $800 to purchase new adapted equipment for students who receive Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE) services. Anna Hron, districtwide DAPE teacher, is excited to integrate the equipment into the K-12 DAPE curriculum.
“With this new equipment, our students can be successful in their motor learning and activity, simply from including appropriately-sized or modified equipment,” said Hron. “Our students will be able to participate in PE classes alongside their peers.”
Grants also include expanded opportunities in classrooms across the district, including funds to: purchase two electric guitars, which will add a unique and inspiring element to FMS performing arts classes; musical instruments to support jumpstart beginner band class at Fridley High School; an addition of two small lathes in woodworking class at the high school, which will allow students to expand their abilities in manufacturing and machine tooling; and implementation of a ceramics unit into the middle school art curriculum, as well as offering a clay course to students at the Fridley Moore Lake Area Learning Center (ALC).
Additional grant award included funding for a Spanish Interpreter in the district’s Early Childhood Family Education program, and scholarships for the summer mentorship program “Hey Girl” for young girls in the district, among other opportunities.