June 7, 2012 - Grants Awarded!
Photo courtesy of the River Falls Journal

Project descriptions from the Winning Awards

“I will purchase tablets for use by my 2nd graders. Traditional ways of teaching are becoming outdated…we have some of the lowest & highest income children in our school, tablets will allow for students who have no access to technology to learn some of the most basic skills as well as allow for advanced students the chance to push themselves. Examples of Applications are: Dragon Dictation, Math Quizzer, Brittanica Kids, etc.” 
Karen Sizemore - $800 

“The STEP program (Senior Tax Exchange Program) was a pilot this past school year and an Action step of the RFSD Strategic Plan. This program offsets property tax for seniors who volunteer in the classroom. STEP individuals help students read, review math & spelling, etc. The intergenerational experience is beneficial, brings the community into our schools & many STEP individuals continue to volunteer beyond their required period!” 
Tara Albores - $500

“Traditionally students’ personal narrative writing focuses on themselves. I would like to turn their attention outward so they can see the life stories that make up the community of River Falls. Students would be grouped into “Story Chasing” teams & equipped with Ipods with digital microphones; they can record & publish interviews with RF community members, take pictures, shoot video & create a podcast or ebook.” 
Stephanie Reid - $950 

“Over the last 2 years, the high & middle school staff have been working together to unify the band curriculum. SMARTMusic is software that can process a student’s playing, show what they are doing wrong & give an assessment for the activity. It can provide accompaniment and be used for tracking individual work between the grade levels. We are looking to expand to more laptop stations for students to utilize”. 
Joe Coughlin & Mike Fuller - $500 each 

“We have identified students who need functional skills intervention in order to help them become more successful in education & community settings. This is a course I would like to develop that has not been offered previously. I would like to purchase various curriculums including: Real life math, Transitions to High School, Aligning Life Skills to Academic Programs, etc.” 
Kate Dulaney - $800 

“In August we will host the first annual Character Education Conference. It will have a direct impact on our students based on output from breakout sessions on bully prevention, peer mediation, moral action in the community, student leadership, etc. It will be a free professional development opportunity for all employees of the RFSD. Parents will also be invited to attend.” 
Mark Chapin & Kit Luedtke - $800

“Tablets will allow for science research on individual projects, help answer questions that arise in daily discussions, provide critical analysis of sources, access for students without home access, generate lab reports with data tables & graphing, etc. I need technology in the classroom daily, not when I can find an open lab!” 
Herb Rohl - $800 

“The Greenwood Garden was designed, built & grown as a community garden by the students. The harvest is donated to the local Food Shelf. Students explore what soils benefit certain plants, discover what makes compost, & study crop rotation. We measure and study yield & and write a journal. The funds will be used to purchase a composter to expand our current project.”
Stephan Papp - $250

“We would like to purchase tablets for use across our entire 4th grade to allow students to learn digital skills to research, analyze & publish their knowledge. Examples include Rocket Math, Astromath Blaster, and Screen Chomp which allows students to record video of digital writing while recording their voice. We see this as an opportunity to provide differentiated instruction to engage all types of learners.” Mark Smith, Denise Anderson & Nancy Lindquist - $800

“These funds will be used to purchase a digital microscope. This microscope will allow the teacher to demonstrate the proper use of a compound microscope by projecting the specimen on screen to identify important structures. Projecting images will allow students to spend more time on their own comparing & contrasting what they find & think more critically about what they are learning. There are numerous science sections during the year that utilize microscope work.”
Kirk Gednalske - $400 

“The project resource center would be a place where students can come to get supplies, use equipment & tools, and have resources to complete the many projects that they have in middle school. Access during study hall or lunch hour will give support for students who do not have appropriate tools at home. The focus of the center would be on durable goods. Children learn by doing & creating quality projects builds self-confidence & pride.”
Toni Velure - $500 

"Tablet applications are a highly effective tool for children with autism in helping to develop language, social & fine motor skills. 1 of every 88 children has some form of autism. Children are given situations & must read body or facial clues to determine correct responses, honing skills most people take for granted. This would be used as a supplement and help autistic students deal with the sensory overload they frequently feel.” Jana Ladd - $400