District 206 Education Foundation strives to support educational excellenceThe Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation was established in 2002 as a nonprofit entity with the mission of supporting educational excellence and a passion for learning by partnering with the community.
By: By Tara Bitzan, Life Editor, Alexandria Echo Press
The Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation was established in 2002 as a nonprofit entity with the mission of supporting educational excellence and a passion for learning by partnering with the community.
This year the foundation has been busy working to continue its support for the awarding of innovative teaching grants. These mini-grants provide seed money for teachers to try innovative programs, teaching strategies, or technology tools that fall outside the district’s regular budget.
Through a competitive application process, three teaching grants were awarded earlier this spring:
Fighting Failure with Phonics. $2,000 was awarded for the purchase of two wireless laptop computers and the Discover Intensive Phonics Program to serve approximately 24 at-risk readers at a 2nd grade level. Zelda Redfield, Michelle Redmond and Rita Vanderwerf, 2nd grade teachers, will implement this project at Woodland Elementary School beginning this fall.
Discovery Middle School Heatwave Club. $1,000 was awarded to allow 25 to 30 students in grades 7-9 the opportunity to continue to grow their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through an after-school club. The club expands on Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classroom instruction by providing students an experience in hands-on, real world environments in pre-engineering.
Partners in Reading. $1,865 was awarded for the purchase of take-home books and book bags for children in the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) program. LLI is a small-group, early intervention program designed for young children who struggle with reading and writing. This project could potentially serve 80 to 100 kindergartners each year. LLI teachers at all six District 206 elementary schools will implement this project beginning this fall.
The Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation holds many events throughout the year to raise awareness of its purpose and goals, to generate financial support to build the endowment fund, and to celebrate staff, alumni and student success.
Jeans & Jewels is sponsored by The 206 Club, a membership that supports the Education Foundation. The 206 Club is an integral part of the foundation’s fundraising campaign. 206 Club members make a $206 annual tax-deductible contribution to the endowment fund, which helps ensure sufficient financial resources to support innovation in the classroom for projects that go above and beyond.
Anyone can be a member of The 206 Club. Currently, there are more than 100 members helping to improve public education for area children. The goal this year is to exceed 300 memberships. The membership drive is currently under way and draws to a close on October 1.
The Jeans & Jewels Backyard BBQ is at Carlos Creek Winery on Saturday, October 9 from 6 to 10 p.m. The event includes hors d’oeuvres, drinks, musical entertainment, hayrides around the vineyard and a bonfire.
To become a 206 Club member and receive tickets to the barbecue, contact membership drive chairs Tom and Angie Anderson at (320) 763-7275 or Lee and Judy Backhaus at (320) 762-2141, ext. 4204.
Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon. This event is held each fall to honor outstanding District 206 staff and alumni who have earned significant distinction or achievement in their chosen field. See related story on this page about this year’s honorees.
Student Showcase Celebration. This spring event showcases the creative works and talents of students across a variety of performing arts and academic areas.
For more information
For more information on the Alexandria Public Schools Education Foundation, contact Susan Scarborough, board chair, at (320) 762-3310 ext. 4271 or visit the foundation website at www.alexandria.k12.mn.us/edfoundation.