Mrs. Popp's class. Submitted Photo.

The Saints Legacy Fund is pleased to announce it has funded four projects totaling approximately $7,000 proposed by teachers in the St. Ansgar Schools.

Two projects for the elementary students focused on developing creative thinking skills and improving reading.  These projects are called Breaking Out of the Box and Reading Workshop, proposed by Lisa Kruse and Kelly Popp respectively.

“I am super excited for our students to begin using the breakout boxes!” Kruse said. “These breakout boxes create an escape room type of experience in the classroom and can be used across subjects and grade levels. They encourage collaboration, communication, and critical thinking amongst the team of students working together to solve their activity. The boxes will especially be a great resource as we implement the new social studies standards that focus on inquiry and require our students to use many different resources to gather information.”

Mrs. Kruse’s class. Submitted Photo.

“This grant money has helped me purchase multiple mentor texts and books for the students in fourth grade to use for our Reading Workshop units,” Popp said.

Many of the texts are geared toward “Extreme Weather” and specific subtopics underneath it. Fourth grade students will be researching these subtopics while bettering their non-fiction reading skills. Another set of the books are geared toward “The American Revolution”.

Students will be researching subtopics that fall into this category and learn what really happened during this time period; how we became The United States of America. The last section of books purchased ware chapter books. These books are within the Historical Fiction genre and many are centered around WW2. Fourth Graders will be in book clubs reading together and monitoring their learning as a group during our last Reading Workshop unit.

Two of the four projects target high school students.  The first is a tree identification project that aims to identify and label the trees on the walk trail, planted by high school students several years ago.  The second is an Interactive Board, designed to allow teachers to project their computer desktop onto a screen, much like the old-fashioned overhead projector, but complete with many interactive capabilities.

Middle school students all attended the Courage Retreats, also funded by Saints Legacy Fund earlier this fall. 

The Saints Legacy Fund mission is to “enhance the learning experience in the St. Ansgar schools for children of all ages by investing in new areas of student learning and innovative programs.” Saints Legacy Fund assets are invested through the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.  The next grant application cycle will take place in February 2020.


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