The Fridley Schools Foundation awarded 13 teacher innovation grants in December, totaling $10,000, to 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.

Funding 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 the Black & Gold Gala.

Fridley Middle School 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 ways to encourage students to design, experience, build and invent as they engage in science, technology, engineering, arts and math concepts. Potts’ makerspace materials include a 3D printer, sewing machine and soldering irons.

The foundation also awarded $800 to purchase new adapted equipment for students who receive Developmental Adapted Physical Education, also known as DAPE, services.

Anna Hron, districtwide DAPE teacher, is excited to integrate the equipment into the K-12 DAPE curriculum.

Grants also included expanded opportunities in classrooms across the district, such as funds to purchase two electric guitars; 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; and implementation of a ceramics unit into the middle school art curriculum, as well as offering a clay course for students at the Fridley Moore Lake Area Learning Center.

Additional grant awards 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 female students in the district.

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