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The Hopkins Education Foundation recently awarded 11 grants, totaling $38,000, across the school district.

The largest grant of $12,000 will fund an urban boat-building project for fifth- and sixth-graders at Alice Smith Elementary School. Students will work at a nonprofit to create and launch two canoes made of birch bark. The canoes can then be used for future paddling and water safety lessons.

The theater program at West Junior High received about $5,600 for students to become more involved backstage, learn the technical skills that take place behind the scenes and provide professional stage lighting.

North Junior High’s afterschool group MCubed (Math x Mental Health x Mindset) received $5,000. The group, tailored for students facing adversity, meets once a week for two hours. Students will work with a social worker during the first hour and with math teachers during the second hour.

West Junior High received $4,000 to fund a full-time working facility dog who will be at the school every day. The dog will permanently belong the school but go home every night with a human handler. Periodic visits from emotional support animals in the past have been a hit at the school. However, students will never be required to participate in dog-related activities and there will be designated dog-free zones.

Speech pathologists at Harley Hopkins Family Center’s early childhood special education program received $3,500. The funds will fund peer groups where pathologists, language interpreters and parents will meet, so that parents can learn how to fine-tune interactions and playtime with their communicatively-delayed child to increase his or her language skills at home.

Hopkins High School received about $2,600 to offer an ACT class that will tutor students in an effort to close the opportunity gap to higher education. The class will be during the school day.

Alice Smith Elementary School received about $2,000 for hands-on STEM enrichment for K-2 students.

Tanglen Elementary School received $1,500 for a sensory path. The colorful, interactive walk in the hallway will encourage breaks to refocus.

Information on the three other grants, all below $1,000, can be found at hopkinseducationfoundation.org.

Copyright © 2018 at Sun Newspapers/APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

I am a reporter for the Sun Sailor, covering Minnetonka, Excelsior, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Deephaven, Greenwood, Woodland and the Hopkins School District.

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