Gold Star Grants – $34,018 Awarded in December 2023

Grant recipients Nahmie George and Jennifer Voigt with Central High School HSA students, Superintendent Aaron Engel, Central High School Principal Jeff Axness, LPEF Board Vice President Heidi Odegaard, LPEF Executive Director Nell Saunders-Scott, and Mayo Clinic representatives Jennifer Livingston and Ashley Santolin.

Made possible through generous community support, La Crosse Public Education Foundation is proud to support students at all grade levels with our winter Gold Star Grants. Funded projects provide students and teachers a chance to learn new skills, have new experiences, and to be exposed to new ideas — everything from CPR and First Aid training to strider bikes and adaptive tricycles to microscopes, educational games, and Wonderbooks.

Funding for these projects and more is made through 14 grants totaling $34,018 announced today by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.

“Once again, educators in the School District of La Crosse have shown creativity, dedication, and ingenuity to plan projects that will deepen students’ engagement with educational experiences.” said President of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation Board of Directors, Dr. Tom Thompson. “LPEF is honored to connect community generosity to these exciting projects that will broaden the learning opportunities available to students at every grade level in our district.”

Gold Star Grants are selected for funding based on creativity, the ability to engage students, and the total impact or reach of the project throughout the district. Included below is a summary of the 15 grants:

  • $5160 to purchase 20 Strider bikes and helmets that will provide students at Northside and Coulee Montessori Elementary the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike. Recipients: Emily Siegmeier. This grant is funded in part by Gundersen Health System.
  • $5000 to purchase 2 large Adaptive Tricycles for use in the La Crosse School District’s middle and high schools’ special education classrooms. These bikes will allow students that require adapted equipment to experience the joy and health benefits of riding a bike. Recipients: Bethany Peterson, Lindsey Shay, Katelyn Koehler, Emily Franzen, Jarrett Hunt, Reid Hansen, Lisa Boyer, Jessa Ellenbecker. This grant is funded in part by Altra Foundation.
  • $4890 to purchase 15 student Monocular Compound Microscopes and a storage cabinet for use in science classrooms at Longfellow Middle School. The additional microscopes will allow more students to engage in hands-on experiences and spark curiosity. Recipients: Elizabeth Ramsay, Andy Barth, Kelsey Ferkingstad, and Haley Williams. This grant is funded in part by Trust Point.
  • $3511 to purchase four high-quality and realistic CPR mannequins and two deluxe instructor kits for use in the La Crosse School District’s Health Science Academy to aid in teaching CPR/AED skills throughout the district, and for use locally and when traveling to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Pine Ridge, SD. Recipients: Nahmie George and Jennifer Voigt. This grant is underwritten in part by Mayo Clinic Health System.
  • $2500 helps to fund the purchase of an enclosed travel trailer that houses a 9-person bike for use throughout the school district. Recipients: Lisa Boyer and Melissa Norman. This grant is funded in part by Mooresmiles.
  • $2421 to purchase visuals that help support Hintgen Elementary students in special education, who are English Language Learners, and in general education. These visuals are important to helping students understand classroom content and participate in classroom routines. Recipients: Jill Utz Lebakken, Beth Pogreba, and Delane Swanson. This grant is underwritten in part by Altra Foundation.
  • $2340 to purchase Wonderbooks for Kindergarten classrooms at State Road Elementary School. These books are audio books housed inside a physical book that allow students to listen and follow along with the written text. Recipients: Teresa Fox, Hannah Groth, and Katie Steigerwald. This grant is awarded in honor of retired State Road teacher, Lora Busch, and underwritten in part by Fowler & Hammer, Inc.
  • $2300 to purchase materials to create interactive, multi-sensory boxes that will provide a strong foundation of small motor skills for students at Hintgen Elementary. These skills are essential in allowing students to accomplish academic and pre-academic tasks. These boxes will be used in an inclusive, universal program to support the extensive fine motor and sensory needs of all students. Recipients: Shanon Bills, Emily Juneau, Christine Rox, Pa Houa Vang, and Katie Zavodny Olson. This grant is underwritten in part by Dairyland Power Cooperative.
  • $1915 to purchase OSMOs and a STEAM course kit for an after-school STEM club at Schuh Homes for La Crosse students who can’t participate in at-school extracurriculars due to transportation. Recipient: Gary Boisvert. This grant is underwritten in part by Fowler & Hammer, Inc.
  • $1564 to purchase decodable books from High Noon that allow Emerson Elementary to start a reading club for struggling readers. These books are at the student’s reading level, but the subject matter is geared toward older readers. Recipients: Cindy Schofield and Jenny Ruetten. This grant is underwritten in part by Kendle CPA.
  • $1100 to purchase spotlights for use in the music classroom at Hamilton and SOTA I Elementary. Utilizing an artistic approach, these spotlights will help create flexible seating and grouping within the music classroom. The spotlights will not only define where students sit but also create an atmosphere where they can create, perform, respond, and connect in a way that is consistent with elementary music curriculum standards. Recipient: Mandy Parmeter.
  • $790 to purchase soccer goal frames for North Woods Elementary students to use during recess. Recipients: Tony Paletta and Anna Auten.
  • $350 to purchase an online Murder Mystery game for use in English classrooms at Logan High School. In addition to the game being engaging and fun for students, they also need to use essential skills like critical thinking, inferring, literacy, and communication. Recipient: Katherine Keeney. This grant is awarded in honor of retired Central teacher assistant, Kala Justin, and underwritten in party by Fowler & Hammer, Inc.
  • $177 to purchase a spiral coil binding machine to make adaptive books for special education students at Hintgen Elementary. The machine can also be used to bind stories that students write in their classrooms and in HPL. Recipients: Emily Juneau and Amanda Pfiffner. This grant is awarded in honor of retired Northside teacher, Mary Mick, and underwritten in party by Fowler & Hammer, Inc.

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients!