Oftentimes, teachers come up with a great idea to engage students or offer a unique experience to their class, but finding the money to implement the idea can be a problem.
Since its inception, the La Crosse Public Education Foundation has offered grants to fund innovative projects. But applications have been limited to once or twice a year.
Now, LPEF has introduced a Rapid Response Grants program, providing an option to apply for grants of $1,000 or less on a monthly basis. Applications received by the 10th of the month are reviewed and funding decisions made by the end of the month.
Through February, three projects were funded through the new program. The Board provided $12,000 for Rapid Response grants, on top of $80,000 for twice-annual Gold Star Grants.
One grant went to middle school principals who challenged students to propose ideas to make a positive impact in their schools. The principals wanted to fund one project at each middle school, in addition to funds the top project would earn at a special La Crosse SOUP event on Feb. 14.
After receiving $750 from the La Crosse Community Foundation, the principals obtained a Rapid Response Grant with matching funds. Student projects include: providing free feminine hygiene products in Longfellow Middle girls’ bathrooms; establishing a Black Student Union at Lincoln Middle; and turning bathrooms at Logan Middle into more welcoming places through fresh paint and adding inspirational quotes to the walls.
Other grants funded through February include:
- $700 to Hong Xu, Chinese language teacher at Logan High School, to take her students on a field trip to visit the China section of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
- $1,000 to Kim Butterfield and Lori Aschenbrenner at Central High School, to support the Central People Fest event and allow for artist Shoua Yang to work with students to create ink prints that will be assembled into a tapestry to hang at the school.