Teachers & Staff

The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools funds innovative program ideas from teachers and staff that have a direct and measurable impact on student learning.

Goals of the Foundation’s Grant Program:

Provide large grants to Eden Prairie education professionals seeking to make significant change.

Serve as an incubator for great ideas that impact curriculum, instruction and assessment while achieving meaningful, measurable results.

Encourage ideas that have a direct and significant impact on students’ passion for learning.

Are you a teacher or staff member with a great idea? For Spring 2022, high priority will be given to grants with a STEM focus. The Spring application period is now closed.

2022 Spring FEPS Teacher and Staff Grant Application

Questions can be directed to: llindner@foundationforepschools.org  |  ldayton@foundationforepschools.org

Completed applications can be submitted to: lsisinni@foundationforepschools.org

 

2022 Grants

SPRING

“Make Virtual Reality Real in the Classroom” – $9,800
Emily Aust, from Oak Point Elementary, received a grant to expand students’ learning far beyond the walls of the classroom with the introduction of virtual reality experiences.  The grant will allow for the purchase of 16 sets of virtual reality goggles with a mobile cart and controllers, including the pre-designed curriculum connected to Minnesota standards, and training to implement the concepts in the classroom.  The virtual reality technology will help increase knowledge and raise engagement of the students as they practice skills across many content areas such as literacy, language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, and social emotional learning.  The implementation of virtual reality in the classroom will allow students access to see and develop a greater understanding of other cultures and perspectives in the world — it can take them on a journey to discover new things and inspire their creativity.

STEAM in the Art Room – $1,500
Jennifer Totoritis, from Prairie View Elementary, received a grant to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts in her art classroom through a clay project.  This grant will allow for the addition of a second clay art project for which the students will engineer the clay structures to be strong, sturdy, and 3-dimensional.  While creating these structures, students will gain hands-on experience exploring mathematical and engineering concepts while introducing their artistic flair to the sculpture.

Outdoor Courtyard Garden Learning Environment – $445
Jackie Drummer, from Prairie View Elementary, received a grant to create an outdoor learning environment for students in grades K-5.  This outdoor garden will show students how to grow and maintain sustainable gardening techniques that restore natural resources while teaching students that small steps can go a long way towards creating a healthier environment.  The courtyard garden at the school is a beautiful sight to passers-by, and the students will add plant signage to help identify plants or features (such as the parts of a plant, layers of habitat, species of flowers, and the water cycle).  Involvement in caring for the garden will introduce students to a variety of science concepts, and prompt discussions on life cycles, ecology, and recycling.  While gardening, students will also practice how to work side by side with each other in a collaborative effort, learn how to be good stewards of the environment, and develop gross and fine motor skills.

 

2021 Grants

FALL

Austin Keith, CMS Teacher – $7,000 – Knutson Construction STEM Grant Recipient
Austin Keith, a teacher in the Engineering/Tech Ed Department at Central Middle School, requested a grant to fund an Engineering Technical Drawing Printer which will allow students to print realistic renderings of their work and display it throughout the school.  In giving students hands-on opportunities to learn about a career in Engineering, Mr. Keith will implement the equipment in his classroom for students to experience creating large format precise drawings, graphic posters, blueprints, technical documents, renderings, and graphics.  This state-of-the-art engineering printing equipment was supported, in part, through the generosity of a STEM Grant donated by Knutson Construction.  Knutson Construction has been instrumental in the renovations taking place at Central Middle School.

Wade Aitken-Palmer, CMS Teacher – $4,694 – Danfoss (formerly Eaton) STEM Grant Recipient
Wade Aitken-Palmer, a 6th Grade Engineering teacher at Central Middle School, requested a Laser Printer Engineering Makerspace which includes the FSL Muse Core Desktop CO2 Laser Cutter, Fume Extractor, and HEPA Filter.  Currently, five Engineering Teachers are sharing one laser printer, and with the addition of 6thgraders at CMS and scheduling conflicts, these students were not previously able to access that equipment.  The addition of this state-of-the-art equipment will enable the students to connect the engineering curriculum to having hands-on experience.  This equipment was supported through the generosity of a STEM Grant donated by Danfoss (formerly Eaton), a company which has been a long-standing Corporate Mission Sponsor of FEPS.

Patrick Doty, CMS Teacher – $3,500
Patrick Doty is an Engineering/Technology Education Teacher at Central Middle School.  Mr. Doty’s grant will fund a 3d Printer that will provide students the ability to use industry quality production rapid prototyping to solve complex engineering design problems.  This equipment will provide all students within the technology education area an opportunity to gain exposure to a potential career pathway in the Engineering and Technology field.

Elizabeth McKeever, Oak Point Elementary – $2,500
Elizabeth McKeever, a 5th Grade Teacher at Oak Point Elementary, was awarded a FEPS Grant to implement a 5th Grade Diverse Classroom Library.  Believing that “diversity in literature fosters a deeper growth in students, allowing them to learn about other cultures, viewpoints and perspectives, while also celebrating and embracing the difference of everyone in the classroom” Elizabeth plans to transform her classroom library to be more representative of the diverse student population.  Ms. McKeever will purchase books that have been recommended by the website Social Justice Books, which reviews and identifies the best multicultural and social justice-minded children’s books.

Deja Alexander, Central Middle School Staff – $2,500
Deja Alexander is a Cultural Liaison at Central Middle School and a staff advisor to the Celebration of Black Excellence Club (COBE).  COBE was established to advocate for and create opportunities for students of color to voice their interests on campus, and provide a safe place to learn and discuss topics pertaining to cultural issues, historical events, and social and emotional learning.  CORE will strive to help student participants make significant contributions at CMS, and the community-at-large, in the form of service projects and helping other students of color progress toward more fulfilling experiences as inspirational leaders in their daily lives.  Deja plans to use the grant funding to provide experiences such as field trips and art projects that can help participants apply their knowledge and skills and become experienced critical thinkers, communicators, collaborators, and creative problem solvers.

Gwendolyn Marrin and Lauren Kappers-Sjogren, Oak Point Elementary – $890
Ms. Marrin and Ms. Kappers-Sjogren are Special Education Teachers at Oak Point Elementary who received a FEPS Grant to implement “Core Word in a Bag”, which is a resource that will assist students with complex communication needs to improve their communication skills and develop early literacy skills as outlined in an IEP.  Since many parents are not sure how to use the assistive communication technology or how to incorporate it into their home routines, Core Word in a Bag is meant to bridge the gap between school and home by providing families with “core” vocabulary words, books, corresponding activity/toy, and a printed communication board to work on with their child at home in order to supplement what they are learning in school.

Jenny Hanson, Central Middle School – $500
Jenny Hanson, a Counselor to 6th-8th Graders at Central Middle School requested help from a FEPS Grant to purchase a “Little Free Library” unfinished kit for the students to assemble.  The CMS Little Free Library Startup will be offered to all students as a “Discovery” FLEX offering once a week for the students.  Skills that participating students will learn include construction, engineering, artistry, market research, teamwork, and will provide insights into entrepreneurship.

Matt LeBrun, Central Middle School – $500
Matt LeBrun is a 7th Grade Technology Teacher at Central Middle School and received a FEPS Grant to implement Game-based Learning in GreEngineering through the purchase of Minecraft Education (a version of a popular videogame amongst middle schoolers) licenses.  Game-based learning is a learning theory that involves designing learning activities around games to achieve a designed set of learning outcomes.  The games will be used in the GreEngineering Classes to allow students to take tours of places they may not have an opportunity to visit in real life such as wind farms, water treatment facilities, and construction sites.  Students will also be able to design and build within the game and submit work they create to learning management systems such as Schoology.

SPRING
The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools has announced the award of $32,600 in teacher/staff classroom grants for Spring 2021. The following classroom programs were funded thanks to our generous donors and supporters and will benefit thousands of Eden Prairie students. 

Ready! For Kindergarten – $2,500
This grant provides training and high quality learning tools for families to develop school-ready skills with their children.  Through this program families learn how to support their child in reading, math, and social emotional development in order to be fully prepared for Kindergarten. 

STEM Exploration Summer Program – $5,000
This grant will provide materials for STEM-focused, experiential, and hands-on learning experiences for students participating in the Summer EPIC program through Targeted Services. With the support of these materials, students with the greatest academic need will be able to strengthen their math and science skills in a dynamic, creative, and unique manner different from the core school day.

Little Eagles Diverse Library – $5,000
Children’s literature plays an essential role in the literacy development of children. This grant will provide educators with a wide range of books across multiple genres that are representative of the diverse world we live in. These books have the potential to entertain, foster a love of reading, and inform while also affirming the multiple aspects of student’s identities and exposing them to the values, viewpoints, and historical legacies of others. 

Little Eagles Preschool Supplies – $5,000
Little Eagles Preschool uses Creative Curriculum materials as the curriculum for all 3 and 4 year old classrooms. The goal of this grant is to purchase Creative Curriculum materials for the unit studies so students can further engage in critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration while engaging in studies aligned activities in the classroom. Furthermore, with the expansion of Little Eagles Preschool into six buildings in the coming school year, this grant will impact up to 30 classrooms/teachers and 600 students. 

BEST (Book Engagement in the Summertime) Summer Reading Program – $2,700
This grant will be used to supply books to Kindergarten through Grade 2 students for the purpose of providing summer reading materials to students in order to minimize reading loss that can occur during the summer months. A book fair at the end of the school year provided students with select 10-12 choice books to take home for summer reading support. 

Zones Toolkits at Forest Hills Elementary- $1,828
Zones of Regulation are taught schoolwide to help teach students different tools to help them regulate their behavior. Along with thinking strategies and calming techniques, students are provided with sensory supports (fidgets, worry rocks, putty, etc). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, toolkits are not able to be shared, so this grant will provide for additional toolkits for each individual student in need. 

TASSEL Screen Printing Start-up Equipment – $10,600
TASSEL works with young adults 18-21 years old who are addressing areas of growth around secondary education, independent living, and work experience needs. This grant is for the introduction of a complete screen printing shop in order for the students to have an opportunity for creative outlets, skill building, and gain the hands-on experience of running a screen printing production shop. This grant provides for all equipment including a screen printing press, flash dryer, design software, ink, work tables and storage, as well as a consulting artist to support in teaching the art of screen printing. 

2020 Grants

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, FEPS decided to use the 2020 Teacher and Staff Grants funds to establish a COVID Relief Fund along with generous donors from the community.  This fund supported the district and families during the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2020 with needs related to COVID-19.

2019 Grants

In February 2019, The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools approved the following grants totaling over $22,000.  These grants are funded through generous donations!

Mindful Movement This grant provides staff with tools to teach social emotional learning activities that improves self-control, focus, problem solving and self esteem. It will benefit 700 elementary students. $900.00

Generative Art in Geometry Class This grant provides computer-aided pen plotters to help student learn math concepts and how to creatively code using the context of visual arts as their geometric designs come to life. It will initially benefit 70 high school geometry students. $1100.00

Mind, Body and Heart This grant provides teachers with tools to increase the student use of practices in self-awareness and self-regulation which will lead to increased time on task and increased academic performance. It will benefit 150 elementary students. $825.00

Elementary STEM Through Robotics and Coding This grant provides coding packs and robots to expand these activities through all K-6 grade levels.  These activities have proven to enhance creative thinking, problem solving, engagement, perseverance and teamwork.  It will benefit 700 students. $3194.00

Sensory Path This grant creates a sensory path and active learning space that promotes social-emotional engagement and fine motor development.  It will benefit over 500 elementary students. $2153.00

CNC Laser Cutter/Engraver This grant provides a modern manufacturing tool used in engineering, manufacturing, design and other technical fields. It will be built into the existing 8thgrade Technical Education program. It will benefit over 600 students. $4316.00

“Just Be” in EACH Classroom This grant provides a universally designed break station in classrooms that gives students a “Just Be” space equipped with tools and resources for mindfulness strategies to meet their social-emotional needs.  It will benefit over 700 elementary students. $4073.00

Gizmos for Learning This grant provides an interactive math and science simulation that uses an inquiry based approach to learning which helps build understanding by helping students visualize conceptual material.  It will benefit over 900 high school students. $3275.00

Upstream Arts Residency This grant provides professional artists to teach interactive art activities to special education students age 18-21 in the district’s TASSEL program. Students will practice essential social skills and communication as a result of their participation in these activities. It will benefit 62 students. $2350.00

The following are grants with community partners:

My Book Day This grant provides funding in support of a citywide celebration, which takes place in April at Eden Prairie High School. At this event, all first grade students receive their choice of a high-quality hardbound book, selected from a collection of six books they have been reading throughout the year. This event includes high school students promoting the importance of reading to the first graders.  This grant is in partnership with the Eden Prairie Noon Rotary. $4000.00

School Supplies This grant provides school supplies for the start of the school year, for all students who register as needing supplies through People Reaching Out to People (PROP). Last year, over 500 total K-12 students were served, and items can be purchased by PROP which are not commonly donated. It is important to their young clients, especially middle and high school students, to start the school year successfully. This grant is in partnership with PROP Food Shelf. $2700.00

Ready! For Kindergarten This grant provides training and high quality learning tools for families to develop school ready skills with their children.  FEPS supports this research-backed program in partnership with the EP Schools’ Early Childhood program. $4000.00

Thank You For Your Support!

It’s because of you, our donors and partners, that we can support Eden Prairie students.