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Edina Education Fund awards 2019-20 Educator Grants

Media specialist Krista Winkel with students holding their grant award Feb. 14, 2020 - The Edina Education Fund made surprise visits to Edina Public Schools (EPS) teachers and staff on Feb. 6 to deliver the 2019-20 Educator Grants. Five grants totaling $10,000 were awarded, focusing on literacy, and mental health and wellness. The following projects received grant funding:

Literacy

Creek Valley Elementary: Audio Books for All

The Creek Valley media center will pilot a new audio book program which includes preloaded MP3 players to listen to and read along with traditional books to develop and strengthen reading skills. The goal of this grant is to provide the most meaningful and relevant audio book program for our elementary school students, while respecting teacher and parent voices to reduce screen time and accommodate students without access to devices at home. This program will be monitored and evaluated for potential expansion to all Edina elementary schools.

Early Learning Center: Literacy Read-Aloud Library

This program is designed to address the gap between current literacy instruction at the Early Learning Center (ELC) and current research-based best practices. Granted funds will be used to provide literature, lesson plans, vocabulary word visuals, hands-on materials for students of varying needs, and professional development for staff to support this new program.

Valley View Middle School: Multilingual Library Access

Amanda Schutz and Heather Palmer with their grant award for multilingual library access The books available for students in the Valley View library are primarily in English with some for French Immersion students, but multilingual students do not have the ability to access texts in their native language. Research shows that in order for students to thrive in a second or third language, they must have access and time with literature at multiple levels in their native (first) language. This grant will help to provide books and resources for multilingual students at Valley View.

Mental Health and Wellness

District-wide: Co-Located Mental Health Services Financial Assistance

Edina Public Schools has a partnership with Fraser to provide school-based mental health therapy for students who have various barriers (time, financial, etc) to accessing services. As the program has extended to the secondary sites, there has been evidence of a greater number of families with financial barriers to accessing these services. This program would allow the district to continue to provide up to 10 sessions free to families who are uninsured or who have financial limitations to affording care.

Creek Valley Elementary School: Learning Through Movement

Creek Valley’s Grade 4 team will pilot this program to provide a space for independent and collaborative movement while learning and reviewing academic concepts (examples include: a "calculator" on the floor, a hopscotch math facts activity, and an aerobic step sight word and fluency intervention activity). Granted funds will provide students access to move and think, allowing their brain to connect in a way most often not supported during direct instruction. This program will be monitored and evaluated for potential expansion to all Edina elementary schools.

edinaedfund.org