LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

Area schools were gifted thousands of dollars Thursday to add new programs into the classroom.

The La Crosse Public Education Foundation delivered more than $28,000 to 19 projects in the La Crosse School District.

The first round of the classroom grants began this morning. Grants were handed out to projects like Spence Elementary's Outdoor Classroom and Logan High School's Exoskeleton Arm project.

The director of the LPEF says he can see the excitement the grants create.

"When we walked into the classroom, a little girl said 'I bet this is about the outdoor garden,' and so its just fun to take advantage of that and see how the kids are excited about that,” said LPEF Executive Director David Stoeffler.

Teachers say the grants give them a real way to tell how the community feels about their projects.

"To know that we've got the support of our PTO, of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, parents, it's really amazing. And we know that it's a long term plan, but we know it's going to happen now,” said Spence Elementary 2nd Grade Teacher Jennifer Woolley.

Thursday's grants are only the first round of La Crosse Public Education Foundation classroom grants this year. The group plans to hand out about $60,000 in grants in total.