La Crosse schools receive education grants

Students at La Crosse schools will soon have new opportunities to learn, thanks to a local organization.

The La Crosse Public Education Foundation awarded La Crosse schools with 24 ‘Gold Star Grants’ for the 2018-19 school year.

The 24 grants were chosen from 39 applications, requesting about $87,000 dollars.

It’s the first round of grants for this school year and teachers are expecting to see a big difference.

We went to Summit Elementary School this morning for three surprise grant-deliveries.

Summit Elementary Art Teacher Carissa Brudos was awarded with a $3,500 grant to support an artist-in-residence, and hands-on art project.

The visiting artist specializes in encaustic painting, otherwise known as molten beeswax paint.

The goal is to educate students, through art, on the importance of pollinators in Wisconsin.

“We want to let the kids know that the bee population is declining,” Brudos said.

Grants from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation are selected based on creativity, ability to engage students and the overall impact of the project.

Executive Director David Stoffler says this art project is one example.

“Our committee saw it as a really innovative approach to use art as a way to reinforce the lessons that students are learning about the importance of pollinators.”

The total number of grants five years ago was $43,000. The board budgeted $80,000 for grants this year.

Brudos says this kind of support allows students to understand art as more than just black and white.

“Letting kids and individuals know that art is very important, just to see it in many different ways and forms.”

A little more than $3,300 was awarded to Summit Elementary to support a year-long study of the archeology process and the earliest Native American cultures of the area.

Almost $40,000 in added grants are expected next spring.

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