CEF grants $11,956 to serve 3,365 students in Cloquet area

On Jan. 2, the Cloquet Educational Foundation granted $11,956 to eight initiatives that will serve 3,365 preschool and school-age students during the 2006-07 school year. Earned income from the Foundation's endowed revenues including five funds w...

On Jan. 2, the Cloquet Educational Foundation granted $11,956 to eight initiatives that will serve 3,365 preschool and school-age students during the 2006-07 school year. Earned income from the Foundation's endowed revenues including five funds within the Foundation were distributed as grant funds. The five funds include: Pete and Grace Plankers Family Fund, Szyman Family Fund, Ameriprise Financial Fund, Harry Newby Family Fund and the Edward Chinnock Family Fund.

In addition the following area organizations have made a vital contribution to the Foundation's giving ability by sponsoring the 2007 Invest In Kids Campaign: Fond du Lac Reservation, USG Interiors, Regional Realty, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Bernick's Pepsi Cola, Sappi Fine Paper, Upper Lakes Foods Inc., Green Mill Restaurant, W.W. Grainger Industrial, Stitch It Designs, Stewart-Taylor Printing, Ameriprise Financial, Boldt Construction, Carmen's Dry Dock, Cloquet Ford Chrysler Center, Cloquet Rotary Club, Community Printing, Cost Cutters, Edward R. Jones, Eikill & Schilling, Exchange Bakery and Catering, Kolar GM Center, Medicine Shoppe, Members Cooperative Credit Union, Minnesota Power, Noontime Kiwanis, RRI-Ray Riihiluoma Inc., Reliable Insurance, Sammy's Pizza, State Bank of Cloquet, and Tomhave Olson Dental.

Following is a brief description of the eight funded activities.

Cloquet School Safety Patrol Program was granted $1,500 to purchase safety equipment and safety clothing such as safety vests, flags, ponchos, and patrol badges. Each year 110 youth provide safe crossing at highly trafficked intersections for students. Participating students learn leadership skills, responsibility, reliability, and how to work with others. They realize how their actions impact everyone on their safety patrol team. This is an excellent work based learning opportunity.

Science and Discovery engages 355 students from the middle and high school with help from a $2,200 CEF grant. Students will learn the use of the scientific method and creatively individualize hands-on inquiry investigative research projects. Professionals from the community will guide students with first hand experiences. They meet and discover researchable topics from local scientists. They will improve their computer research skills, practice oral communication skills, gain poise and a public presence by participating in the Minnesota Academy of Science - Science Fairs.


Project Seed received $500 to help transport 60 students during the 2007 summer months. Students will receive hands-on horticulture experience as they tend the Churchill School Garden. Activities will include planting, weeding, and harvesting the garden. This will be a unique experience for many of the participating students.

Grade School Ski Program serving 162 fourth- and fifth-grade students was granted $600 to help cover the expense of downhill and cross country ski instruction and equipment rental. This program is important for students because they will learn to be active in outdoor weather during the winter and hopefully develop a life-time recreational hobby.

The goal of the Engage Students in American Indian Awareness Program is to impact all students in the school district. The American Indian Education Program is coordinating the program and hopes to increase understanding and respect for local cultural diversity with the tribal community. The initiative received $2,000 to serve 2,000 students in grades K-12. Projected program outcomes include students will develop a better appreciation and understanding for diversity, encourage parents to become more involved, and provide opportunities for students to participate in traditional festivities at their school buildings.

Washington and Churchill Schools Media Arts Department received $2,900 to help build a strong media arts program within the two elementary schools. Students (496) will be able to receive media arts instruction, a technologically relevant medium that will give them an additional outlet to find their voice and prepare them for their future. Funds will be used to help develop a cohesive media arts program, expand current arts educational to include contemporary medium, and better prepare students for the future.

A grant for $456 was awarded to the Churchill third grade "Space" Field Trip. Students (100) will be given the opportunity to explore space at the Paulucci Space Theatre. The field trip is an extension of the classroom science unit focusing on space. The students will understand the characteristics and relationships of objects in the solar system.

Cloquet Public Schools Math Masters and Math Olympiads Program received $1,800 in funding support to help cover the cost of registration and transportation for 82 students in elementary and middle school. Participating students will participate in the NE Minnesota Math Masters Tournament and practice on a regular basis in preparation for the tournament. All students who participate in Math Masters are challenged to use higher order thinking skills and problem solving skills as to compete both individually and as teams in a timed situation.

Mark your calendar for the Sixth Annual Night of Entertainment "Blue Jean Ball" taking place Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Black Bear Golf Clubhouse. The Blue Jean Ball is a fund raiser for the Cloquet Educational Foundation. All proceeds from the event are used to help enhance the educational experience of preschool and school age students. The evening will include entertainment, delicious food, lively music for dancing, and a chance to pick up some extraordinary items at the art and silent auction. The $25-per-person tickets are available from CEF board members or by calling 879-3806. The 2007 board of directors are Rhonda Johnson, president; Jim Yorston, vice president; Mike Acheson, Robin Anderson, Vivian Bergquist, Dick Brenner, David Minkkinen, Denny Modec, Rob Nelson, Sue Olson, Jill Pertler, Patty Petite, Tom Proulx, Russ Smith, and Gail Wangen.

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