Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation announces spring grant recipients

The Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation board recently voted to grant $19,358 for educational items within the Fort Dodge Community School District.

“Once again, teachers presented some really amazing ideas,” said FDCS Foundation Board President Andrea DeJong. “This round of grants combines the use of technology, a safe-space for students and something that is always essential for learning, reading books.”

Grants include:

• $12,958 for Interactive Health Technology for Fort Dodge Senior High physical education classes.

• $2,500 for a sensory room at Cooper Elementary School.

• $3,000 for CleverBots for Cooper Elementary School first-grade students.

• $900 for reading books for grades 2-4 at Cooper Elementary School.

IHT is wrist-based wearable PE heart rate monitors and assessment technology. PE teacher Blake Utley says the technology will provide a high-tech, data-driven personal exercise prescription that allows students to take ownership of their health in a fun and interactive way.

A sensory room is a place where students can go to work through their emotions. According to Elementary Instructional Coach Kate Simpson, a sensory room is a safe space within the school where students can relieve stress and get frustrations out in order to refocus their attention on the curriculum. The sensory room could include low-lighting, textured rugs, ramps to walk on and sensory devices like sand tables or fidget cubes.

CleverBots are robots that sync with iPads. Cooper first-grade teacher Jeanna Gronbach says CleverBots allow students to use coding to guide their own learning. Students can program the CleverBots to go on a journey, play a song, solve a math problem, tell a joke and more.

The books will be used for small group instructional reading at Cooper Elementary School for students in grades 2-4. Teachers Dawn Thrams, Patty Carlson and Rachel Smith say the books will allow students to access a larger variety of texts and support readers at various levels.

Gifts to the FDCS Foundation help educators and students go above and beyond what district funding allows by providing grants for professional development, technology and other educational items. For more, go to www.fdcsfoundation.org.