FD school foundation names grant recipients

-Submitted photo Fort Dodge Senior High industrial technology instructor Andy Kavanaugh, right, works with students on a Computer Numerical Control machine made possible by a grant from the Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation. Kavanaugh has recently added additional metalworking machinery with FDCS Foundation grant money for use in the program.

The Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation Board recently voted to grant more than $16,000 for educational items for the Fort Dodge Community School District.

“I was so impressed by the ideas presented to the board by teachers and administrators,” said FDCS Foundation President Andrea DeJong. “Their dedication to improving the educational experience for Fort Dodge Community School District students is remarkable. The entire board is thrilled to be able to fund these initiatives.”

Grants include:

– $7,092 for English Language Arts books for all first-grade students.

– $4,600 for Makerspace equipment for the Duncombe Elementary School Library.

– $4,450 for Metalworking Machinery for the Industrial Technology Program at Fort Dodge Senior High.

– $500 for the SMART Program at Butler Elementary School.

District Media Specialist Jennifer Cole said she will use the grant money to create the “next generation of library” at Duncombe. A Makerspace is an area where students can apply their creativity, innovation, and interests by “making.” The grant will allow Cole to purchase items such as building blocks, coding devices, brain teasers, Legos and robots. Students will be encouraged to make ideas come to life using these materials.

The English Language Arts books will be used by first-grade students at all Fort Dodge Community School District elementary schools to support early learning and literacy goals set by the district, according to Butler Elementary teacher Rachel Loots.

Fort Dodge Senior High industrial technology instructor Andy Kavanaugh said the additional metalworking machinery he has added with the grant money will help students improve their skills in precision measurement, mathematics, blue print reading and computer aided manufacturing. He said this will better prepare them for post-secondary education or employment.

SMART stands for Stimulated Maturity through Readiness Training. It is a program implemented at Butler Elementary School last year by second-grade teacher Kim Vaughn with a grant from the FDCS Foundation. Vaughn experienced so much improvement in literacy scores that this year all Butler students are participating in SMART for 20 minutes a day. SMART stations include: jumping on a trampoline while reciting math facts, walking a balance beam, picking up dice with a tweezer and rolling in a straight line. These activities have been shown to improve classroom readiness skills. Principal Stephanie Anderson said money from the FDCS Foundation will be used to buy additional supplies for use in the SMART program.

The FDCS Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded by generous donors and business sponsors. The FDCS Foundation annual fundraiser Go Big, Go Dodgers will be held April 6 at Fort Frenzy. For more information, go to www.fdcsfoundation.org