Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools Grants
FEPS' Grants support ideas from teachers and staff that have a direct and measurable impact on student learning. FEPS is completely reliant on personal and corporate donations. Your gifts do make a difference. Students and teachers are the beneficiaries of your generosity. To donate please click here.
Goals of the FEPS Grant Program:
- Provide large grants to Eden Prairie education professionals seeking to make significant change.
- Serve as an incubator for great ideas that impact curriculum, instruction and assessment while achieving meaningful, measurable results.
- Encourage ideas that have a direct and significant impact on students' passion for learning.
Summary of Grants & Grant details for 2006-2013 (pdf)
2013 Fall Grants
In December 2013, FEPS announced its fall grants for the 2013-14 school year. Four grants totaling $21,800 were approved.
My Book Day at all elementary schools: Eden Prairie Noon Rotary in cooperation with EP Schools was awarded $5,000 in support of a city-wide celebration, which takes place in early May where all first grade students in Eden Prairie receive their choice of a high quality hardbound book, selected from a collection of six books they have been reading throughout the year. This event includes small-group reading by celebrity readers, (Police, Fire and Military personnel in uniform, school board members, and other volunteers), and receipt of a personalized library card.
"WOW!!! Thank you Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools! What a delightful surprise to hear that your organization selected to support the next My Book Day Literacy Program. We are humbled by your generosity and now even more committed to our efforts to help improve literacy within our local schools. This grant is highly appreciated and valued by all of us at Eden Prairie Noon Rotary, our partners within the schools, at the library and throughout the community. (Of course, Eden Prairie's 625+ first-graders thank you too!) Speaking on behalf of Eden Prairie Noon Rotary and the My Book Day Literacy Program partners, we are looking forward to working with you on this program in 2014 and supporting any request you have for documentation, interviews and feedback. Of course we also welcome any chance to involve FEPS Board Members and volunteers to participate as you choose to. Thank you once again!" ~ John Steinlicht, EP Noon Rotary
Wide Format Printer at EPHS: Steve Meyers was awarded $4,800 for a wide format printer, the latest technology for students in Tech Ed classes, allowing them to develop unique working products from their digital creations. This funding will increase creative capabilities in our Civil Engineering & Architecture, Photography, and Digital Photography courses, using the latest formats in presentation media.
Literacy Achievement in Secondary Schools at EPHS: Jon Kahle was awarded $10,000 to provide texts (both online & hard copy books) to support literacy across the content areas. This grant helps address concerns for struggling readers, who need high school books with different reading levels and it will help build the district’s capacity to enable our students to grow as readers, regardless of the content areas they study.
"Thank you for making my day, my week, my year. I am thrilled to learn that FEPS has agreed to support our reading efforts at EPHS by funding my grant request. I promise to be a good steward of the funds and will share any and all results with you and the board. Again, thanks. Your support will make a huge difference for so many of our students at EPHS." ~ Jon Kahle, EPHS
Destiny Library Books at Preschool (Lower Campus & Education Center): Amanda Baumann & Rae Ann Brenckman were awarded $2,000 to expand the offerings for our Preschool at Lower Campus and the Education Center by funding the purchase of library books, classroom books, and hands-on interest center materials. This grant will enhance academic achievement in literacy, offering deeper, richer learning environments for a larger student population.
"Thank you for your generosity and for supporting the youngest learners in Eden Prairie. Our staff are working hard to have ALL children ready for kindergarten and your confidence in their efforts is affirming. The staff and students will benefit from the added books and interest centers that you are kindly funding. We are happy to provide digital updates and would be overjoyed to have you visit our site when our work is completed. Thank you for all you are doing to support Eden Prairie Schools' staff and students." ~ Rae Ann Brenckman, EP Preschool
2013 Spring Grants
In the spring of 2013, FEPS announced a second round of grants for the 2012-13 school year. Four grants totaling $17,776 were approved.
Science Resource Libraries at all six elementary schools: David Flom was awarded $2,344 for curriculum resources (books from the National Science Teachers Association) to enhance and bolster the STEM lesson offerings at all six elementary schools. This grant was co-sponsored by the Bobby & Steve’s Youth Foundation.
3D Printer at EPHS: Mike Rock was awarded $3,418 to provide the latest 3D printing technology for students in Tech Ed classes, allowing them to generate 3D models from drawings, in order to produce working components.
Heart Rate Monitors and Watches at EPHS: Roxy Myhre was awarded $9,514 for heart rate monitors, consistent with new technology, which will show students the effect of exercise and fitness on their body.
FitBit Zip Pedometers at Oak Point, Eagle Heights and Cedar Ridge: Patti Just was awarded $2,500 for wireless activity trackers for personalized learning, compatible with IOS devices. The 5th & 6th graders will set goals to improve or maintain their physical fitness, for a month at a time. This grant was co-sponsored by the Lewis Sports Foundation.
2012 Grant Awards
FEPS is proud to announce this year’s grant winners!
In January 2013, the FEPS board of directors awarded $32,160 to district educators for innovative new programs in EP schools. Funding for these grants was made possible through donations to FEPS and from fundraising efforts such as Taste of Eden Prairie, the Alma Mater Trotter, and the Golf Classic.
The following grants support FEPS mission to support and enhance the legacy of excellence in Eden Prairie Schools:
Solar Telescope at CMS: Bill Prem, CMS, was awarded $7,480 to provide a custom built Lunt Solar Telescope with a mount, zoom eyepiece, and imaging software. It will allow every 8th grade science student at CMS to have a breathtaking view of the sun in a level of detail that even the most jaded teenager will find inspiring. We will be able to directly view sunspots, solar flares, prominences, and the swirling plasma surface of the sun. This will add immeasurably to our hands-on experiences.
Can You Hear Me Now? at Prairie View: Nathan Gabel, Prairie View, was awarded $7,690 to provide audio distributed sound systems to equip five classrooms, impacting about 150 students per year. Sound systems create an environment where the spoken word, a DVD, the computer, MP3 devices or any other sound of learning fills every corner of the room. This impacts engagement because students can hear and follow the classroom discussion at all times.
Bookmaking: Containers for Ideas at Cedar Ridge: Andrea McCarty & Mike Terwilliger, Cedar Ridge, were awarded $4,490. This grant will involve Artist-in-Residence, Kathy Coulter, guiding students to produce individual, unique, one-of-a-kind books to fill with their thoughts, connections to life and literature. This will impact 600 students in 1st and 2nd grades as they produce 14 books each in all of the elementaries.
A Choral Legacy at EPHS: Ellen Meier, EPHS, was awarded $3,500 to provide a choral legacy piece commissioned to be written for an 8th through 12th grade performance taking place in January 2014. It will be used again for future choral festivals in Eden Prairie. The choral piece, designed to meet the needs of the adolescent voice, will be the work of Tim Takach (a 1996 graduate of Eden Prairie High School).
Portable Light and Sound System at EPHS: Adam Voreis & Deb Karulf were awarded $9,000 to provide a portable light and sound system which will give student technicians in dozens of programs the ability to have full computer control of LED light fixtures which is the new standard in professional stage production. Adding them to our inventory will give our students the chance to build a college-level core foundation of knowledge.
"Woo-hoo! Awesome! Fabulous! Yahoooo! Might I say that I'm thrilled to hear this tremendous news?! This will be so marvelous for our students. We are incredibly, and deeply, appreciative of the graciousness and generosity of FEPS! Please let the FEPS Board know how truly grateful we are for the largesse of FEPS. EP schools are so blessed to have FEPS in our corner; you make our schools even better through your dedication and commitment to our teachers and students." ~ Deb Karulf, EPHS Drama
2012 Expansion Grants
In the spring of 2012, FEPS announced a second round of grants for the 2011/12 school year called the 2012 Expansion Grants.
Due to very successful fundraising efforts throughout the year and the amazing generosity & support of Eden Prairie parents & community, FEPS had more funds available than originally planned. Since all funds raised by FEPS go straight back to EP schools, FEPS decided to offer an additional Expansion Grant opportunity.
Six successful past grants were identified and EP teachers & staff members were invited to apply. As a result, the following three Expansion Grants (totaling $14,700) were awarded in May 2012:
Rolling Book Bins at Cedar Ridge: In expanding upon a proven grant to CMS, Lisa Masica & Katy Anderson were awarded $2,000 to purchase Rolling Book Bins to supplement content-area curriculum with high-interest, multi-reading level, non-fiction books. This helps improve their students' comprehension of non-fiction, which is the mode of delivery for future classroom instruction.
All Aboard for Childhood Literacy at Prairie View: In expanding a past grant to the Family Center, Leslie Lohan was awarded $5,500 to provide best practice supplies and equipment for enabling school readiness for K-2 students, as well as Special Education and Targeted Services students. Money will go towards a Leveled Library with quality non-fiction children's books, levels A-F, in multiples of ten. This is a research-proven method of lowering the achievement gap in early childhood.
Stand Up for Learning at Prairie View: In expanding a past grant to two schools, Jeff Lindlief was awarded $7,200 to provide 20 adjustable-height school desks, with stools for his Prairie View classroom. Teachers have pointed out research on improved concentration and longer attention spans due to the innovative design of the desks. These AlphaBetter Desks were designed in Minnesota, and are built upon the need to have physical outlets for energy in order to concentrate and learn. The desk height is adjustable so that students can stand comfortably, or use the non-tipping stool with a noiseless pendulum footrest allowing them to rhythmically swing their feet.
"Thank you very much for the generous grant so I can purchase school "standing desks" for my classroom. I've had 3 of them this year & am amazed at how much they benefit student attention & learning! Your work & generosity is much appreciated by the teachers & staff in the district. Thanks again!"
~ Jeff Lindlief, Prairie View 5th Grade
2011 Grant Awards
The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools (FEPS) is proud to announce this year’s grant winners.
In January 2012, the FEPS board of directors awarded $24,950 to Eden Prairie Schools for innovative new programs in the district. Two of the grants are paid for by generous donations from the Matheson Endowment and ADC Foundation. A majority of the funding for the grants comes from funds raised at the Taste of Eden Prairie.
The following grants will support and enhance the legacy of excellence in the Eden Prairie Schools:
A Field Study of Insects at CMS: Colleen Grant & Sue Nielsen have been awarded $3,200 to purchase the supplies necessary for 700 students at CMS to organize and carry out a field study in the
natural environment. Students will collect, identify, and classify insects, as well as analyze data. This new idea
compliments the life science curriculum. The students will perform laboratory methods and critical thinking skills
like professional scientists.
Leadership Coaching at EPHS: Irene Kelly & Conn McCartan have been awarded $5,000 to provide training to high school teachers in leadership coaching. It compliments and extends an existing program. Educators who have integrated coaching skills into their methods report that students are personally empowered, significantly more self-directed and measurably improve their academic performance. This grant was sponsored by the Matheson Family endowment.
"It was such a treat to join you at the reception this afternoon, share the vision for our grant, hear the innovation being supported by FEPS and know the great distance FEPS has come. Please share my congratulations with the board for "SUPERB" work to have taken FEPS to this level. It takes tremendous passion, energy and effort ... it is clear that all are present. On behalf of our team, I want to share our gratitude for your support of our coaching grant and also express gratitude to you for all that you do to support excellence in EP Schools."
~ Irene on behalf of Nancy, Conn & Gary
A Vision for Reading at Eden Lake: Lisa Birno & Amy Youngstrom have been awarded $7,500 to purchase a Visagraph device that records eye movements using infrared sensors through a set of goggles that connect to a PC. It represents cutting-edge reading therapy. Data collected identifies visual inefficiencies that may occur as a student reads, helping determine appropriate interventions and monitor student progress as they improve. This grant was sponsored by the ADC Foundation.
Reading A-Z for Literacy Achievement at Forest Hills: Adam Leicht has been awarded $2,600 to provide iPod touches, an iPad, and a variety of apps, primarily those created by the Learning A-Z
website. This site focuses on vocabulary development and word recognition skills by providing quality texts with
challenging vocabulary coupled with extensive and rigorous instruction with that challenging vocabulary. The use
of this app is approved by EP Tech and will compliment current literacy plans.
Focus on Learning at Prairie View: Mary Andert has been awarded $6,649 to provide 540 elementary students with two classroom sets of digital cameras to be used with a new
interdisciplinary curriculum which integrates language arts, math, art, social studies, and science. Students will be
sharing and writing about what they photograph in order to make learning more relevant.
2010 Grant Awards
In late 2010, FEPS awarded $27,500 to Eden Prairie Schools for the following grants:
World Savvy at CMS: Melissa Damon & Karen Nelson were awarded $3,510 to fund a World Affairs Challenge to be added to Enriched Social Studies courses at CMS. This program engaged students in project-based learning to explore some of today's most pressing local and global issues. The topic for 2011 was, "Food: Feeding the Planet Sustainably in the 21st Century." This grant was sponsored by the Matheson Family endowment.
Equipment upgrade for Eagle Vision Studios at EPHS: Perry Kennedy was awarded $3,018 to purchase upgraded and advanced equipment for the video production and journalism program at EPHS. The wave of the future in television production is high definition P2 Cards and Readers. This grant helped set EPHS students above the average for equipment knowledge and usage, while it also benefited the programming enjoyed by up to 10,000 viewers per day. This grant was sponsored by the ADC Foundation.
Rolling Book Bins at CMS: Jon Kahle was awarded $8,000 to purchase 6-8 Rolling Book Bins to supplement content-area curriculum with high-interest, multi-reading level, non-fiction books. This grant helped improve our secondary students' comprehension of non-fiction, which is the mode of delivery for over two-thirds of classroom instruction at their age level.
All Aboard for Childhood Literacy at Eden Prairie Family Center: Rae Ann Brenckman was awarded $7,500 to provide best practice supplies and equipment for enabling school readiness by pre-kindergarten students. Money went towards a Professional Curriculum Library and also 250 quality children’s books. This is a research-proven method of lowering the achievement gap in early childhood.
"THANK YOU again for your generosity and for asking me to share our journey at Monday's meeting. Our staff is grateful for your support and are collaborating in ways we previously have not--all for the benefit of the children. Our students are benefitting from the many books--big, board, fiction and non-fiction as well as the other wonderful literacy materials that you paid for including games and alphabet puzzles, listening centers, hands-on letter, sound, and rhyming manipulatives and more. Thank you again for your support." ~ Rae Ann Brenckman
Teamwork on the Dangle Duo at EPHS: Nancy Pudas was awarded $4,986 to purchase and install a new "Dangle Duo" element to enhance the high ropes course at the high school. Students work in groups on the physical elements of a ropes course in order to solve a problem that forces them to push beyond their comfort zone and analyze needs and best practices. Dangle Duo requires students to safely climb 30-feet in the air by using ropes to go up a series of ever-widening gaps between boards.
2009 Grant Awards
In late 2009, FEPS awarded $32,500 to Eden Prairie Schools for the following grants:
Katy Anderson (Cedar Ridge Elementary) received $10,129 for Mindstorms Learning Kits used to implement an engaging, science/technology-related experience with LEGO Robotics equipment. The grant was funded by a large donation from the ADC Foundation.
"Just a note of gratitude for making our Robotics grant possible. I wish you could have been here the day the pallets of Legos arrived. The kids were brimming with excitement. I've been overwhelmed by the support I've received. Mike Maas, at the high school, has offered the help of his robotics team. An engineer & First Lego Coach/Author/Trainer has offered his expertise. We are off to a great start." ~ Katy Anderson
Kristin Gabel (Eden Prairie High School) received $6,106 for a polymerase chain reaction machine for biology courses which will allow students to take a small amount of DNA and amplify it until there is enough DNA to manipulate or test in the laboratory setting.
Jackie Ahlers (Central Middle School) and Mike Skarp (Prairie View Elementary) received $2,880 and $4,957 respectively for adjustable-height standing desks, with stools, for their classrooms.
Nicola Huss (Forest Hills Elementary) received $5,000 for multiple classroom sets of non-fiction books that integrate science and social studies into the reading and writing curricula across all grade levels.
Peggy Simenson (Cedar Ridge) is developing a training program to bring parent volunteers into the school to help students be successful in reading and math in kindergarten and first grade.
The Foundation received over $171,000 in grant requests from 21 applicants this past year alone.
The Foundation is limited by its financial resources but not by a lack of teacher innovation or creativity.
December 2008 Awards
In late 2008, FEPS awarded $29,000 in grants to six teachers/staff members in the District. FEPS received over $185,000 in grant applications from 26 applicants. Grants were awarded based on a number of criteria including impact on student engagement and learning, potential scope of impact, and sustainability. Foundation for Eden Prairie School Grants were awarded to the following primary applicants:
Barbara Astry at Eden Prairie High School ($5,044) - for books, computer books and other materials in support of struggling readers and, in particular, in support of a growing population of autistic students.
Lisa Birno at Eden Lake ($4,500) - for creation of toolkits for classroom teachers to use as they implement a Read-to-Self program which provides for large blocks of structured, independent reading time and encourages students to be independent, successful readers.
Karen Casey at Cedar Ridge ($6,838) - to fund a multidisciplinary program (reading, writing, the arts) called Classroom Conversations on Race and Diversity which involves children more directly in the districts equity goals.
Lori Ford at Eden Prairie High School ($6,355) - for the purchase of software which allows teachers to simultaneously monitor, control, and share computer lab resources from a single location thereby facilitating and enhancing classroom instruction.
Sarah Kuipers at Prairie View ($2,300) - to allow the creation of reusable kindergarten literacy backpacks which include books and props that students can take home and which will promote and encourage parent-child reading time.
Michael Welsh with Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) ($4,000) - to facilitate the establishment of father-initiated support and informational services and parent-child activities which will aid fathers of children with special needs.
The Foundation solicits requests for grants district-wide. This was the second year in a row that grant requests totaled over $185,000.
December 2007 Awards
In December 2007, FEPS awarded $30,000 in grants to six district staff members. The grants were awarded for innovative projects having a direct and measurable impact on student learning. Grants were given to:
Matt Hardy, Cedar Ridge teacher - received $7,700 for a two-year project titled "Go Green: High-Tech Environmental Science in the Elementary School".
Marcia Beezley, Director of Student Support Services - received $4,000 for research on the use of tabletop smartboards in special education.
Terri Johnson, K-12 parent involvement coordinator - received $5,000 for a K-12 math night.
Jennifer Totoritis, Forest Hills art teacher - received $3,900 to start an art club at that school.
Cindy Stark, Oak Point student support services coordinator - received $4,500 for ball chairs to be used in classrooms for special needs students.
Kay Rosheim, Prairie View teacher - received $5,000 for a one-year project titled "Methods to Increase Non-Fiction Reading Instruction".
"I want to express my gratitude to you and the FEPS Board of Directors for making the FEPS grant program possible. The funds we were given last year provided the catalyst for highlighting the importance of teaching students how to read non-fiction text and most importantly it has put new, high interest books in the hands of our young readers! It has been fun this year to tell the students that they are the first to be reading these new materials. It has been very motivating for all of us, teachers and students!"
~ Kay Rosheim, Prairie View Reading Specialist
During 2007, FEPS received nearly $190,000 in grant applications from 24 staff members. Grants are financed by private donations and by the annual Taste of Eden Prairie event.