Nearly $50K in grants awarded to La Crosse School District projects

Joshua Hein & Oliver Strassman are awarded a Gold Star Grant
Joshua Hein & Oliver Strassman are awarded a Gold Star Grant(WEAU)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 5:36 PM CST
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - 21 different projects around the La Crosse School District will be coming to fruition, thanks to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF).

The nonprofit distributed nearly $50,000 in Gold Star Grants on Tuesday, with projects at Hintgen Elementary, Lincoln Middle, Logan High, and Summit Environmental receiving funding.

LPEF Grants Committee Chair Amanda Westphal says Gold Star Grants are designed to reward unique initiatives in the school district.

“We encourage any new, creative, and innovative ideas,” Westphal added. “We really support grants that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

The single largest grant amount was given to a project at North Woods International.

P.E. teacher Joshua Hein plans to use the $7,000 award to complete a vision he and his students developed together.

“Last year during the pandemic, we did some P.E. classes in the classroom, we weren’t able to use the gym,” Hein recalled. “One of the days we ended a little early, and just started dreaming up how to do a playground restoration, what that might look like.”

The grant money will help build a walking path loop behind the school, the first step in a student designed outdoor classroom, prairie garden, and loose parts play area.

Fourth grader Oliver Strassman is one of the students helping with the design, and it’s a project he’s determined to see through.

“It’s very exciting to know that I’m going to have a walking path when I’m in fifth grade, and that I’m going to be able to help out on this project, maybe on the weekends, when I’m in sixth grade and seventh grade,” Strassman expressed.

Tuesday marked the first of two distribution dates during the 2021-22 school year.

Applications for the second round of grants are due by Feb. 28, 2022.

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