Next year, La Crosse Design Institute student Angeli Engel will get to be the teacher as she sets up an animation program at two La Crosse School District charter schools.
Engel and LDI principal Penny Reedy received a $1,300 grant from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation to buy software and equipment for the program, part of $25,000 awarded for 23 grants throughout the district. The grant money will be used to buy animation software and equipment such as high powered desktops and a green screen for use by students at LDI and 7 Rivers Community High School, where Engel will be a freshman next year.
“I’ve always been interested in animation,” Engel said. “I like it because you can make something from scratch, something that is your own.”
Engel has used free animation software and apps in her projects at LDI but was frustrated with how limited the software was. She said using animation allows her to make subjects she might not normally be interested in more fun and engaging, and wants to share that with the other students at the two charter schools, both of which focus on project-based learning.
“I like being able to share my passion with others,” she said. “They deserve to see it and explore it.”
Among the 23 projects are a $2,100 grant for a unique music therapy program for disabled students at Summit Elementary and $1,068 to create new hands-on math centers for first-graders at Emerson Elementary. A $443 grant will allow a nutrition supervisor to convert an old salad bar into a traveling garden for students at district schools to grow their own food.
The 23 grants were chosen from among 46 applications requesting more than $98,000. Education foundation grant awards are selected for funding based on creativity, ability to engage students and bring real-life experiences into the classroom.
This is the second round of grants given out this school year, totaling $55,467. The first round of 22 grants worth $30,153 was announced in December. The spring round of grant recipients will be honored in January 2017 as part of LPEF’s annual Grants Award Luncheon.