Fall 2016 Grants Awarded

The Rush City Education Foundation is pleased to announce the awards for the Fall 2016 Grant round

Mr. Erdman- Pedal Power- $1908.00.00 
Second grade students will be able to have physical activity while in class. Keeping their minds and bodies fit using a pedal power at their station. This will help with attention span while learning. 

Mr. Bakken- T.E.A.M Mentorship Program- $750.00 
T.E.A.M Mentorship will be a new program between CE Jacobson Elementary School students and Rush City High School students. High School Students, in good standing, are going to be partnered with elementary school students who are at-risk academically, socially or emotionally. This partnership will continually build relationships between the two and will build a support system for the focus areas of the elementary school students.  T.E.A.M Mentorship program will begin 2nd quarter and hopefully grow each year.  

Lori Nelson- STEM $ 1,000
The 5th grade science is using the STEM curriculum which is student centered learning environment.  The students will engage in questioning, problem solving, collaboration, and hands on activities that address real-life problems. the STEM curriculum helps students become logical thinkers, effective communicators, and scientifically/mathematically literate. The grant will help purchase equipment, which will allow them to have accurate measurements, and provide us with the ability to see the effects of using non-renewable resources on our environment etc. This equipment will be used each year impacting all 5th graders. 

Mrs. Gunderson- Listening Center- $778 
Beginning this year the kindergarten adopted a new Elementary Reading Curriculum as well as a new literacy management system the daily 5.  The daily 5 offers students independent literacy choices, one of the choices is “listen to Reading”. The grant will help fund the cd players and headphones for this station. The goal is for children to have the opportunity to choose “listen to reading” during independent choice time which occurs during the 90 minute reading block. 

Three Grants Awarded

The Rush City Education Foundation is happy to announce the award of three grants!

Mrs. Sybrant – Rekenreks – $478


Money was granted to purchase Rekenreks, otherwise known as an arithmetic rack.  Rekenreks were designed to support the natural development of number sense in children. The kindergarten students will use the Rekenreks for math time during teacher-led lessons.  The goal of the Rekenrek project is for students to generate different strategies for solving basic math facts and develop greater number sense.  At least 90 students are impacted by this grant.

Mrs. Bjork – Ready Bodies Learning Minds Motor Lab – $2,042
This grant went to the Early Childhood program for purchase of a Ready Bodies Learning Minds Motor lab.  The project presents concepts to students in a different way than traditionally seen in the classroom. The goal is for all students to attend the motor lab at least once a week. Research has shown as little as one twenty-minute session a week results in improvement in students.  With consistent use by students, the goal is increased motor planning, on task, and academic skills. The Motor Lab will be available to all elementary school students and will be located in the sixth grade hallway.  This grant impacts a minimum of 75 students with the potential of reaching all elementary students.

Mrs. Kurvers – 3D Design – $3,000
This grant purchased a 3D printer.  The 3D printer will allow Rush City students to learn and utilize a new, innovative way to design and create 3-dimensional objects.  Using computer programs, students can design objects and send that information to the 3D printer which creates the object.  Mrs. Kurvers has plans to work with the art teacher and elementary homeroom teachers to use the 3D printer in art and in classrooms. The 3D printer will be available for use by all teachers for use and has the potential to impact most of the students at the school.

Latest Grant Given for Physical Education Class

RCEF is pleased to announce a $2,000 grant was given to Michele Kirby, Physical Education and Health Teacher.  The grant money paid for Fitbit Flex Trackers used by students enrolled in a Lifetime Fitness class.  The Fitbits assist students in tracking daily steps, calories burned, flights of steps walked, and even sleep as they learn about daily fitness, nutrition, sleep, and overall health activities with the goals of creating life-long skills and habits to ensure good health.  The Lifetime Fitness class is limited to 20 females who each create three personal fitness goals they want to achieve by semester end.  Each girl set her daily goal between 7-10,000 steps a day which equals 3-5 miles per day.  Mrs. Kirby estimates that since March 17th, the 16 students have walked over 3 million steps!  Congratulations to Mrs. Kirby for her innovative grant application.  We wish her and her students well on this fitness journey!

Here is a quote from one of the students’ blog about the Fitbits.  “Since getting my Fitbit, I have been more motivated to walk and have had a slight increase in my sedentary lifestyle. I have been either very close to my goal or past my goal of ten thousand steps each day. Most days I get my ten thousandth step just as I am getting ready to go to sleep. This motivates me to walk a little more during the day to get a few more steps.”

Below, the students show off their Fitbits.

Latest Grant Given to Physical Education

Mr. Telander Thanks Foundation for Grant Used for Wind Energy Project

Dear Rush City Education Foundation

It is with great pleasure that I let you know of the success I had with the wind energy project in my 8th grade science classroom. For three days my students investigated, brainstormed, engineered, questioned, and worked together to create the best turbine blades possible. Here is a brief synopsis of what we worked on and accomplished over those days in their science classroom. Again, without your grant, this project would not have been possible!

Day One:  Today students were “schooled” on the basics of wind energy. We specifically looked at the wind potential in Minnesota, the size and scope of wind turbines, and making sure students understood the difference between a non-renewable resource and renewable resources like wind energy.  Next, we took some time to look at wind turbine pictures. I asked students to create a list of variables or differences that they could find with the wind turbine blades. This list became each group’s starting point for their design. They had to as a group decide which variable to test, (i.e. blade shape, blade size, weight, length) in order to produce the most energy.

Day Two:  We jumped right into working with our blade design. Groups decided their variable to test, and formulated a plan for how this would work. For example, one group worked on the number of blades. They planned to run 3 trials with 3 blades, 6 blades, and 9 blades. Then they could compare their data to decide which number of blades would produce the most energy, or if the number didn’t matter for energy output.  Students also had to draw their designs today, and create their data collection tables so they were ready for tomorrow.

Day Three:  TESTING DAY. Groups ran their trials today, then analyzed data. Students were asked to draw conclusions on what they learned from their experience and to graph their results. This time allows them to synthesize all the material and ideas we covered. And is a nice way to incorporate math and language skills with the writing of conclusions and data analysis with graphs.

This project isn’t just a great hands-on learning activity for our students, it is also a great way for them to master some of the Minnesota 8th grade science standards. I will be using this project for years to come, with minimal supplies to buy from year to year. I am also working on a more complex lesson plan for my College Environmental Science class so they will benefit from this equipment as well. Thank you for your generosity and help to make my classroom a more memorable and meaningful experience!


Eric Telander, Rush City Science Teacher


Click on an image below to enlarge

Congratulations to Grant Recipients for Fall 2014

Congratulations to Kim Erdman, Kim Halbert and Eric Telander who were awarded grants for the coming school year.  Mr. Telander’s grant will fund equipment for a wind power project that will impact 80 high students in his science classes this year, and the equipment can be used in future years.  Ms. Halbert’s grant will impact 45 students in first through third grades and will be used to provide reading and math centers for the Targeted Services after-school program.  Targeted Services provides learning opportunities for students who are just below or just above target goals and provides interventions to help these students reach goals for MCA/MAP testing.  Mr. Erdman will use his grant to establish a store for his second grade students.  The funds will purchase a cart and items to stock the store.  Shopping at the store is a reward for positive behavior, and it also teaches counting and money management.  His grant will impact 22 second-grade students this year and the cart will be used for future students as well.

Watch for photos and more details to come.  Congratulations to these passionate teachers for their innovative ideas to enhance student achievement in their classrooms.

The next grant deadline is the second week of February.  Please click on the GRANTS tab for more information.

Grant Recipients Fall 2014 1Grant Recipients Fall 2014 2Grant Recipients Fall 2014 3

Recent Grants Awarded

Macro2Resized_optNitratesResized_opttransparencyResized_optEric Telander, Science Teacher for grades 7 – 12, was awarded two grants from RCEF.  The first grant funded an outdoor field investigation for seventh graders at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve where students learned about the different biomes in Minnesota.  Students were immersed in real-life science as the Reserve is run by the University of Minnesota and is home to several current biological studies. The second grant funded an outdoor experience for eighth graders and was also used to purchase water quality monitoring equipment which students used investigate the quality of water in Rush Creek.  Changes were monitored at sites along its course through the city, and students calculated the potential impact humans have made on water quality and the life found within the creek.  Seventy-five students were impacted by these grants this school year, and the equipment that was purchased can be used for 10-15 years.  RCEF believes this is money well spent.  Congratulations to Mr. Telander and his students!  To see the Post Review article about this grant, please click here



Fourth grade teacher Ashley Lakeberg was awarded a grant so that 70 of her students could take a field trip to the Northwest Fur Post near Pine City.  This trip dovetailed nicely with the fourth-Fur Post 2014 resizedgrade curriculum requiring studies about Native Americans.  Prior to the field trip, the students read, researched, wrote papers, and created a presentations.  As evidence in the photos, the students enjoyed their hands-on experiences.  Congratulations to Ms. Lakeberg and her students.

Furpost2 2014 Resized

Fourth Grant Awarded

RCEF awarded its 4th grant to be used for the purchase of music for kindergarten students.  Teachers Maureen Sybrant and Kelly Gunderson use music as a transition from reading to math and as a way to teach and reinforce skills such as counting and learning shapes, colors, new vocabulary, and sounds.  They like to use music because it incorporates another way of learning which can teach students through auditory experience and a different modality.  Most of their current music is on cassettes, so the grant will be used to update outmoded technology, purchase music, integrate it into computers and ipads, create playlists centered around curriculum, and integrate music in multiple areas of learning.  There are 78 students in four kindergarten sections for the 2013-2014 school year who will directly benefit from this grant.  The foundation is pleased to award this grant and thanks Diane and Richard Friday for their donation to be used specifically for kindergarten or pre-school students.


3rd Grant Awarded!


RCEF has awarded its 3rd grant sponsoring a field trip to Crew Meadows for 73 sixth-graders.  Crew Meadows in Grantsburg, Wisconsin is a 30,000 acre wildlife area that is home to 270 species of birds and 700 species of plants as well as a wide variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.  Crew Meadows is the largest remaining portion of the Northern Pine Barrens, a globally endangered ecosystem.  The trip provided an outdoor educational adventure in water studies, meadow ecology, migratory bird patterns, and team-building experiences on a challenge course.  The community-building experiences were used as a springboard into math, science, and language units.  Real-life applications of math, science, and language were brought back to the classroom.  This field trip also provided a shared experience bonding the class of 2020 together in their last year at Jacobson Elementary.

2nd Grant Awarded!

RCEF has awarded its 2nd grant for iPads to be used in the high school reading resource program.  The program involves students in grades 7-12 with the goal of engaging students in literacy as well as increasing reading and writing scores. The iPads allow the students to work independently on their skills and provide them more up-to-date technology.

We Have Given Our First Grant!


RCEF is pleased to give their first grant to teacher Kim Halbert who requested the funds to take 79 first graders to the Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium to study salt water animals. The first graders are doing an extensive program this year learning about animal habitats, characteristics and classifications including a video stream with the Duluth fresh water aquarium and this field trip. The group will have a 45 minute class with instruction on habitats in sea life and another 45 minute class walking through the aquarium.

Aquarium Field Trip Photos

Click on the thumbnails to view larger photos.