Seven Dreams Foundation Awards $90,000 to Robbinsdale Schools
The Seven Dreams Foundation awarded $90,000 in grants to staff and teachers for a wide variety of projects and improvements. Grant money also went toward a large mental health district-wide initiative called the Second Step program. The goal of the program is to teach students “social emotional” skills through interactive games, activities and media.
“Especially during these challenging times for everyone, including our schools, it’s great to spread some good news,” said Emily Wallace-Jackson, executive director of the Seven Dreams Foundation. “Our schools’ budgets have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 so it’s nice to infuse some cash into innovative classroom projects and the large mental health initiative for all of our K-8th grade students.”
The winning projects show the diverse ways students are learning. Projects range from video equipment for television programs, 3-D pens, to Japanese fish painting.
A Mural Planned for Sonnesyn Elementary
Kelly Betzold has been a social worker at Sonnesyn Elementary in New Hope for two years. She believes minimal decorations and colors can make buildings feel uninviting. She connected with local artist named Kenneth Caldwell to collaborate with students and create a mural.
“The mural will be placed in one of the main hallways as you enter the front of the building so all who enter will immediately see the beautiful artwork that the students created together,” said Betzold.
The mural will engage students around positive affirmations and focus on the attributes of the school’s mascot, the bee. Students will first choose an “I am” statement. Then, they will work with an art teacher to create a design that will fit into their hexagonal or honeycomb shape along with their “I am” statement. The students will create the mural in art class before it is mounted on the wall.
“This year has brought on so many new challenges for our community. I do think that students will come into the 2020/2021 school year with a different perspective,” said Betzold. “Some will come in with a sense of feeling strong and brave while others will continue to feel lost and hopeless. It will be our job to work closely with students. And use this project as an opportunity to see the positives in one another and build each other up.”
Betzold and Sonnesyn Elementary received a $3,000 grant for the mural project. To see which other schools and projects received grants, click here.
The Seven Dreams Foundation has also launched a fundraiser to help the district offset costs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, like increased technology costs, supporting social and emotional health, and more tools for academic support. You can learn more, or donate here.