Central Middle School Special Education Students were excited to kick off Kernels for Kids on April 9.  The Foundation awarded a Brosious Grant to Student Support teacher Susan Hicks and Special Education teacher Lisa Olson to provide funding to start a student focused initiative. Kernels for Kids will allow 50 special education students to have a hands-on opportunity to develop work-related skills by creating a small business run by “the kids”. The students will plan, purchase supplies, prepare, fill popcorn orders, market, sell and deliver to Central and District employees. Popcorn sales are ongoing and fifty cents per bag on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the District Center 2nd floor.


For Special Education teacher Katie Domschot and her students, receiving a recent BEAR Grant from the WBLAEF provided a unique learning opportunity.   Through the grant, they launched The Sandwich Project for students.  The idea behind The Sandwich Project was to give students a chance to practice emotional regulation and encourage the feeling of connectedness while also helping the community.

Thinking her idea had merit, Ms. Domschot applied for and received funds from the WBLAEF BEAR Grant. The BEAR Grant is open to anyone in the School District or community who work with, or have an initiative that benefits, White Bear Lake Area School District students.

The Special Education Cluster Program students gathered together in small groups to make 300 sandwiches for homeless families and in the process, learned lifelong lessons in food safety and kindness.

As Ms. Domschot taught about food preparation and safe practices to avoid spreading germ bugs, the students learned about “catching kindness.” Spreading joy and catching kindness helps lower student social anxiety, increases confidence and reduces the effects of stress.  While planning for and making the sandwiches, students learned to have fun together and feel connected without barriers.

Riley, a very polite and astute tenth grader, said after the project he feels “more connected to the community.” And Riley wasn’t the only one sharing his excitement about the project, because as one ninth grader said, “we’re helping homeless people and all that, and yeah, I want to do that.”

Ms. Domschot was excited to see her students taking advantage of the opportunity to work with each other and practice lifelong skills beyond the classroom walls, while helping provide food for people in need.

If you have a grant idea around innovation, creativity, community or a global project, please visit our GRANT PAGE to learn more and apply.

Matoska Elementary - 1st Graders Learning to Code

Elementary school isn’t what it used to be. First grade students in Christina Hayden’s Matoska International Elementary School classroom are learning coding thanks to a WBLAEF grant.

By the end of the school year the students were using the Osmo Coding Technology to control Awbie, a playful character who loves strawberries.  Each coding command directs Awbie on an adventure, teaching the students logic and problem-solving skills.

“The students are so excited and motivated with their learning through this program. I just feel so proud to have received funding from such a wonderful Foundation. Thank you again for helping me make this grant happen for my students.  You rock!”  said Christina Hayden.

From helping to support young minds to unsealing college dreams for students hungry for knowledge, the Foundation’s mission helps the District provide excellence in education for all students.

The Foundation’s success is sustained by generous donors like you.  Let your dollars grant the dreams of our educators and future leaders of America.