The IGEMS Music Department now has 25 new Ukuleles for students to learn music reading skills while strumming for enjoyment.
                               Excellence in Education (EIE) Grants in 2024
High School Band Uniforms - Music and band teacher,  Katie Wanie, requested funds to help with the purchase of new band uniforms.  Previous uniforms were from the 1980's.

Fall Kindergarten Field Trip was once again approved too take students on a fall field trip to Black Earth Children's Museum and an area apple orchard.  This is for approximately 40 students and their families promoting family engagement and exposure to local places to play and learn.
                               Excellence in Education (EIE) Grants in 2023
Pi Day Celebration - Math teacher, Makayla Loeffelholz, will present a Pi Day celebration in the Spring of 2024, complete with many flavors of pie, as a way to make math fun for students while showing them the connection Pi has to real world applications.

                                Excellence in Education (EIE) Grants in 2022
Tower Garden Growing Systems became partof Ag Instructor, Lara Hammerly's hands-on classroom experiences with this advanced form of aeroponics where plants are grown in an air or moist environment rather than soil.  It will be intergrated into classes such as Plant Science, Greenhouse Management & Landscape Design, Food Science and Ag Exploration.
The Missoula Children's Theater once again came to Iowa-Grant and worked with a cast of sixty students to present "Johnny Appleseed".  After a week of learning scripts, songs, choreography, costuming, and interacting with multi-age groups, the students got to present their efforts in fronte of family and friends.  A big Thank You goes to Tricia Sander (Director since 2016) and assisted ny teachers Jackie Rolli, Heather Mayne, and Darcy Bruer for making this exciting experience possible.

Kindergarten Field Trip by Heather Mayne.  This trip involves a fall field trip to Black Earth Children's Museum and the Munchkey's Apple Orchard for 40 students and their families promoting family engagement and exposure to local places to play and learn.

Music department teacher, Brian Zwick, received a grant to purchase 25 Ukuleles for IGEMS students.  He states: “Thank you IGEF for awarding a grant to the music department! We used the funds to purchase a classroom set of ukuleles. Since purchasing them, about 100 IG students have been able to learn how to play them! Last year, all of the IG 5th and 6th graders did a four-week unit on the ukuleles, where they learned about the history of the instrument, how to maintain the instrument and keep it in good shape (so that many more IG students can learn to play!), how to play notes and create a melody, and how to play chords so they can play along with their favorite songs, or even create their own. This year, 6th grade will continue with a new unit, and the 4th & 5th graders will begin learning how to play during the 2nd semester. As a department, we hope that the music reading skills and group playing skills will create a stronger foundation for Iowa- Grant students as they continue to develop musical skills in Band & Choir.”

Environmental Impacts grant submitted by Anna Yelinek seeks to promote engaging lab activities with the purchase of a new balance.

Excellence in Education (EIE) Grants in 2021

Hazel Dell Landscaping Project, presented by Ag Instructor Lara (Daentl) Hammerly, will provide students in the spring 2022 Landscaping Class an opportunity to plan, design and install plantings to beautify the Hazel Dell country school grounds with selections appropriate to that period in history.  Hazel Dell is located to the west of the high school and was believed to be established around 1876.  To learn more about this school and others that existed in this district, please check out pages 6-66 in the Iowa-Grant History Book for more details.  Thanks goes to the Marge & Clyde Wagner Excellence in Education Endowment Fund for supporting this project.

Coffee Cart Fridays was begun several years ago by IGEMS special education teachers providing a way for their students to provide coffee to teachers on Fridays and in the process learn how to work together as they develop their communication skills, build self-confidence and understand money concepts.  Now with more support by IGEF they are expanding to the high school with their "Brew Crew" effort and will add an additional feature of reusable mugs personalized to each staff person who participates. Teacher, Dawn Johnson, sees this as a valuable opportunity to increase functional math, written and verbal communication, social thinking and interaction, direction following and sequencing steps which may ultimately lead to more vocational type skills training.

New Kindergarten Egg Incubator will be in place for spring 2022 when the kindergarten teachers offer that memorable experience again.  This purchase will replace a much older one and provide a more consistant result with more chicks for these kids to learn from.

                        Excellence in Education (EIE) Grants in 2020

Botanical and Community Garden Project presented by Ag Instructor Lara (Daentl) Hammerly is designed to provide students in the “Intro to Ag and Greenhouse/Landscaping Course” an opportunity to build garden beds for the community garden, along with updating the indoor botanical garden at the high school.
The newly established Marge & Clyde Wagner Excellence in Education Endowment Fund helped in part to fund this project.

Learning by OSMOsis presented by Carolyn Laufenberg.  The OSMO is an ingenious, innovative and creative accessory that turns the iPad into an interactive hands-on learning space.  It uses a mirror that clips over an iPad camera and then works with Osmo’s free apps (like Tangram, number and letter tiles.) Osmos can be used for spelling, math, tangrams, problem solving, engineering, physics and drawing games for K-4 and special education classrooms.

Kindergarten Field Trip by Heather Mayne.  This trip involves a fall field trip to the Black Earth Children’s Museum and the Peck pumpkin patch for 55 students and their families.  This event promotes family engagement and exposure to local places to play and learn.

Superior Coastal Climate Camp 2020 by Tim Donovan.  The focus of this 6th grade 3 day, 2 night trip is to study the effects of climate change in forest and water ecosystems in the Apostle Islands, and to learn how climate change is affecting American and Ojibwa culture.  This trip was slated for June 2020 but has been delayed until further notice pending the Covid 19 situation.

Social Emotional Journals.  Through these individual student journals presented to fifty 7th graders, teacher, Holly Allen, hopes to provide social and emotional well being during the uncertainties of the COVID.  Students will be able to express their thoughts, feelings and self-reflection in these personal diaries which will only be shared with the teacher but hopefully provide opportunity for general discussion of issues that concern the students.

Science Stream Table.  Science teacher, Kendall Foley, will be using a height adjustable stream and sand table to explore how water moves and affects the world around them.  The table allows 5 different water jets to flow at once to demonstrate erosion and drainage patterns, formation of stream processes and delta and lake formation through a removable dam.  Sixty 8th graders and forty-five 5th graders will experience this hands-on approach and apply the thinking to how water flows around where they live with natural creeks, water falls and farm land.

2018-2019 Excellence in Education (EIE) Grants & Activities
Field Trip to Black Earth Children's Museum & Peck's Farm Market
IGEMS kindergarten students were able to explore learning in a different environment this fall (2018) with a field trip to the Black Earth Children's Museum and then Peck's Farm Market. 

Fred Skaife with the Iowa-Grant Education Foundation presents the grant award to the 4 kindergarten teachers:  (L to R) Molly Leibfried, Sarah Fenstermann, Kristen Nelson, and Heather Mayne.
Pen Pal Project
IGEMS third graders conducted a Pen Pal Project that pairs students with community members of retirement age.  The project provides the students practice in cursive writing, addressing letters, composing a message and using the US mail system.

Fred Skaife, IGEF Board member, presents 3rd grade teachers, Delaney Orr and Jennifer Fogstad, with an Excellence in education grant for the Pen Pal Project.
"Coffee Cart Fridays"
Coffee Cart Friday's is an innovative idea of IGEMS special education teachers, Michelle and Kim, who have created a way for their students to provide coffee to teachers on Fridays and in the process learn how to work together as they develop their communication skills, build self-confidence and understand money concepts. 

Fred Skaife with the Iowa-Grant Education Foundation presents Michelle Tollefson (center) and Kim Bauman (right) with the Excellence in Education grant.
Tag -- Talented and Gifted
IGEMS Talented and Gifted teacher, Carolyn Laufenberg, was awarded an EIE grant to help several 5th grade students learn Improvisational Theater and for several 6th graders to practice their creative writing skillls with a cartoon artist and comic book author, John Mundt.

Fred Skaife with the Iowa-Grant Education Foundation presents Carolyn Laufenberg with a Excellence in Education (EIE) grant.
Lego Walls
Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders will be using "Lego Walls' to address creativity and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) exploration, problem solving and teamwork through the efforts of their teachers who wrote an Excellence in Education grant.  

Fred Skaife, IGEF Board member, presents an Excellence in Education grant to teachers: (L to R) Gina Peat, Marta Leix, Molly Leibfried, Heidi Pierick and Brenda Wasley.
Trees for Tomorrow
A Trees for Tomorrow trip is scheduled for February 2019.  It is a 4 day, 3 night educational program in northern Wisconsin where students learn water science skills, lake ecology, fish adaptations and habitats, animal survival strategies, scent and animal tracking, tree identification, understanding groundwater, water use and chemistry, skiing and snowshoeing skills all with the goal of helping students understand how people and natural resources are interrelated.

Fred Skaife with the Iowa-Grant Education Foundation presents Tim Donovan, IGEMS teacher, an Excellence in Education grant award.
Pi Day Project
IG High School math teacher, Carrie Hartnett, received an Excellence in Education grant from IGEF Board member, Fred Skaife.  Carrie will present a Pi Day celebration in the Spring of 2019, complete with many flavors of pie, as a way to make math fun for students while showing them the connection Pi has to real world applications.

Fred Skaife with the Iowa-Grant Education Foundation presents the grant award to Carrie Hartnett.

2017-2018 Activities
June 2018 - Superior Coastal Climate Camp: This was a 4 day, 3 night field trip for sixth graders to Lake Superior.  Working with Northland College and the Environmental Education Center, the students learned about the effects of climate change on the Great Lakes, the interplay of the ecosystems, and the native Indian cultures (Ojibwa) of the area. Twenty-five students took part in the trip.

May 2018 - Welcome to our School:
Students studying landscaping with Ag teacher, Eric Johannesen, researched plantings and design for installing an updated look around the high school sign on County IG.

May 2018 - Imathimation:  Iowa-Grant added to their parent involvement programming with the addition of a math night. Imathimation is a presentation and program designed to bring parents and students to enjoy mathematics and all of its wonderful uses in our lives. Imathimation encourages kids to think outside the box and to use their “imathimation” to envision all the ways in which math affects their lives every day. Playing on ordinary situations to create extraordinary excitement, students and parents look to find math in cooking, shopping, music and a variety of other areas to motivate them to see the math all around them. The presenter from Mobile Ed was entertaining and kept the children involved and interested. About fifty parents and students attended in the evening. In all, the program served 400 students during the day.

Spring 2018 - Pi Day Celebration: Math students at the high school celebrated Pi Day, March 16, 2017 by eating an arc of a circle... a real piece of pie. The importance of phi in mathematics had been studied and used throughout the year in all math classes. This Pi Day celebration is nationwide and brings math solutions into a real world application. A total of 140 students and 10 teachers participated.  Approximately 13 pies were consumed.

Fall 2017 - Field Trip to Black Earth Children’s Museum: The entire kindergarten class participated in a field trip to the Children's Museum in Black Earth. This opportunity extended their experiences beyond our district in a fun and interactive way while learning about science, dramatic play and history with hands-on activities.

Trees For Tomorrow - An Outdoor Experience for IGEMS's 7th Graders.

Fall 2017 - The Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation once again helped to sponsor these 7th graders, as they experienced several days of "Trees For Toworrow" learning in Eagle River, WI under the direction of teacher, Randy Rodgers.

Photo - On their way to Eagle River, IGEMS "Trees For Tomorrow" 7th grade students hiked at Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area.

Winter 2017 - The Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation was one of the sponsors when twenty four students from the Iowa-Grant Middle School traveled to Eagle River for a Trees for Tomorrow trip in January 2017. Seventh grade teacher, Randy Rodgers, along with 2 other chaperones from IGEMS guided the students as they experienced snowshoeing, cross country skiing, tree, plant and animal identification and tracking, journaling their observations, radio telemetry, biomimicry, land use discussions and time for creative inventions using designs from nature.


Missoula Theater Summer 2017

In 2016, the Iowa-Grant Educational Foundation helped the district bring in the Missoula Children’s Theatre Group to expose kids to performance and keep them engaged even during the summer.  Children ages 6-18 got the opportunity to act, sing, and dance in a full-length musical, most of whom had never even had the chance to see a musical performance before.

“The first grant started the momentum.  When the community saw what the kids could do, support came in” says Tricia Sander, teacher and grant applicant.  “That ‘seed’ money helped leverage additional support and now our ticket sales help fund the camp as a continuing summer project for the students, teachers and our community,” Tricia says.

The group, which included more than 60 student performers, sold out every show in both summers. 
In additon, the Missoula group conducted an in-service for teachers on how to bring theater into the classroom setting, a lesson Tricia said was beneficial for getting kids more comfortable reading out loud and more confident in themselves.

“We wouldn’t have been able to start this without the grant,” Tricia explains.  “It’s grown in areas I never dreamed it would.” 

It should be noted that financial support came from additional sources as well, such as the Elmer G Biddick Charitable Foundation, The IGEMS PTC, and the Livingston Safe and Stable Family Group.


IGEF brings Children Author and Illustrator to IGEMS

April 2017 - Mr. Rick Chrustowski, a children's author and illustrator, gave a presentation to students in grades K-8. He spoke about the process he uses when writing and illustrating nonfiction picture books. He shared photographs from his information gathering stage of writing and gave a "quick draw" demonstration while explaining how he approaches illustrating.  This event was made possible through the efforts of Title 1 Reading Specialist, Carolyn Laufenberg.

Continued - The IGEMS Parent-Teacher Club contributed the additional funds to have Rick Chrustowski return to IGEMS for the Family Reading Fest that same evening.   He led students and families in a "draw along."  His knowledge and skills amazed the students, teachers, and families of IGEMS.
TOP 2 photos - IG teachers, Trisha Sanders & Jennifer Rogstad, helping with Missoula theater & two theater students fresh from the makeup artist.
BOTTOM 2 photos - Recipents of the Elizabeth Summers Awards given to selected 5th graders.