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School foundation approves donations, plans fundraising

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Public Schools Foundation Board approved to help pay for an improved sound system in the gymnasiums at Roosevelt Elementary.

Also at its Monday meeting, the board approved more than $4,000 in funding requests for school programs and activity fees.

The board agreed to contribute $5,000 toward the Roosevelt sound system. Gym teacher Kim Rosendahl explained the need to board members.

The school has four physical education teachers working in three gyms separated by partitions, she said. One of the partitions must be left partially open to comply with fire codes.

Kids have trouble hearing their teachers in that situation, she said. "Right now, we're yelling so much, because they can't hear us."

The current sound system, which was installed when the school was built more than 20 years ago, does not work well enough to help the teachers, she said. The sound system is also used for concerts and other programs.

Rosendahl provided the group two quotes, one for $5,000 and one for $10,000. She said the $10,000 quote was a more comprehensive system and included installation.

Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said he thought the district may be able to find some funds available in its capital outlay fund. The fund can be used only for capital projects and not for operations.

Board member Jeff Olson recommended the $5,000 donation to go toward "the best possible sound system."

The board also approved a year-end fundraising letter to be sent to a list of past donors and school personnel. Donations to the foundation are tax deductible. A board committee will be meeting after the first of the year to discuss fundraising ideas.

Other donations approved at the meeting:

- $2,000 for the Middle School English Language Learners program, for a larger selection of low-level reading books to help accelerate the process of learning to read.

- $800 to help the Nordic ski team pay for its trip to the Mesabi Ski Meet.

- $775 to $900 for the development of two Destination Imagination teams at the Middle School.

- $350 to help three students pay activity fees, one each for Cardettes, boys hockey and gymnastics.

- $210 to provide half the cost of sending members of the WHS Ushers Club to a dinner theater.

A request for a Smart Board at the Area Learning Center was delayed. Kjergaard said the capital fund may have funding for that, too.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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