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Willmar, Minn., School Foundation helps fund TV system for Middle School, activity fees

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Public Schools Foundation will help fund a portion of a new TV monitor system at Willmar Middle School.

On Monday, the foundation's board also approved funding for the Child Guide Program and agreed to pay a portion of the activity fees for four high school students who want to participate in winter sports.

Board members also discussed the foundation's fundraising efforts. The foundation accepts donations and uses them to provide assistance to support activities and academic efforts of the school district.

The board will grant $1,000 to the Middle School for a TV monitor system with a total cost of $7,300. It would be used to provide four monitors to provide information about student activities and to provide information about weather conditions and schedule changes. The school is seeking other grant funding for the rest of the project.

According to the application to the foundation, the project would help improve communications between students, families and staff.

The foundation board often helps needy students to pay their activity fees. For the students who applied for help with their activity fees, the board OK'd paying for half of the $300 fee.

Board member Orlo Almlie asked why only half the fee was paid. "I'm just concerned that nobody gets left out," he said.

Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said High School Principal Rob Anderson would say something if he encountered a family that needed more.

Board President Duane Hanson said he wanted to make sure that "we're not cast in stone at 50 percent."

The board approved $500 for child guides so that they can help younger students pay participation fees for Willmar Community Education and Recreation programs.

Board members delayed discussion of a request from Willmar Senior High for assistance in purchasing a new portable iPad lab. The labs hold 30 iPads and can be moved to different classrooms.

Kjergaard suggested waiting while the school district and the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce are discussing a broader fundraising effort for technology in the schools.

The foundation board also approved mailing a solicitation letter and running a newspaper advertisement for the year-end donation drive. Board members were asked to submit new names for the mailing list.

The board delayed a discussion of making other fundraising changes.

New officers were elected -- Bobbie Mattison was elected president; Mike Reynolds, vice president; Patti Dols, secretary; and Jeff Nelson, treasurer.

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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