The Laker Educational Foundation
Inspire and Enrich Creativity, Innovation and Excellence in ISD 719 | PLSAS
Issue No. 20 January 2018
Board of Directors

Lori Frank
Amy Weimerskirch
Tim Bell
Past President
Doug Scalia

Development Director
Eldene Rosenwinkel

Kim Churchill
Marci Hocevar
Dr. Cory Goracke-Postle
Keri Thayer
Adam Tlusty

Dr. Teri Staloch

Paul Wick

Advisory Committee
Bob Barsness
Cindy Le
Mary Nagarajan
Letter from the Foundation Board

Dear Friends of the Foundation:

This is a very exciting time to be connected with the Laker Educational Foundation (LEF). Thank you for your generosity, commitment, and making 2017 a successful year. We appreciate your allegiance, dedication, and support to continue the strong tradition of educational excellence and providing a path for outstanding student achievement beyond the traditional supported school curriculum. We are truly blessed to live in a community that has always placed a tremendous value on the education of students of all ages. 

This past year, gracious supporters celebrated with our students as we inspired, enriched creativity, innovation, and excellence in learning in our school district. Annual donations, event sponsorship and donations received were allocated to grant requests and special programs. Grant highlights of the year included funds for projects and labs for STEM, alternative seating, sensory tools, and drones. These grants represent an extraordinary learning opportunity for many. We can’t wait to see what type of grant requests will be submitted for our spring and fall grants in 2018!

Every year, LEF dedicates months to prepare for the Annual Fundraising Bash. This year, local business partners, individuals, and community volunteers raised money and celebrated Casino Night at Prior Lake’s Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club. In addition to the Annual Bash, the Foundation sponsored the Dan Patch 5K PACE and 1-Mile Club Run and fun was had by all.

Today, LEF serves more than 8,500 students across the ISD 719 school district and has delivered over $310,000 in grants through your donations. We just completed our Holiday Greetings for teachers and staff and are preparing for our Teacher Tribute program this spring. We recently introduced our fundraising partnership with Shutterfly and Tiny Prints, where 13% of your purchase is donated to LEF.

Stay tuned for details of our 5th annual bash to be held this fall. We will begin to sell tables/tickets this summer.

Hope this new year brings great things to all!

The LEF Board of Directors
Upcoming Events
15th Annual Ice Golf @ Charlie's on Prior

LEF is a hole sponsor!
Saturday, January 27th
Check-in @ 10:30 am
Shot gun start is at NOON

Grant Spotlight
LEGO Engineering Kits
Ashley Mohr, WestWood Elementary teacher was recently awarded this grant.

Ashley was asked to pilot and participate in a research study through LEGO Education in London. As part of this study, she received some kits to try with students and with this grant was able to add more kits to expand student learning. Staff see the benefits of students using these kits to incorporate environmental aspects into these engineering projects to expand our E-STEM library of resources.

The newly purchased kits will be used along with the LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits that the foundation funded the year prior. A majority of teachers use the LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits and are now able to implement the new kits into the classroom. Throughout all grades, engineering and design is a standard that will be met with these kits. The kits are used with iPads and guide students through step by step instructions to build and create these machines. Teacher assistance is required to set up a basis of understanding these concepts, but the majority of the learning is through inquiry and instruction.
Pre-K Maker Kit
What are Mackin Maker kits? The kits are designed to aid in the growth and development of creative learners.

Recently, Becki Fonder, teacher in the early childhood program at Edgewood School, applied and was granted funds to purchase a kit.

These kits are designed to aid in cross-curricular education, making these collections an essential part of every school’s makerspace initiative. Students learn about renewable energy, recycling, electricity, physics, geometry and much more as they explore the world around them. These engaging, high-quality kits are the perfect way to support E-STEM initiatives and the Next Generation Science Standards.

It didn't take the foundation grant committee long to deliberate on this grant. The pictures say it all!
Jeffers Pond Outdoor Learning Equipment

The kindergarten team at Jeffers Pond asked for two Home Depot pitcher pumps and one set of Kodo outdoor ramps. Curious, we asked more. We learned the pumps and ramps will extend children's learning by allowing them to use Laker Learning traits and E-STEM skills, such as collaborating, designing, problem-solving and experimenting.

The equipment is available to preschool learners, community education classes and our before and after school program (Kids' Company). We are excited to hear more!
Other Recently Approved Grants
Weighted Blankets and Vests
Students use these items to utilize as sensory tools in order to help increase their self-regulation and promote calming, focusing and organizing effects to promote optimal learning.
Stand 2 Learn
Provided a standing desk station in each 3 rd -5 th grade classroom that allowed students an opportunity to improve their self-regulation, increase their focus and energy and allow for movement during instruction while promoting optimal learning.
Active Seating/Flexible Learning
The grant provided an assortment of active seating/flexible learning options for the benefit of all students in the classroom. It included 24 active seats and two student standing desks. Students can maintain low-level physical activity which is linked to higher academic performance.

Studying Speed in in Science with Stopwatches
6th grade science curriculum includes a speed standard at Hidden Oaks Middle School. The use of stopwatches is very important to determine the time lab objects take to travel a certain distance. This way we can reach our standard learning goals by computing for speed for various STEM and lab activities in class. The use of quality working stopwatches will be very valuable to our learning.
Optional Seating Choices
This project is intended to provide kindergarten through fifth grade students, options of alternative seating in the classroom. The items requested in this grant (wobble chairs, scoop chairs, boundary chairs, weighted lap pads, and chair band) are all items that can help promote calmness, focus, body organization, self-regulation and sensory related inputs, which in turn promotes optimal learning in the classroom.
Fly More Combo Drone
We will be able to obtain a drone system to utilize at St. Michael’s in a variety of ways. The first and foremost way would be in teaching students how artists use drones as photographers and videographers, but it would also include lessons that would touch on how drones are being used in the world today and how they are changing the world, from search and rescue missions to mapping projects.
Annual Bash - Casino Night
Our 4th Annual Bash this year featured a Casino Night. We had casino games, hors d'oeuvres, raffles, drawings and new this year, we featured an online silent auction.

We received many positive reviews and will be discussing what we will offer in 2018.
This is the link to the evening's festivities. We hope you enjoy!

We are beginning to plan for 2018...
stay tuned!

Casino Night Sponsors
Additional Ways to Support LEF
If you shop at Amazon, you can help support LEF simply by shopping on Amazon through AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support us every time at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same prices, selections and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to LEF. Directions and link can be found our our website:
It's not just for holiday's good throughout the year!

Laker Educational Foundation is thrilled to announce two new fundraising opportunities. The first is with Shutterfly, the leader in personalized photo products, offering a wide range of photo books, gifts, home décor collections, and unlimited FREE photo storage. The second is with Tiny Prints, the leader in personalized stationery, offering luxery
designs from top stationery designers. For each purchase you make from either one of these brands, 13% will be donated to our organization.

How To Support Us:
  1. Go to our Storefront URL here –
  2. Click through to or and start shopping
  3. Make a purchase

That’s it, it is that easy AND you can still use any promo’s that are being advertised on the Shutterfly site.
The Laker Educational Foundation Needs You!
The Laker Educational Foundation is currently soliciting nominations for positions on the Board of Directors of the Foundation. We are hoping to expand the board to 21 members.
The term of office is 3 years. The board meets monthly.
Our mission is to inspire and enrich creativity, innovation and excellence in ISD 719 | PLSAS. 

The foundation accomplishes this mission by raising money to fund unique and innovated programs that enhance educational opportunities for all ages within our school district. The Laker Educational Foundation is an asset to the community.       
Learn how to become more involved by attending one of our meetings as a guest. The meetings are held at the District Services Center, 4540 Tower Street SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372 on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm.

Anyone interested in the foundation and serving as a board member can contact the current President, Lori Frank at or leave a message at 952.226.0063. A board member will return your call.
Did You Know?
  • The Laker Educational Foundation offers gratitude greetings for teachers and support staff twice yearly. We are fortunate to be able to partner with local businesses to offer this incentive.

  • We annually partner with District 191's Foundation to offer the Dan Patch 5K Pace and 1-Mile Club Run. This year's event was held on Saturday, June 24, 2017. There was a good turnout and the weather cooperated. Fun was had by all that participated. Stay tuned for next year's annual event.

  • The foundation holds two grant cycles each year. One is held in the fall and the other in the spring. For details and application materials, please visit our website at or give us a call at 952.226.0063. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
The foundation is located in Prior Lake and Savage, and its mailing address is P.O. Box 840, Prior Lake, MN 55372.
The foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity under the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions are tax deductible, subject to limitations in applicable law. 
No goods or services are provided to any donor in exchange for contributions. Unless otherwise specified, contributions to the foundation will be used for its general charitable purposes and endowment. 
This disclosure is made under Minn. Stat. 309.556.