Elementary teacher Abby Brown receives a grant from the Education Minnesota Foundation for her “Stand Up for Learning” vision at Marine Elementary

Spring 2007

Elementary school teacher Abby Brown, Marine, received one of the Education Minnesota Foundation Grants. She was recently honored at the Ed MN Rep Convention on March 17 for her grant to help students “Stand up for Learning”.

Brown wrote a grant on behalf of staff at Marine Elementary School to promote the “whole growth” of their students. She designed a program with the intention of changing the traditional classroom, which “contributes to sedentary lifestyles of children” and making “a new environment [that] will replace traditional desks with drafting tables and complementary chairs” stated Brown’s grant. Further, she envisioned MoveNSites to chairs for lumbar support and “to increase natural student movement.”   In addition to increasing students’ energy levels, Brown’s grant included adding “activities to promote physical health, subsidizing a fruit/veggie snack, and increasing outdoor learning activities.”

Citing numerous doctors from around the country, Brown’s grant was written under the premise, as Dr. Donald Dengel, University of Minnesota states, “Using the current projections, when today’s kids reach age 44, approximately 87-90% will be overweight.” Brown, knowing the budget limitations within our own district, applies for various grants to meet the $20,000 needed to implement her plan. The Ed MN grant covers $3000 of the total cost. Other financial contributions included $500 from a local bank; additional potential funding sources included the Stillwater Partnership Plan, General Mills Foundation grant, Ben and Jerry Foundation, Mall of America Foundation for Youth, Lakeview Hospital Foundation, Stillwater Medical Group, and the Scandia-Marine Lions Club, and Qwest. Foundation.

Over the course of the coming school year, Brown anticipates the project will be implemented at Marine Elementary. Items included in the proposal include drawing tables, storage totes, Mov’N Sits, Take 10! Materials kids, Fresh fruits and vegetables, and the University of MN Center for Applied Research in Educational Improvements (CAREI).

As Brown states in her grant proposal, “No longer will we ask our students to sit down and be still; from now on they will be STANDING UP FOR LEARNING!”

May, 15, 2015