The schools that received Target Library Makeover grants are Anne Sullivan, Anishinabe, Bancroft, Bryn Mawr, Nellie Stone Johnson, Pillsbury, Sheridan and Waite Park. Each of the schools received an initial grant from Target between 2008 and 2011 to update the school's library or media center. The latest grants will enable schools to enhance library spaces with additional shelving, updated technology and bean bag chairs.
Waite Park Elementary School also received a $10,000 grant from the National Football League and the National Dairy Council through the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign. The campaign, which strives to reduce the childhood obesity rate, encourages children to engage in physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day. Waite Park parent Jenn Bennington applied for the Fuel Up to Play 60 grant.
The NFL Play 60 Super School contest selected one school from each of the 32 NFL markets, as well as two schools in non-NFL markets. To help Waite Park celebrate attaining the $10,000 grant, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen also visited the school in December. Allen spoke to students about the benefits of healthy choices and exercise.
Waite Park submitted three essays demonstrating the school's NFL team pride and examples of how it incorporates football into lesson plans. In addition, the school was asked to demonstrate how its physical education environment and classes teach students about the importance of being active and eating right.
"We received this grant because we believe in eating healthy and being physically active," Principal Cynthia Mueller said. "Our students receive physical education once or twice per week. Our physical education specialist, Kammie Jackson, taught a football unit in the fall where third- through fifth-grade students learned the game through skills acquisition like catching and throwing."