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Blooming Friendships Project

Kindergarteners from Carrie Knause Early Chilhood Learning Center in St. Louis used a Foundation grant for their Blooming Friendships project.  The 100 students from four classes collected milk cartons at lunch and rinsed them out.  Then they decorated the milk cartons as plant containers, planted small summer annual flowers in the containers, and made cards to accompany the new potted plants.  The plants and cards were distributed to senior shut-ins through the Meals on Wheels program conducted by the Commission on Aging. 
The Kindergarten Team at Carrie Knause has been conducting this project or a similar one for the past 10 years.  Terri Vance, kindergarten teacher, says, "This project gave students the opportunity to show they care.  It is important for our students to know that life is not all about "getting" something.  It is just as fun and rewarding to "give" to someone else and put a smile on the faces of others.  Other teachers involved were Mrs. Vibber, Mr. Pudell, and Mrs. Brasher.

Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress Project

Sixteen juniors and seniors from Ithaca High School participated in a unique project funded through the Foundation.  They interviewed Gratiot veterans about their war expereinces, and the interviews were sent to the National Archives to be kept as part of their Veterans History Project.
These Advanced Placement U.S. History students used a camcorder, purchased with the grant, to interview eight individuals each of whom were involved in one of four conflicts: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, or the Persian Gulf.  Students also recorded the story of Ingeborg A. Meyer, a WWII civilian living in Austria when her father was forcibly conscripted into the German Army. 
The veterans' experiences were recorded so that "Future generations have a chance to hear directly from veterans and gain a better understanding of war," according to teacher Tim Lambrecht.  The project resulted in some new relationships.  One veteran was a neighbor of a sutdent, and that created a stronger relationship.  Another student's uncle was interviewed deepening that relationship.  A new set of veterans will be interviewed this year.  For more information, visit the Library of Congress website at www.loc.gov/vets.

Beebe Beef Blanket Project

Ten members of the Beebe Beef 4-H Club used a Foundation grant to produce 60 fleece blankets for the Oncology Center and pediatric unit at Gratiot Medical Center.  The blankets were a "no-sew" project which allowed some younger members of the club to help make them.  When they delivered the cozy blankets.  "We want to do our best to improve patients' time spent there, even if it's just by making them smile or keeping them war," said one of the youth.
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