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The Foundation is sharing stories from grant and scholarship recipients to show how funding makes an impact. Hear how MCPASD staff, teachers and students are using their grants and scholarships, and see how your dollars make a difference!

Sunset Ridge received a $1,000 grant for its Exercise to Achievement program in the spring of 2017. The program is part of Tri 4 Schools, a nonprofit that supports school health and fitness initiatives. Tri 4 Schools Founder and Executive Director Katie Hensel submitted the grant on behalf of Sunset Ridge. The grant helped pay for transportation and healthy snacks for 24 Sunset Ridge students who participated in the six-week after-school program.

The Tri 4 Schools  program helps students improve their fitness and prepare to participate in a triathlon. At Sunset Ridge, weekly lessons focused on running and strength conditioning. As part of the program, participants received an entry to the Middleton Tri 4 Schools triathlon held in August. More than 625 kids participated and raised $15,000 for school-based wellness initiatives. With 45 athletes from Sunset Ridge, it was the school with the second highest participation! “Every student was able to participate and complete the triathlon, and 100% of students reported that they knew more students at the end of the program than when they started,” Hensel says. “Since two of our main criteria for program success are completion of the triathlon and peer engagement, we were very happy with the first year of the program at Sunset Ridge.” “We would love to run a program again at Sunset Ridge,” Hensel adds. “Since we ran a ‘lite’ version of our program in 2017, we hope to expand the program to include swimming and biking curriculum. This would include meeting twice per week, which would allow more time to collect and analyze data and gather feedback from students, parents and coaches.”

Hensel says Sunset Ridge would like to focus more on diversity for future programs and ensure that students in need participate. “This is a critical component of our mission, and we hope that in future years, we can reach out to more students who may need opportunities like this,” she explains. The experience was a great way to introduce Sunset Ridge students to triathlons. “This program would not have been possible without the grant from the MCPASD Education Foundation!” Hensel says.

MCPASD staff, teachers and students who are interested in applying for an Education Foundation grant or scholarship can contact Perry Hibner. To donate to the Foundation, use the link on our donations page or mail a check to MCPASD Education Foundation, c/o Perry Hibner, 7106 South Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562. Thank you!

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