Fine Motor Skills Grant

Pictures from Kindergarten teacher Sara Miller, Fine Motor Skills grant!

“Thank you so much for the donation to my classroom. Here are two pictures of the kids playing with the different sensory bins I have. They are really enjoying them and it’s great practice for their fine motor skills.”

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Why Reading Aloud to Kids Helps Them Thrive

Sharing a good article from PBS Kids.

Why Reading Aloud to Kids Helps Them Thrive

By

Deborah Farmer Kris

“Go pick your bedtime book, right now,” I told my four-year-old. Afternoon meltdowns had turned into bedtime battles, and I was tired. He returned clutching the book Glad Monster, Sad Monster and curled up beside me.

His body began to relax as we read about all the things that made these monsters glad, mad, sad, and scared. “Did you have big feelings today, like the monsters?” I asked. Big nod.

“Do you need extra hugs tonight?” More nods. When he couldn’t quite tell me how he was feeling, he found a book that could speak for him — and that helped me give him what he needed.

On a recent taxi ride, the driver asked me, “What’s your best piece of parenting advice?” He had young kids at home, too, and his question made me pause. I’ve probably read too many books and research articles on parenting, so I have lots of data at my fingertips.

But there is one dimension of being a mom where the research beautifully matches my experience in the trenches – something stunningly simple, where the return on investment is undeniably good for my kids and good for me:

I read to them.

Almost every evening, after tooth-brushing and before lights out, we snuggle and read. Despite the inevitable ups and downs of family life, we end the day connected.

Reading aloud to kids has clear cognitive benefits. For example, brain scans show that hearing stories strengthens the part of the brain associated with visual imagery, story comprehension, and word meaning. One study found that kindergarten children who were read to at least three times a week had a “significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often.” And the landmark Becoming a Nation of Readers report from 1985 concluded that “the single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

But reading also strengthens children’s social, emotional, and character development. According to arecently published study, reading to very young children is linked to decreased levels of aggression, hyperactivity, and attention difficulties. The study’s lead author shared this insight with The New York Times, “When parents read with their children more . . . they learn to use words to describe feelings that are otherwise difficult and this enables them to better control their behavior when they have challenging feelings like anger or sadness.”

If reading isn’t part of your daily routine — or if you want to make it a more positive experience — here are three tips for making the most of read-aloud time:

Start early, read often. Reading to babies helps build bonds, vocabulary, and habits. If reading a story is part of the bedtime routine from infancy or toddlerhood, your child will take the lead in making sure this happens every night.

Read the pictures. Illustrations are visual clues that can help kids build their vocabulary and their emotional toolkit. Before reading a book, take a “picture walk” through the pages. Look at characters and the setting and make predictions about what might happen. While reading, pause to look at characters’ body language and ask,How do you think she’s feeling right now?

Press the pause button. Some nights, it’s tempting to rush through books on the way to “lights out.” But sometimes I press pause button before turning the page. Take time to look at a picture, ask a question, or share reactions. Help kids make connections between what they read and the world around them. For example:

  • The grandma in this story reminds me of your grandma. They both love making pies and telling stories.
  • Hey, she has brown eyes and loves dinosaurs — just like you!
  • Look at all those tall buildings! It looks a little bit like New York City, where your uncle lives.
  • He seems nervous about the first day of school. Do you remember your first day of school?
  • There’s a bear in this story! What other stories have we read about bears?

Storytime is not some miracle solution to the challenges of raising young kids, but over time, the benefits of family reading add up. And along the way, everyone gets to enjoy the snuggles and good stories.

If you are looking for some good books to read to your kids, take a look at these lists:

Read the article and more here: https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/why-reading-aloud-to-kids-helps-them-thrive

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2020 Fundraiser Cancelled


Dear Friends & Supporters, 
Every year, we look forward to connecting with our community at our fundraiser to share stories of the innovative ways our educators are working with Mora area students. Given the concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel our fundraising event for 2020.

Please consider continuing your support by making a donation.  To learn about ways to donate click here.

Through your generous support the Mora Education Foundation has awarded $401,421 in grants from August 2004 to May 2019. Click here to view the full list of projects we have supported.

The Mora Education Foundation is a community-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that exists to; enhance the education of learners and support innovative learning initiatives in the Mora MN School District area. This is done through a grant application process and anyone in the community may apply for a grant.

MEF is an independent organization; not an extension of Mora Public Schools.

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Ms. Gams 3rd Graders read Mini Grant Magazines!

Ms. Kelly Gams 3rd grade class at Mora Elementary enjoying the magazines they received with their Mini Grant funding!

Your donations to the Mora Education Foundation helps us fund Teacher Mini Grants (for classroom teachers only) of up to $100 for the purpose of purchasing creative instructional materials. Applications are accepted July 1st through October 31st. 

This grant was a great way for students to learn to enjoy reading.

Learn about the other types of grants we have available and about all the grants awarded since 2004.

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Early Bird Ends August 1 at Midnight!

Get your tickets for our 16th Annual Mora Education Foundation Fundraiser here!

Thanks to support from our community the Mora Education Foundation has awarded grants from August 2004 to May 2019 totaling $ 383,303.36To learn about grants awarded, click here.

We are a nonprofit organization created by Mora community members committed to enhancing the education of Mora Public School learners by supporting innovative initiatives.

MEF is an independent organization; not an extension of Mora Public Schools.

Back to the 50s
Raffles • Silent Auction • Live Auction
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:30 – 9:00 pm
Fish Lake Resort
Ticket Price: $40 per person  Early Bird ended Aug 1.

* 50s dress attire is optional *

Reservation Name

Tickets are also available from MEF Board Members, First Citizens Bank, Neighborhood National Bank & Spire Credit Union 

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Early Bird Ends August 1st!!

Get your tickets for our 16th Annual Mora Education Foundation Fundraiser here!

Thanks to support from our community the Mora Education Foundation has awarded grants from August 2004 to May 2019 totaling $ 383,303.36To learn about grants awarded, click here.

We are a nonprofit organization created by Mora community members committed to enhancing the education of Mora Public School learners by supporting innovative initiatives.

MEF is an independent organization; not an extension of Mora Public Schools.

Back to the 50s
Raffles • Silent Auction • Live Auction
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:30 – 9:00 pm
Fish Lake Resort
Ticket Price: $40 per person  Early Bird ended Aug. 1. 

* 50s dress attire is optional *

Reservation Name

Tickets are also available from MEF Board Members, First Citizens Bank, Neighborhood National Bank & Spire Credit Union  

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