Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

How you can make a difference in one Minnesota kindergarten classroom August 24, 2013

Looking to the front and one side of the school.

Long gone are the days of ink well desks, blackboards and Big Chief tablets.  Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo of Little Prairie School, rural Dundas, Minnesota.

MY ELDEST DAUGHTER’S friend, Laura, teaches at Earle Brown Elementary School in the north metro, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Independent School District 286.

I’ve met Laura once. Mostly I “know” Laura because I follow her “These are a Few of my Favorite Things” blog. Click here to reach her blog and you will meet a young woman who is passionate about life, about teaching, about helping others (she’s been on summer mission trips to Africa), about photography, her faith and more.

Laura is the kind of person you would hope would teach your children or grandchildren. She cares. Deeply.

Presidential portraits grace the blackboard by the teacher's desk.

Technology long ago replaced the blackboards of my youth. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

That said, this passionate teacher is looking to buy two iPad minis for her classroom to use in literacy and math centers. Her school district, she says, doesn’t have the monies for such purchases. She needs about $900 and has set up a donation venue at DonorsChoose.org. Click here to reach her Donors page, where you will find more details.

Laura writes in part:

My kindergartners start school already behind academically. Many of them have never set foot in a school environment. Others don’t come to school with clean clothes or proper school supplies. A third of my class doesn’t speak English as their first language.

But the thing is, my kids don’t know they are behind. They don’t realize the challenges they are facing. They are five, and this is life as they know it. They come in my door ready to learn, EXCITED to learn. I want to capitalize on this eagerness and provide them the best environment with the best tools at their fingertips. My goal is to have them leave kindergarten at or above grade level. My goal is for each of my students to know that they matter and they are loved. I want my students to know that they have what it takes to accomplish something in this world.

Can you sense this teacher’s enthusiasm and love for her students? I can. She wants (let’s reread this) her kids “to know that they have what it takes to accomplish something in this world.”

You should also know that the label of “high poverty,” based on the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced lunches, is attached to Earle Brown Elementary.

Please consider donating. For the sake of those five-year-olds.

Click here to link to Ms. Karsjen’s project and give.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


15 Responses to “How you can make a difference in one Minnesota kindergarten classroom”

  1. Mark Ritchie Says:

    Thanks for this heads up – I have gone to the blog site and then to Donors Choose to support this great young teacher!

  2. Now that’s community spirit as it should be. Nice! Hope she gets enough donations.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Me, too. I was just so impressed with Laura’s obvious passion for teaching, her vision of her kids and her hope for their futures.

  3. Laura Says:

    Audrey, this is the nicest blog post ever – thanks for spreading the word and also for your encouragement! 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You are most welcome, Laura. I love your passion and your vision and your love for teaching and for children.

  4. So nice to hear of her passion for her path!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, it’s not that often one reads of such passion for “her path.” I like your word choice.

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    How weird is it that I just helped fund another friend’s daughter on Donor Choose yesterday????? I have donated 4 different times that way (if you remember Comments for A Cause last fall helped a local Mason City teacher get a tablet) and I will definitely hop over and help out this young lady!!! What a great post!

  6. Jackie Says:

    It’s caring people like you Audrey that bring these needs to the attention of others. After Reading laura’s post, I felt touched and eager to help. Laura isnt asking for much…. I hope she is blessed with more than she needs and is able to purchase additional iPads. She seems like an amazing person and loving teacher.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      When I read Laura’s post, I just knew I had to share her story here. You are totally right in your characterization of Laura as loving and amazing.

  7. Laura Says:

    I just wanted to stop by and thank you Audrey, and thank you to your generous readers. My project hasn’t even been up for a full week, and as of tonight, it is fully funded! Thank you times a million! I was going to say our first stop on the iPad should be to MN Praire Roots, but then I thought maybe I should teach them to read first… 😉

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Laura, you are most welcome. You and your kids are most deserving. I’m laughing at your reference to send your kids to Minnesota Prairie Roots. But, yes, teaching them to read first would be wise.

      Readers, I ditto Laura’s thank you to all of you who supported her project to get iPads for her classroom. You, my dear readers, are the best.

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