Growing Grant

Lonedell School student Kaylie Kaufman smiles as she plants a flower outside the school as part of the scientific pathway observatory made possible through a Monsanto grant. The pathway will be used for hands-on curriculum in the R-XIV school district.

The Lonedell R-XIV School District has received a $23,200 grant from the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Co., to be used for important hands-on science curriculum for the district.

Information states the district is utilizing the funds to create a scientific pathway observatory, where students as well as members of the community can develop a better understanding and appreciation of natural resources such as hummingbirds, butterflies, insects and other forms of nature.

Work on the pathway has started and is nearing completion. Summer school students are helping to put the finishing touches on the project.

“Lonedell is thrilled to receive this grant funding from Monsanto,” Principal and incoming Superintendent Jen Ulrich said. “It is going to provide a wonderful resource for both our school and community.

“With this grant we’ll finally be able to develop an outdoor science classroom for our students, thus extending our science curriculum and hands-on learning and the area will also serve as a walking trail for our rural community.”

In addition to the outdoor science classroom, the observatory will provide local families and the community a safe and educational place that promotes scientific inquiry, including a garden that will attract insects and hummingbirds and a wooded area.

“Providing students with a fun, hands-on way to learn is so important to getting them interested in science,” said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. “Monsanto Fund is proud to support Lonedell R-XIV School District and the outdoor classroom.”

The grant is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund, which is focused on strengthening the St. Louis community where Monsanto Fund and Monsanto Co. are headquartered. Sue Emmons, special education coordinator and incoming principal, wrote the grant application.

“We are so appreciative to (Monsanto) for awarding us this grant,” she said. “Our community started using the pathway even before completion. We are also utilizing it a lot this summer during summer school.

“Curriculum for the school year has been written with the pathway in mind.”

Lonedell houses slightly more than 300 students in its kindergarten through eighth-grade building located on Highway FF south of Highway 30.