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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • Bush legacy brings benefits

  • Yellow Medicine East school district received official word last week that it will be receiving a $100,000 tribute grant from the Bush Foundation for help in building an applied sciences classroom for the YME School district in Granite Falls.
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  • Yellow Medicine East school district received official word last week that it will be receiving a $100,000 tribute grant from the Bush Foundation for help in building an applied sciences classroom for the YME School district in Granite Falls. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classroom will be available to all K-12 students. The grant is one of three “tribute grants”—one-time gifts meant to honor the places and causes dear to the Bush Foundation founders’ hearts during the Foundation’s 60th anniversary. The Foundation, was founded by Granite Falls native Archibald Granville Bush, a  former 3M executive, and his wife Edyth.
    Bush Foundation Chief Financial Officer Greg Keane contacted Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski earlier this fall asking for ideas for a tribute grant. From a short list of ideas focusing mainly on education and health care, the Foundation decided that the STEM classroom would be the most appropriate way to honor  Archie and Edyth Bush’s legacy, the legacy of their Foundation.
    “We believe this project is the perfect way to celebrate the Bush Foundation’s legacy and that of its founder, Archibald Bush,” said Jennifer Ford Reedy, president of the Bush Foundation. “The project’s focus on science, technology, engineering and math is a perfect fit with our 3M heritage, combined with our longstanding commitment to education.”
    “Working with the Foundation in regard to their history and their generous legacy in our community was very special, stated Smiglewski. “ We are humbled by their generosity and commitment not only to our unique connection, but also to their continuing commitment to  building stronger communities.”
    Building the STEM classroom had been pursued some time ago when the school district unsuccessfully applied for a grant from Monsanto Corporation. Resurrecting the idea of building the STEM classroom was a quick response from YME Superintendent Al Stoeckman when he was contacted about the possibility of the tribute grant. It is something that the school district had continued to be very interested in and had set aside some funds for the idea.
    The classroom, which is expected to have a total cost of $125,000,  will include a greenhouse that will supply vegetables for the school food service, and that will be built with local contractors and lumber suppliers. Once constructed, the classroom will run off renewable energy including solar, wind and biofuels. It is expected that construction could get underway during 2014.
     
     
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