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Featured Grant Stories

North Woods Elementary Shares Smiles Internationally

March 12, 2019

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

La Crosse Public Education Foundation received a grant for $21,000 in 2018 to support the International Baccalaureate Program at North Woods Elementary School in La Crosse. As part of the project,first-grade students embraced the idea of making the world a better place by bringing people together with a smile.

“Smile Project” is about giving a hand-drawn paper smiley face to someone while doing an act of kindness for them. The project drew contributions from several locations in Wisconsin, as well as from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, Florida, and even Spain, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands and China.

The students also keep track of where their smiles reach on a world map hung on the wall outside of their classroom.

“People like to get a smile every day and I think they want to smile,” said North Woods first-grader Jorgan Lee. “So we thought doing this could help send a smile or a bunch of smiles all the way around the world.”