Lowe’s Foundation Awards $16,681.53 for Alternative Learning Center Makerspace

DUBUQUE, IOWA--The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation recently granted $16,681.53 to the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools (FDPS) to purchase tools and equipment for the Makerspace at the Alternative Learning Center (ALC). The award was announced to students on Thursday, March 23 at 12:50 pm, along with a surprise visit from Lowe’s staff delivering a truckload of tools and equipment, and a check presentation by the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools.

A Makerspace is a classroom where students create products to support project-based learning. It is a creative do-it-yourself space where students gather to create, invent, and learn. The ALC serves at-risk high school students who are enrolled in Dubuque’s public schools. All ALC students are considered at risk of dropping out of school.

The Makerspace will include power tools, hand tools, and materials to which ALC students rarely have access. ALC staff have found that, when nontraditional students are given the opportunity to incorporate hands-on learning, they are able to access new pathways to develop problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration skills. Work in the Makerspace will teach them how to accept and overcome challenges while developing interests that can lead to lifelong learning and employability skills. The International Maker Movement is founded on the idea that our society needs innovators and creators, and not just passive consumers. In Dubuque, the non-traditional learners of the ALC are ready and willing to meet the challenge.

This project means equal access to the tools and equipment found at the traditional high schools, and an opportunity to be part of a cutting-edge educational concept that empowers ALC students to make, create, share, give, and learn.

Additional funding for the Makerspace has been received from Black Hills Energy and private donors. For more information, contact Jennifer Klinkhammer, FDPS executive director, at Jennifer@dbqfoundation.org or 563.588.2700 or visit www.dbqfoundation.org/FDPS.

Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 50-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects.  Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed nearly $250 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. To learn more, visit the Lowe’s Open House digital newsroom at corporate.lowes.com/newsroom or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.

The Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools (FDPS) promotes the importance of public education by increasing community investment for the enhancement of student achievement in the Dubuque Public Schools. FDPS board members and staff fulfill this mission by securing financial gifts and grants for school programs and projects that are not currently supported by public tax dollars. Learn more at www.dbqfoundation.org/FDPS.

The Alternative Learning Center (ALC) is designed to provide at-risk students an alternative to the traditional high school setting.  The ALC primarily offers course opportunities in the core content areas.  Project based learning design principles are utilized to engage students that have struggled to find success at their home school. All ALC students are considered at risk of dropping out of school. Learn more at http://altavista.dbqschools.org/about/alc/.

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The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque envisions a vibrant and inclusive Dubuque region where everyone can thrive. Since 2002, we have inspired people to give back to their community, and we turn this generosity into lasting change across our region, increasing access to resources and opportunities that help all people succeed. 

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