Mandan News

St. Joes receives grant

The Bismarck Optimist Club presented a $5,000 check to St. Joseph School on Thursday, May 22.  (Dustin White photo)

The Bismarck Optimist Club presented a $5,000 check to St. Joseph School on Thursday, May 22. (Dustin White photo)

Dustin White
Mandan News, editor

As school ends, it often spells excitement for all the students who are looking forward to the freedom of the summer. Before that can occur though, children have to finish out the last day of school. For those at St. Joseph’s School, the day was filled with wonder as the school not only gained the resources to expand their library, but also got a chance to explore the past.

It was the third year that the Bismarck Optimist Club has given out their $5,000 Funds for the Future grant. Local school applied by pitching projects in which the funds would be used, with St. Joseph being chosen. They will use the money to buy nearly 350 new books for their library.

“Our goal is to support kids in town,” Wes Engbrecht, one of the co-chairmen of the Funds for the Future project said.

A majority of the new books will be nonfiction, as to align with new Common Core standards. The intention of providing additional nonfiction work is to help students develop better reasoning and critical thinking skills.

School librarian, Jo Greff was especially excited for receiving the grant.

“That (money) is probably what we get to spend in two years,” Greff said.

The check was officially presented to the school on Thursday, May 22, which was the students last day of school.

Time capsule

A time capsule that was opened contained items from 25 years ago (Dustin White photo)

A time capsule that was opened contained items from 25 years ago (Dustin White photo)


Along with the presentation of the check for the grant, the St. Joseph’s students also were given the chance to look into the past with the opening of a time capsule from 25 years ago.

To open the capsule graduates from the 1989 class returned to the school, many now being parents of students themselves, in order to reveal a blast from the past.

Upon opening the capsule, the students were exposed to items created before they were even born. However, the items were of the nature that today’s children could relate to as well.

Of most interest was a St. Joe’s School t-shirt and hat, Coca-Cola bottles from the North Dakota Centennial, as well as a copy of the Mandan News from Feb. 2, 1989; a time when it was printed on Thursdays.

Student awards

The students at St. Joseph School were presented awards during their last day at school.  (Dustin White photo)

The students at St. Joseph School were presented awards during their last day at school. (Dustin White photo)


Rounding out the event, students were presented with a variety of awards for achievements throughout the year. The awards ranged from physical fitness to scholarly pursuits.

A highlight of the award ceremony was the presentation of numerous reading program awards.

“The kids are reading more than watching TV or playing video games,” principal Valerie Vogel said.

Students throughout the grades had been encouraged throughout the year to expand their reading. Through encouragement from their teachers, and support from all the staff, there was seen to be a major impact on the students reading.

At the end of the event, the students took their awards and filed back to their classrooms to finish up with the years work, and get ready for their summer vacation. There was excitement over the achievements they had made through the year, as well as for the changes that would come with the summer.