by Jon Schumacher
St. Anthony Park Foundation’s Executive Director,
Those who have followed my blog for a while have perhaps read about Murray’s E2 Environmental Inquiry class. The Foundation was instrumental in making the class happen and sustaining it through the past four years, as nearly 100 students have been able to make the leap from general science to advanced classes through this partnership with Wolf Ridge Environmental Center. I was able to stop in this summer during the students’ 2-week research trip, and visit with them about their projects and activities. They are a great group of 22 8th graders bursting with energy and ready to take o the new challenges of high school with a solid foundation helped by their past year as part of the E2 experience. This summer marked a milestone for the E2 program, as one of the students from the first year class worked with this year’s group as an employee of Wolf Ridge. Xeehlue Vang, who will be a senior at Como High School this fall, helped educate and support the group through the challenges of research and summer in the woods. As we visited, she talked about her transformation from a shy, overwhelmed 8th grader to a confident young naturalist and leader. Xeehlue’s story demonstrates the importance of this program and others like it. The Foundation, through your support, is committed to continuing to make a difference in building community and community leaders in our schools.