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South metro

Scholarships to help with early learning

Families across the state may be eligible for a Minnesota Department of Education scholarship program to help cover the cost of high-quality day care and preschool programs. Scholarships will be given based on family income, child poverty and geographic region. Scholarships are worth up to $5,000.

To qualify, families must have a child who between three and five years old by Sept. 1 who is not yet eligible for kindergarten, and make less than $51,005 for a family of five or $43,568 for a family of four. Families at or below federal poverty guidelines can qualify.

For more information on the day care and preschool providers that qualify or whether your family is eligible, contact Debbykay Peterson with the Minnesota Department of Education at 651-582-8426 or


Wanted: students for energy project

District 191 is inviting its students to participate in a "Value Your Power" video contest this winter as a way to learn about and promote energy conservation.

To enter, students must create a 30 or 60-second public service announcement video that promotes conserving energy. The first-place prize is $500.

Elementary, middle and high school students will each be judged in their own categories. For criteria, guidelines and forms, go to the district's home page and click on "News Releases" or visit

Entrants must submit the entry form and release forms, along with the video, by Feb. 15, 2014.

The contest is sponsored in part by Dakota Electric and Bishop Energy Engineering. For more information, contact Josthna Harris at 952-707-2070 or

Prior Lake-Savage

6th grader finalist in national contest

Elizabeth Nelson, a sixth-grader at Hidden Oaks Middle School in Prior Lake, has been named one of five national finalists in the third-annual Sikorsky Helicopter 2050 Challenge.

The contest, sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft, asks students to create a helicopter that will help solve a global issue or problem that is likely to exist in 2050. Nelson participated in the contest as part of a class project.

Nelson's idea was to create a BlueCopter, which would assist in oil spill cleanup by spraying a polymer-like material into the water to absorb oil. Her helicopter would be made mostly out of recycled glass and is fueled by hydrogen. It can also transform into a speedboat.

Mendota Heights

Athletic teams seek community projects

The St. Thomas Academy football, wrestling, swimming/diving and lacrosse teams are looking for ongoing community service projects in and around the Mendota Heights area from now through April 2014.

People or organizations with an idea for a project should contact John Barnes at or 651-683-1563 or Dave Ziebarth at or 651-683-1555, ext. 1381.

Erin Adler