Be a flashcard volunteer!

This volunteer opportunity has been filled. Thank you, Vicky!

We have another opportunity that is COVID-friendly! A volunteer is needed to punch and ring the Know & Grow flashcards for kindergarteners and first-graders. We already have volunteers for the wordbooks – Janet assembles kindergarten wordbooks and Kristina assembles first-grade wordbooks!

Every quarter, each kindergartener and first-grader receives their own Know & Grow flashcards. You’ll be supplied everything you need: printed cardstock cut to flashcard size, an easy to use hole puncher that can punch up to 30 pages at once, and the binding rings.

To volunteer, please email Linda at

Thanks again CSX!

We come to the close of the CSX grant. We are proud of how much we were able to accomplish.

We stretched the grant funds received nearly one year ago with in-kind contributions and volunteer labor.  This budget does not include hardly any of the volunteer labor.  However, we did report “specialized skilled volunteer labor” as in-kind contributions below.

On behalf of all the students, teachers, staff, and friends of Dinsmore Elementary, thank you again CSX for this school beautification grant!

Outdoor Classroom is Open!

Students and teachers can now enjoy an outdoor classroom.  The benches and customized narrow tables face the teacher in a “fireside setting” atmosphere.  This is a first-of-its-kind outdoor classroom design.

Leaving the four walls of the classroom and holding a class outdoors promotes learning.  Kids have increased concentration and are more motivated, inspired and willing to learn when lessons are held outdoors.

Moreover, findings from a 2017 study show that learning outdoors is not just a fun, novel experience for kids, but also helps them focus once they return to the classroom.  There is a carryover effect as children actually pay better attention in class after an outdoor lesson.  Just an hour or two of outdoor learning engages children, improves their well-being, and increases teachers’ job satisfaction.

COVID-friendly volunteer opportunity

This volunteer opportunity has been filled. Thank you, Kristina!

We have a volunteer opportunity that is COVID-friendly! A volunteer is needed to fold and staple the Know & Grow wordbooks for first-graders. The kindergarten classes already have a volunteer to put together their books!

Every first-grader receives a new Know & Grow wordbook each week. You’ll be supplied everything you need: printed materials cut to size, a scoring board, and a long-reach stapler.

To volunteer, please email Linda at

Science + Weather

Friends is pleased to provide fifth-graders with weather instruments and learning tools.

With COVID restrictions, additional tools were needed for the science learning to be effective – and fun!

To view all the reusable science tools and supplies Friends has provided for our teachers, click here.

We have a slab!

The cement slab for the outdoor classroom has school district approval. We accepted delivery of six student tables and the teacher bench. As soon as we receive the student benches, our Friends volunteer will install the furniture!

Sand Timers

September 18, 2020 | At the end of each weekly wordbook is a page of 20 new words that first-graders should be able to read in 15 seconds. To help, Friends provided all first grade teachers with 15-second sand timers for their students. It will now be more fun for children to practice reading by sight!

Know & Grow Wordbooks

August 28, 2020 | Friends volunteers are busy printing and binding Know & Grow Wordbooks!

The books measure 5½” by 4¼” – just the right size for a child’s hands.  Two pages are devoted to each sight word a child is expected to learn – 174 words in kindergarten and 340 in first grade.  

Each book will contain only the newest words the child will be introduced to that week.  Children will enjoy writing their names on their books, copying each sight word, coloring the sight words, and seeing the words in the context of simple sentences.  The children can practice reading the books over and over again.

Fishing Poles

August 21, 2020 | We shared a pool of fish in a previous post. Thanks to a Friends volunteer, teachers now have these nice varnished fishing poles complete with magnetic “hooks.” Once COVID-19 restrictions are eased, kindergarteners and first graders will be able to fish!