School foundation aims to raise $125,000

The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools annual fund drive is aiming to collect $125,000 this year.

A group of donors has set up a $7,500 matching fund for any donations from first-time givers in December.

Since 1998, more than $390,000 has been raised to give as grants to teachers, schools and students.

The group also holds three fundraising events each year -- a Golf Classic in June, the Alma Mater Trotter 5K Run/Walk in September, and the Taste of Eden Prairie in February. This year's Taste event, featuring food samples from Eden Prairie eateries, will take place Feb. 23 at the Vikings' practice facility.

For more information or to donate, go to foundationforedenprairieschools.org. Gifts are tax deductible.


Schools partner with Best Buy for program

Edina Public Schools is partnering with Best Buy for its eLearning2 initiative, which is being piloted in ninth grade at both Edina middle schools to allow more students to bring their own learning device such as iPads to class.

Best Buy will provide access to "attractive pricing options" for devices to ninth-grade families as a result of the partnership. The district already allows secondary students to bring their own device, and more than 800 middle-school students already do so as well. For families who can't afford a device, students will be able to check out a device from the school that includes Internet access outside the district's network.

The technology initiative comes as more teachers are bringing more of their lessons online and integrating technology into class. The pilot project will continue throughout the spring.


PACER Center benefit will feature Jay Leno

The PACER Center in Bloomington, a national parent center, is bringing comedian Jay Leno to its 31st annual benefit, which supports the center's programs for children with disabilities and their families.

Tickets are now on sale to see Leno, the Emmy Award-winning host of NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," at the Minneapolis Convention Center on May 11. For more details or to get tickets, go to pacer.org.

Kindergarten info sessions to start

Bloomington Schools will host kindergarten registration events for families starting in January.

Families with a child attending kindergarten in the 2013-14 school year can meet their child's prospective kindergarten teacher, visit classrooms and tour the school.

The sessions will take place throughout the next four months:

• 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at Ridgeview, 9400 Nesbitt Av., 952-806-7100

• 4 p.m. Jan. 29 at Hillcrest Community School, 9301 Thomas Road, 952-681-5300

• 5 p.m. Jan. 29 at Indian Mounds, 9801 11th Av. S., 952-681-6000

• 6 p.m. Jan. 29 at Normandale Hills, 9501 Toledo Av., 952-806-7000

• 6 p.m. Jan. 29 at Oak Grove Elementary, 1301 W. 104th St., 952-681-6800

• 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Poplar Bridge, 8401 Palmer Av., 952-681-5400

• 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Washburn, 8401 Xerxes Av. S., 952-681-5500

• 6 p.m. Jan. 31 at Westwood, 3701 W. 108th St., 952-806-7200

• 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at Olson Elementary, 4501 W. 102nd St., 952-806-8800

• 6 p.m. April 11 at Valley View Elementary, 351 E. 88th St., 952-681-5700

Older speech teams host mini-camps

Bloomington fourth- through eighth-graders are invited to attend two mini speech camps held by the Bloomington Jefferson/Kennedy High School speech team on Jan. 5 and Jan. 19.

The sessions take place from 9-11:30 a.m. on both days at Jefferson High School, 4001 W. 102nd St. Check-in at the school's media center starts at 8:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $30; siblings receive a $10 discount.

The sessions include speech activities and exercises, an introduction to the 13 speech categories and a short competition in the storytelling category. To register, go to www.startribune.com/a1934 to fill out a form.