Cardinal Services Gets $15,000 Don Wood Foundation Grant

May 23, 2024 at 9:19 p.m.

By Staff Report

Cardinal Services has received a grant of $15,000 from the Don Wood Foundation to support the development of Cardinal’s new Robotics Club.
The club will be open to students with intellectual disabilities who are in grades K12 in Kosciusko County area schools, according to a news release from Cardinal Services.
Cardinal is tasked with customizing a curriculum focusing on enhancing academic skills and workforce readiness. The curriculum will include elements of robotics, coding 101, rapid prototyping and 3D printers, exploring sensors, compound machines and other ageappropriate STEM activities selected to develop skills such as critical thinking, leadership, teamwork and selfdetermination.
A primary outcome of the program will be to boost participants’ curiosity. They will be encouraged to ask “why” and “how” and to use their imagination to explore solutions. Students will answer questions and solve problems, not through memorization, but by actively exploring the materials.
"We are pleased to invest in programs that develop skills and the readiness to enter the workforce, particularly in ways that will serve participants for a lifetime," said Susan Mendenhall, vice president of programs, Don Wood Foundation.
The Robotics Club will meet weekly at Cardinal Services from September 2024 through June 2025, and daily during school breaks in December 2024 and spring 2025. Cardinal will work with schools throughout the county to recruit interested students and to tailor the curriculum to suit academic standards for the specific grade levels of participating students.
“Working with students during these years prior to their leaving our schools will give them the jump start they need to launch into a successful life,” said Cardinal Services Executive Director Vickie Lootens. “It will also benefit our community, providing a pool of young employees who are skilled and ready to work.”

Cardinal Services has received a grant of $15,000 from the Don Wood Foundation to support the development of Cardinal’s new Robotics Club.
The club will be open to students with intellectual disabilities who are in grades K12 in Kosciusko County area schools, according to a news release from Cardinal Services.
Cardinal is tasked with customizing a curriculum focusing on enhancing academic skills and workforce readiness. The curriculum will include elements of robotics, coding 101, rapid prototyping and 3D printers, exploring sensors, compound machines and other ageappropriate STEM activities selected to develop skills such as critical thinking, leadership, teamwork and selfdetermination.
A primary outcome of the program will be to boost participants’ curiosity. They will be encouraged to ask “why” and “how” and to use their imagination to explore solutions. Students will answer questions and solve problems, not through memorization, but by actively exploring the materials.
"We are pleased to invest in programs that develop skills and the readiness to enter the workforce, particularly in ways that will serve participants for a lifetime," said Susan Mendenhall, vice president of programs, Don Wood Foundation.
The Robotics Club will meet weekly at Cardinal Services from September 2024 through June 2025, and daily during school breaks in December 2024 and spring 2025. Cardinal will work with schools throughout the county to recruit interested students and to tailor the curriculum to suit academic standards for the specific grade levels of participating students.
“Working with students during these years prior to their leaving our schools will give them the jump start they need to launch into a successful life,” said Cardinal Services Executive Director Vickie Lootens. “It will also benefit our community, providing a pool of young employees who are skilled and ready to work.”

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