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Jensen donates $8,000 to FDCSD

Funds to go toward technology in elementary classrooms

December 11, 2011
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Jensen Builders has donated $8,000 to the Fort Dodge Community School District.

According to Superintendent Doug Van Zyl, the local company contacted the school about making a contribution.

"A couple of weeks ago, Jensen Builders gave a call to the district, to Jack Christensen, our finance director, and said they'd like to made a donation to the school district," Van Zyl said. "Jack got our director of curriculum, Sue Wood, involved, because they really wanted to do something that would have an impact on the district."

At the regular meeting of the FDCSD school board Nov. 28, Wood announced that the district had accepted the offer.

"Due to their gracious offer, we've accepted that $8,000," Van Zyl said. "We'll be applying it to technology items within some of our classrooms throughout the district."

Nicole Crimmins, of Jensen Builders human resources, said that the funds would be used to purchase technology for the kindergarten and first-grade classes, specifically document cameras.

"Basically, we just donated the money and they're going to use it for document cameras, and whatever money's left they're going to put it into an account for teachers for classroom supplies," she said.

The document cameras project images onto a flat surface like a projector, but instead of using a transparent page it can project directly from a textbook or worksheet.

"You're able to take the documents and project them onto the wall, so students can see it whether it's a textbook or a worksheet," Van Zyl said. "Not everybody has to have a copy. They can actually see it. They can actually see students doing the work."

The school district will benefit from the new technology, Van Zyl said.

"It's a cost-saving effect because not everyone has to have a worksheet in front of them, but also it's a great tool for teachers to be able to share a lot of information, and kids to have discussions and an opportunity to work on it that way," he said.

Jensen Builders is doing subcontractor work on the new Fort Dodge middle school, under Construction Services Inc.

Crimmins said the gift was a spontaneous act of generosity on the part of the company's president, Dale Jensen.

"He just likes to give back to the community," she said.

The school district will work further with Jensen Builders in the future, Van Zyl said.

"We'll continue to work in cooperation and partnership with them," he said. "They said they'd like to continue to stay involved, and we feel very appreciative that a local business wanted to do something like that."

Van Zyl said the school district is grateful for the gift.

"It's a great opportunity for us," he said.

Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or



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