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NORTH WOODS

Grant to fund online activities hub for Cook, Orr, Nett Lake

Plan would teach students web maintenance, journalism

Crystal Dey
Posted 8/2/19

COOK – A Grizzlies brainstorming session sparked the minds of student supporters last Thursday while a thunderstorm pounded the grounds outside the Cook Community Center. The group inside the …

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NORTH WOODS

Grant to fund online activities hub for Cook, Orr, Nett Lake

Plan would teach students web maintenance, journalism

Posted

COOK – A Grizzlies brainstorming session sparked the minds of student supporters last Thursday while a thunderstorm pounded the grounds outside the Cook Community Center. The group inside the building formed to forge a plan that could link the Nett Lake, Orr and Cook Grizzlies communities – through a centralized event hub.
Bois Forte Information Technology Director Randy Long put the plan in motion in hopes to start a website that would gather pertinent Grizzlies game information prior to the start of school this fall. The vision is in a preliminary phase, but funding through a $50,000 Blandin Foundation grant could help push the project along.
“My anticipated goal is to provide all sports schedules, game times, coach information, team information,” Long said. ‘Another goal is to purchase the high school cube app so we can link the site to the app.”
The Blandin grant is designed to expand current programs in the Nett Lake, Orr and Cook communities and the proposed new website is just one of the ideas for using the funds, but it’s a natural fit since the North Woods School, and Grizzlies sports, tie all three of the communities together.
“A local webpage where everything is would be amazing,” said Kandi Olson, Grizzlies volleyball and girls golf coach. “It’s not just school sports. These are Grizzlies communities.”
Olson has been using various outlets, including multiple Facebook accounts and media releases, to distribute sports schedules and student forms. As the school year is fast approaching, Olson has been trying to notify parents that student physicals need to be completed.
Marty Connor, programming manager with KBFT Radio, said the website would make scheduling simpler from a parent’s perspective. Providing a student perspective, is North Woods sophomore Morgan Burnett. Long recruited Burnett to help launch the website.
Burnett agreed with Connor that a Grizzlies community website would help her with sports and social life scheduling.
Burnett has been tasked with compiling a list of sports and events that would benefit from Long’s project along with maintaining a calendar. Presently, the school has a Google calendar with volleyball and football game dates and times. If Long’s site is successful, the two calendars could merge into one master hub. One possibility Long sees is turning maintenance of the website over to the school. Olson, a language arts teacher at North Woods, said that would require time, resources and input from the school.
Students who don’t participate in sports won’t be left out. The website would also provide students with a hands-on learning opportunity. Long, having a background in internet technology, hopes students could be trained on how to maintain the site. Likewise, students interested in journalism and writing sports blogs would be given a platform to refine their talents. Olson said she would like to see photography training as well.
“That gives them more of an idea of what they want to do after school too,” Connor said.
To see the site come to fruition, the community will need to provide input. Some of the things Thursday’s group discussed adding are knowledge bowl, adult education, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and open gym times. In keeping with the community theme, Long said he plans to use as many local resources as possible.
The trio who met at the Cook Community Center are the beginning of an informal committee. The committee is in the process of developing a name for the website, a name for the committee and a plan for its future. A progress update is planned prior to the first day of school on Monday, Sept. 4.

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