Aldo Leopold Writing Contest


Here is a writing contest opportunity for high school students to showcase their writing talents, explore the land ethic, and compete for cash prizes!

Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest

All students enrolled in grades 9 to 12 in public, private, and home schools in the state of Wisconsin are eligible.
Students must submit original work.
One entry per person.
The essay should be 500 words or less in length.
Submissions must be sent by 11:59 pm on March 17, 2017.
Entries submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Aldo Leopold is best known for writing A Sand County Almanac (1949), in which he articulates his vision of a “land ethic” – that people come to “see land as a community to which we belong” and learn to “live on a piece of land without spoiling it.”

As a work of great literature, A Sand County Almanac powerfully reshapes our understanding of the relationship between people and land. The Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest uses Leopold’s ideas to inspire students to participate in the evolution of the land ethic through the written word.

2017 Writing Contest Topic

The topic for the 2017 Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest is based upon Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” essay from A Sand County Almanac:

Tell us the story of a local leader who exemplifies Leopold’s land ethic

You may interpret “local” as someone who lives as nearby as your own neighborhood, or who resides and works elsewhere in Midwest region of the United States.

To be successful, you will need to read and understand the “The Land Ethic” essay in A Sand County Almanac and convey that understanding in your writing.

Download “The Land Ethic” essay in PDF format:

DOWNLOAD “The Land Ethic” essay Reprinted from A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC by Aldo Leopold (1968): “The Land Ethic” (pp. 201-226).

Participants are also encouraged to explore other 
writings by Aldo Leopold as part of your preparation and become involved with a local Leopold Weekend celebration, happening throughout Wisconsin from March 3 to 5, 2017.


All students enrolled in grades 9 to 12 in public, private, and home schools in the state of Wisconsin are eligible. Students must submit original work. One entry per person.


The essay should be 500 words or less in length.

All essays must be typed in 12 pt font, double spaced, and submitted electronically. If you run into trouble submitting your essay online, please contact .gro.dlopoelodla@tsetnocgnitirw

The writer’s name may not appear anywhere on the manuscript to allow for blind judging.


Submissions must be sent by 11:59 pm on March 17, 2017. Entries submitted after the deadline will not be considered.


Contest winners will be notified in May 2017, and will receive the following:

  • Three winners from 9th-10th grade: $300 each
  • Three winners from 11th-12th grade: $500 each

Writing contest winners will also receive copies of A Sand County Almanac, and memberships to the Aldo Leopold Nature CenterInternational Crane Foundation, and the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

An awards ceremony will take place at the Leopold Center in Baraboo, WI, on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Winning essays will be featured on the Leopold Foundation website and may also be printed in The Leopold Outlook, the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s member magazine.

Student and Teacher Resources

Would you like to explore this year’s essay topic in depth with your students? We’ve compiled these resources and lessons for teachers as a guide.

Readings and lessons on the land ethic:

View the winning essays from the 2016 writing contest:

Download a flyer to print and share!

Contest Sponsors

The 2017 Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest is presented by:


Aldo Leopold writing at the Shack. Photo: Aldo Leopold Foundation




Wisconsin Spring Primary 2017: DPI Superintendent Race

Wisconsin voters will go to the polls Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 to choose which two candidates will compete for the top post at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in the general election on April 4th.

Voter turnout is expected to be low, because it’s a “Primary” and this is the only race on the ballot in many townships – – so your vote has more weight.

Incumbent Tony Evers, seeking a third term, is being challenged by two longtime educators: Lowell Holtz, a former teacher, principal and superintendent; John Humphries, a former administrator turned consultant; and Rick Melcher, a Racine math teacher running as a write-in candidate.

The position of State Superintendent is a four-year term and will put one of them in charge of the all Wisconsin school districts including the potential to diminish local control of school boards in five of the largest school districts.

Here’s some information about the candidates for Wisconsin DPI State Superintendent and specifically regarding homeschooling…

From the Wisconsin Family Council: Race for Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction is Critical.

From the La Crosse Tribune: Public versus private: Evers faces Humphries, Holtz for state superintendent, Three challenge Tony Evers for the state’s top schools post.

From the Wisconsin State Journal: State superintendent candidates call each other liars,
State superintendent candidate: Challenger offered 6-figure job to drop out of race.

From Stop Common Core in Wisconsin: Recommendations for DPI Primary

In as much as every child learns differently, every child deserves an educational option that works best for them. Parents who wish to remain in control of their child’s education need a strong advocate for educational freedom. If you choose homeschooling as the best option, you should
look for the public instruction superintendent to be supportive of that choice.

Decisions made now effect everyone’s future.

More on the candidates:


Wonders of Physics: Battling the War on Science Illiteracy *Annual Presentation * AND Resource Links

pwtqodfq_400x400Studies have shown time and time again a general lack of interest in science and an overall decline in science literacy in the United States. Since 1984, the University of Wisconsin – Madison has been active in combating this problem of science illiteracy with their Wonders of Physics program.

The Wonders of Physics is a non-profit public outreach group operation out of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Physics Department. They present fun physics shows for schools, organizations, and community groups, covering the basics of motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light in a fast paced, entertaining show suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds.
WOP logo

The show has been presented by Professor Clint Sprott, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin, on the Madison campus over 200 times to a total audience of about 70,000.


The 34th annual presentation of The Wonders of Physics will be held in 2103 Chamberlin Hall (1150 University Avenue) at the following dates and times:

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 7:00 pm
Sunday,   February 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm,  4:00 pm
Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 7:00 pm
Sunday,   February 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm

Free tickets are now available for all shows and can be obtained by:
Web: (preferred)
Phone: 608-262-2927
Be sure to specify the show you prefer and the number of tickets.

Better hurry — shows fill up fast and tickets are gone right away!

Physics can be fun…

The Wonders of Physics presentations are held each February in Madison, Wisconsin.  DIRECTIONS

Free tickets are be available after the first of the year.
Use the On-Line Ticket Form, call (608) 262-2927 or e-mail.

UW-Madison Physics department is also hosting their 10th annual Physics Fair on Saturday, February 18th from 11 am to 4 pm. It’s free! No ticket required!
The Physics Fair will feature hands-on activities, demonstrations, and lab tours.

Nurture your inner Einstein!

Scroll down for a ton of resource links, experiments to try, and videos with Prof. Sprott!!


To check on availability and order your free WOP tickets, click here.

The theme of the program changes from year to year – so even if you’ve been there before, you’ll still find something amazing!

The Wonders of Physics program inspires interest in physics among people of all ages and backgrounds.

Shows fill up fast, order your free tickets now!

If you have attended the show, you can give them feedback so that they can continually improve the shows.

More resources courtesy of the Wonders of Physics program are listed below.  Check them out!

Videos are available for purchase or free online streaming here.

Wonders of Physics, Prof. Sprott, UW-Madison - video streaming

You can stream the videos directly to your computer for free by clicking on the links on

Here’s Professor Sprott in action at the 2011 Cairo Science Festival as he talks about sound waves and explains how electricity works by using a Tesla coil to generate very high voltage to create electromagnetic waves in the air.

Resource Links

Just For Kids — Here are some Experiments you can try at home.

Motion Build your own Roller CoasterSpin like an Ice SkaterReaction TimeRandom Walk
Heat Home MeteorologyVortex in a BottleSmoke RingsCollapse a Can
Sound The Doppler EffectBuild a String Telephone
Light Make a Pinhole CameraScience of BubblesMeasure the Speed of Light
Electricity Plasma Ball ExperimentsStatic Electricity
Magnetism Build an ElectromagnetFusion Cookies

Experiments You Can Do At Home from Professor Clint Sprott and the Wonders of Physics
Download a PDF with many different experiments that you can do at home exploring motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism and light. You may have heard of Newton’s Cradle, but have you ever heard of Newton’s Beads?
Check out this video of Mike uncovering the science behind this demo.  

More Science Links and Physics Resources from the Wonders of Physics Program:

Home Experiments (pdf)
Download printable version 
UW Space Place: Education and public outreach center of the UW-Madison Astronomy Department
Science is Fun: Educational website for Chemistry from the mind of UW-Madison Chemistry professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
Geology Museum: Explore the Geology Museum and take a peek into Wisconsin’s deep history
Institute for Biology Education: Raising the next generation of Biology Scientists
Science Alliance: UW-Madison Science Outreach on Campus
Synchrotron Radiation Center: UW-Madison SRC aiding researchers in their discoveries
Science Friday (SciFri): Weekly science radio show hosted by NPR, Fridays 1-3pm
Wonders of Physics Demonstrations – more information on the physics behind the show
Teacher’s Guide (pdf)- printable information on the physics behind the show
Physics Demonstrations book by Clint Sprott
Database of Physics Demonstrations – from the UW Physics Department
Books of Science Experiments from the University of Maryland Physics Departmenpwtqodfq_400x400t
How Stuff Works
Science Links for other UW Science Outreach Programs

Videos are available for free online streaming here. 

For more information, performance schedule, and tickets visit: Wonders of Physics Home Page

You can also access more information on their Facebook page or subsc
ribe to their 
YouTube page. 

The Wonders of Physics program is made possible by grants from the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences of the United States Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.


The Hour of Code™

Try an Hour of Code™ with Khan Academy

In a galaxy far, far away, programming droids is something everyone can do…

“The ‘Hour of Code™’ is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week[] and[] to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.”

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

Are you ready to master the digital domain?

Learn about algorithms, how to make an app, or how the internet works with The Hour of Code

Computer programming can be learned early on and is considered by many as fundamental as reading and writing.

Teaching kids to code opens up logic and reasoning, and can give them the experience of creating fun and helpful applications.

“Your child doesn’t have to be computer science engineer. Maybe they want to do something else. But in our world today this is going to be basis for everything we do.”  ~ Math & Science Teacher


Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code. Over 200 tutorials and lesson plans. Try this year’s new tutorials!

Khan Academy has 3 areas of tutorials for the Hour of Code.

Khan Academy offers several tutorials for the Hour of Code for your child (and you!) that don’t require any coding experience:

  • Drawing with code: Learn to program using JavaScript, one of the world’s most popular programming languages (ages 8+).
  • Creating webpages: Learn to make your own webpages using the basics of HTML and CSS (ages 10+).
  • Creating SQL databases: Learn the fundamentals of databases using SQL to create data tables and query the data (ages 12+).


Algorithms? Loops? Conditionals?

Think computer programming is too hard?

Giving commands to a computer, which is what programming is all about, is just like giving commands to a dog. CodeHS lets you learn how to code with Karel the Dog — a fun, accessible, and visual introduction to text-based programming that teaches fundamental concepts like commands and functions to absolute beginners.

Codecademy is an interactive, student-guided introduction to the basics of CS through JavaScript that’s used by tens of millions of students around the world. We’ve prepared a no-hassle Hour of Code experience with accompanying quizzes, slides, and a completed project for students at the end.

Code Combat lets you defeat ogres to learn Python or JavaScript in Code Combat, an epic programming game!

There’s a whole lot more listed at Computer Science Education Week

Want to keep learning? Go beyond an hour

No device or internet? Try ‘unplugged’ computer science

Thinkersmith has lessons that use paper and pen, decks of cards, and simple materials to teach children the connection between symbols and actions, as well as the invaluable skill of debugging.

Got PCs with slow (or non-existent) internet access? Download the Blockly tutorials that were the precursor of the tutorials – a single 3MB ZIP file can be loaded onto any computer or used off a memory stick

Kodable designed the fuzzFamily Frenzy to use plain paper as an introduction to programming logic for kids 5 and up.

Project Guts has this “unplugged” activity that helps students learn how modeling and simulation works by having a group of students play different versions of the Rock / Paper / Scissors game, and see the results as different modeling experiments.

So, there you have it.

Now get out there and code!

The ‘Hour of Code’ is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.


Cyber Sale at Compass Classroom Ends TODAY

❊ Last Day of Cyber Sale at Compass Classroom
Nov. 27 – 30, 2016
Up To 50% Off

Today’s the Last Day!
Compass Classroom Highlights:

And of course, all our normal curriculum offerings (with free downloads).

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Making a Difference One Stop At a Time

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Trains depart on November 25th, kicking off the 18th year of inspiring communities and bringing in the festive season.

Canadian Pacific’s annual Holiday Train program is a rolling fundraising event that travels across Canada and the United States raising money, food, and awareness for food banks and hunger issues, hosting free holiday concerts along the way.

A typical Holiday Train event goes something like this: the train arrives and pulls to a safe stop in front of the crowd. The stage door lowers and the band opens with its first song. After that, a brief presentation takes place with local food bank officials and other dignitaries. Once complete, the band resumes performing a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs.  The whole event lasts about 30 minutes. Once the band plays its farewell show, the boxcar door closes, and the train slips off to the next stop.

Full CP Holiday Train Schedule

The concerts are free, but you’re encouraged to make a donation to the local food bank—either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay within your local community.

All aboard: CP Holiday Train from Canadian Pacific on Vimeo.

The Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 brightly decorated rail cars. They are each decorated with hundreds of thousands of LED lights and holiday designs on a modified boxcar that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers.

Before you ask…
Rides are not open to the public.  Some employees, their families and some charitable activities officers are provided seats on the Holiday Train as a thank you for the tireless work they do each year moving goods across North America. They do not sell tickets for rides on the Holiday Train.

CP Holiday Train Schedule: Stops in and around SouthWest Wisconsin

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
Dubuque IA – 8:30 PM 
Hawthorne St. Railway Xing corner of Hawthorne St. and Rohmberg Ave

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Lansing IA – 4:50 PM Ball Park Field on South Front Street between North 2nd and Dodge Street
La Crescent MN – 7:30 PM 
215 South Chestnut Street, The Commadore Food and Spirit parking lot

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 SW Wisconsin Stops

  • Portage – 1:15 PM 400 West Oneida Street, Amtrak Station
  • Wisconsin Dells – 2:45 PM 100 La Crosse Street, Amtrak Depot
  • Mauston – 4:15 PM Division Street railway crossing
  • Tomah – 5:30 PM 205 North Superior Avenue, Amtrak Depot
  • Sparta – 6:40 PM Corner of South Water and Milwaukee Streets
  • LaCrosse – 8:45 PM 601 Saint Andrew Street

    Thursday, December 8th, 2016 

  • Winona – 4:00 PM 65 East Mark Street, Amtrak Station

The CP Holiday Train runs a tight schedule. You’ll want to arrive early to beat the crowd. You can follow the train’s journey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to be aware of any updates or changes to the schedule.

For more information and updates on the CP Holiday Train, head to their official website.

Will you be visiting one of this year’s stops?

Symphony or Orchestra – What’s the Difference? LSO Symphony for Youth Concert March 2017 – Register Now

You want your children to have an appreciation for classical music…
But you don’t know the difference between a cantata and a sonata; and the only culture your kiddoes are getting lately is from a little cup of yogurt in the fridge?

Here’s your opportunity for a culture fix!

The La Crosse Symphony Orchestra offers a unique experience through the annual Symphony for Youth concert program. Each year, over 2,500 students from around the area attend this concert which is designed to inspire a love of orchestral music through the professional performance of a musical masterpiece.
Symphony or Orchestra – What’s the Difference?

The LSO Symphony for Youth concert performance is not just an orlso-symphony-for-youth-concert-2016-1dinary concert  — it’s a complete musical learning experience!  Not only do you get Ronald McDonald dressed for the occasion in a tuxedo, but you get the combined experience of the musicians led by conductor, Alexander Platt, as they introduce the instruments of the orchestra and make the music come alive.

Students experience the excitement and joy of attending a live symphony orchestra in a real concert hall and will become familiar with individual instruments, the different sections of the orchestra, different movements of the piece of music being presented; leaving with a better understanding of how all of it works together to become a symphony.


To register for the LSO Symphony for Youth Program,
send an email with your contact information:
Kelly Zimmerman, Symphony for Youth Project Manager
La Crosse Symphony Orchestra
You will get a packet of information and a registration form.

Registration Deadline: November 14, 2016
Cost: $4 per person (student or teacher)
Concert Date: March 16th, 2017
Performance Times: 11:00 am, 12:15 am, and 1:30 am.

The program is geared toward students in 3rd through 5th grades
and is held at Viterbo University Fine Arts Center in La Crosse.
More info here:

2017 LSO Symphony for Youth Concert will feature pieces composed by Sergei Prokofiev: Finale from “The Classical Symphony” and Peter and the Wolf.

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25, Classical

Prokofiev was a composer caught between two cultures. Born into an affluent musical family, he left the Soviet Union in the summer of 1918, shortly after the 1917 Revolution. For the next 17 years he lived in Paris and toured the United States, returning to his native country in the mid-1930s never to leave again.

Royal Ballet School,1995. Choreography by Matthew Hart. Narrator: Anthony Dowell. Music by Sergei Prokofiev

The year 1917 was a traumatic one for Russia. The February Revolution had deposed the Tsar, and the October Revolution brought the Bolsheviks to power. Meanwhile, on the international front, Russia was losing disastrously in its war against the central powers, Germany and Austria. In the spring and summer of that year Prokofiev retired to a village not far from Petrograd (now and formerly St. Petersburg) and, as if oblivious to the earth-shattering turmoil around him, composed at a furious pace. Among the creations of that period was his sunny Symphony No. 1, which he subtitled “The Classical.”

The Symphony was an experiment. An accomplished pianist, Prokofiev routinely composed at the piano, although he noticed: “…thematic material composed without the piano was often better in quality…I was intrigued with the idea of writing an entire symphonic piece without the piano…So this was how the project of writing a symphony in the style of Haydn came about…it seemed it would be easier to dive into the deep waters of writing without the piano if I worked in a familiar setting.” This delicate, nostalgic Symphony premiered in Petrograd in April 1918 amidst civil war and social upheaval with the composer on the podium.

Even with the Russian Revolution raging in the background, the Symphony No. 1, was Prokofiev’s result – a wonderfully light-hearted symphony, full of humor and whimsy and a certain amount of impertinence for the Classical form. And for great romping fun, the Finale is a kind of finale to end all finales – rollickingly fast and breathless — it plays like a brief virtuoso concerto for each section of the orchestra.  The whole effect of the Classical Symphony is of smiles and delight, and makes it a classic in its own right.

Prokofiev, started composing this piece in 1916, and finished it in 1917. It is written in loose imitation of the style of Haydn (and to a lesser extent, Mozart), and is widely known as the Classical Symphony, a name given to it by the composer. It premiered on April 21, 1918, conducted by Prokofiev himself and has become one of his most popular and beloved works.

Peter and the Wolf [Sergei Prokofiev] by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Spitting Image Workshop.

To impress your friends and maybe get a little music education into your kids, here’s some things you can dazzle them with before you get seated.

  • Symphony comes from the Greek for harmonious
  • Orchestra refers the chorus that was used in ancient Greek theatre to comment on the action of the play, as well as the area of the stage in which the chorus was situated.
  • A ‘symphony’ is an extended piece of classical music, usually in four movements, written for orchestras with full percussion sections, piano, harp, bassoons, oboes, an organ, a special guy to play the triangle, etc.
  • Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which contains the famous “Ode to Joy” calls for: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, timpani, violin I and violin II, viola, cello, bass viol, and a full chorus with solo soprano, alto, tenor, and bass vocalists.
  • Orchestra is used to describe a musical group that includes a wind, percussion, and string section—specifically violins, violas, cellos, and basses. If there are no strings, it’s a band with a fancy name, like wind symphony or concert band or Coldplay).
  • All symphonies are orchestras, but only the big orchestras are symphonies.
  • An orchestra becomes a symphony orchestra, or just symphony, for short. Symphony orchestras have four sections of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
  • A full-sized modern orchestra consists of more than one hundred musicians usually playing anywhere from eighteen to twenty-five different kinds of instruments.
  • Within these sections there are groups of instruments that are also called “sections”: the viola section is part of the string section, for example, and the trumpet section is part of the brass section. Other instruments, such as the saxophone and the guitar, are added if they’re needed.
  • Among the regular members of an orchestra, not everybody plays all the time: for any one piece, the kinds and (especially in the case of the woodwinds and brass) numbers of instruments on stage depend on what the composer has specifically called for in the music.

Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Conducted by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.

Here’s Peter and the Wolf in Japanese:

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


La Crosse Symphony Orchestra
201 Main Street, Suite 230
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone: 608-783-2121


Artips – Free Art History Resource

Here’s a great little resource to learn art history.

Artips is a free art history newsletter sent out three times a week.

Artips is short and sweet.

Whether you’re an expert or an amateur, Artips brings more art into your life.

Their stories are free, fast and fun. Each takes only a minute to read and is accessible on any device (phone, tablet or computer) at any time.

More than 200 specialists hunt non-stop to uncover secrets about the great masters and eye-opening details about works of art from Antiquity to modern times. Every Artip is validated by their resident Art History specialist before it arrives in your inbox to enlighten your day!

Want to see what Artips looks like? Check out these examples.
American Gothic

Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” with it’s pitchfork and no smiles incensed the locals of the day. Read more by clicking the image.

Édouard Manet

Manet, Monet, and Renoir battled it out on beautiful summer day in 1874. Read more by clicking the image.

It’s a nice little freebie for your brain.


Tri-State Homeschool Drama, The Wizard of Oz, in Platteville

Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe’s
production of
“The Wizard of Oz”

Oct 27, 28, 29, and Nov 4 at 7:00 pm
Oct 29 and Nov 5 at 1:00 pm

City Municipal building, 75 N. Bronson St., Platteville WI

General admission at the door:
$10 / Adults,   $5 / Students

The Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe under the direction of Susan Cramer is proud to present the musical “The Wizard of Oz” based on the beloved classic film of the same name. The cast of more than 70 Tri-state area students consisting of homeschoolers 4th grade to 2016 high school graduates will appear on-stage at the Platteville Municipal Auditorium for six performances during the last weekend of October and first weekend of November. Concessions will be sold before the shows and at intermission. Come and support live theater!

Andrew Arevalo (from left), Seth Enz, Shannon Doan and Peter Humphries, of the Tri-State Homeschool Drama Troupe, will present “The Wizard of Oz.” (Contributed Photo)

A message from Director Susan Cramer:

“We have been having a wonderful time working in Oz this fall! There are 64 area homeschoolers, over 180 costumes, and hundreds and hundreds of hours of work in this production. The kids look great!”


Herb Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program

2017 Kohl Excellence Scholarship for graduating homeschoolers in Wisconsin 

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation provides graduating high school seniors with scholarships each year through the Kohl Excellence Scholarship Program.

The Excellence Scholarship is a one time only $5,000 award that is paid directly to the recipient’s chosen college. One hundred scholarships are awarded annually. Since 1990, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship Program has awarded $3,300,000 to 2,700 students.

In 2015, a homeschooled student from Hillsboro was a winner of the Kohl Excellence Scholarship.

pic2_homeThe program searches for students that excel in leadership, academics, and giving back to the community. The goal is to encourage Wisconsin youth to pursue post-secondary education in a public or non-public university, college or vocational/technical college.

The application process is divided between public school students, religious and independent school students, and homeschooled students.


This is a competitive scholarship. Students will be evaluated on their leadership, citizenship, school and community involvement, and academic achievement. In addition, students will be evaluated on their ability to clearly articulate goals in each of four areas: future educational goals, personal life goals, community/society service goals, and career goals. See How Your Application Will Be Scored for details.

Wisconsin Parents Association (
WPA) has been designated by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation to coordinate and administer applications for homeschoolers. A WPA selection committee will review the applications and submit finalists to the Foundation.

The application form for homeschoolers is almost the same as that for other students with only minor changes because of the way homeschools are constituted. Neither Herb Kohl nor anyone in the Kohl Family plays any role in the evaluation and selection of the candidates or recipients. It requires several short essays, one 300-500 word essay, three letters of recommendation, and a high school transcript. Completed applications must be mailed by November 23, 2016.

Application forms for homeschoolers can be found on the WPA website here.

Please tell other homeschoolers about this opportunity.
Although we recommend that homeschool families become members of WPA, it is not necessary to be a WPA member to apply for the scholarships.