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A Phillips student and Spike celebrate the culmination of the fall series
Drake and Qwest partner to enhance Grow Bulldogs program 
More students at Phillips Traditional Elementary School will have the opportunity to learn from Drake University students and athletes, thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Qwest Foundation. The grant to Drake’s School of Education will support the University’s Grow Bulldogs program at Phillips school. 

The nine-week program is designed to help teach urban elementary students lessons in math, reading, writing, social studies and health. The lessons are based on Drake sports concepts such as using jersey numbers to teach addition and subtraction. 

“Qwest is proud to team up with the Drake Bulldogs to help elementary students get excited about math and other subjects,” said Iowa Qwest President Max Phillips. “We look forward to watching the Bulldog program grow and impact learning in Des Moines.”

With Qwest’s support, the program now has more room for growth. Program leaders hope to include new sports such as basketball and the Drake Relays, and expand the program to include more students. Extra funding also will help Drake students and program teachers with curriculum development, materials and more.

“We truly appreciate the grant from Qwest,” said Tom Drake, assistant professor of education and director of student teaching at Drake. “This support will help Phillips students improve academically while better preparing our students for teaching. This gift shows Qwest’s commitment to education.”

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Back: Phillips Principal Laura Prior-Sweet, Shea Moroni, Drake education student Emily Krstulic, Michael Sadler and first grade teacher Chris Wellman. Front: Cody Fieldson, fifth grader, and Tyler Bernardino, first grader.
Grow Bulldogs is a partnership between Drake’s School of Education, Athletic Department and Phillips school. Drake athletes and education students visit first- and fifth-grade students every Friday. Both Drake professors and students as well as Phillips teachers and administrators create lessons plans for the program. 

Program participants gathered today to celebrate the culmination of the fall session. Basketball will be the focus of the spring program, which will start later this month. View photos from the celebration in an online gallery. 

For Drake students, serving as an engaged citizen is an integral part of the Drake experience. The idea for the Grow Bulldogs program was introduced to the School of Education in 2006 by Shea Moroni, a student-athlete majoring in education who was looking both for a way to gain additional hands-on classroom experience and a unique opportunity for his fellow football teammates to give back to the community.

Drake School of Education students, with faculty guidance and in collaboration with Phillips teachers and administrators, created lessons with elements related to Drake football.