Community Enhancement

Shop at Pioneer Bookshop in December to support Grinnell High School library

Grinnell, Iowa - Shoppers can help Grinnell High School students by making purchases at the Pioneer Bookshop during December, when 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the GHS library.

"We, at the Pioneer Bookshop, want to support the love of reading by contributing to the Grinnell High School library," said Cassie Wherry, manager of the College Bookstore and Pioneer Bookshop. "We hope to make it a little easier for the librarian to fulfill the special requests of high school readers and spark the interests of future readers."

Last year, local shoppers raised $1,720 for the GHS library by making purchases at the Pioneer Bookshop in December 2013. 

"Grinnell High School students and staff are pleased that the Pioneer Bookstore and Grinnell College have been so generous to donate funds to our library," said GHS librarian Chelsey Kolpin. "In the past, these funds have greatly benefited our library, especially by expanding our series offerings, and classic novels collections.

GHS junior Katrina Sieck said she greatly enjoyed reading Cassandra Clare's "The Infernal Devices" series, which was purchased with the donated funds last year. "The characters were complex and built up throughout each book, and the love triangle was fun to read about," she added.

Sieck also said - that it's great to have the College help support the high school library. Her message to community members about this year’s promotion is simple: "Help support reading at our school by shopping at the Pioneer Bookshop." 

About Pioneer Bookshop

Located in downtown Grinnell at 823 Fourth Ave., the Pioneer Bookshop features current popular books, books with Iowa connections, children’s books and educational toys, Pioneer and Tiger apparel, and more. The Pioneer Bookshop is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Starting Monday, Dec. 8, the bookshop will have the following extended holiday hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. On Christmas Eve, the store will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cutline and credit for attached photo

Grinnell High School junior Katrina Sieck reads a book purchased last year with funds donated to the school library by the Pioneer Bookstore. Photo credit: Chelsey Kolpin

Grinnell students to teach free STEM courses Nov. 22

Grinnell, Iowa - Grinnell College will launch the Ignite Program on Saturday, Nov. 22, with a day of free classes taught by Grinnell College student teachers. The program is open to students in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade, and registration is open until Friday, Oct. 24.

The Ignite Program encourages children to take fun, free academic mini-courses taught by Grinnell College students. Courses, including “Candyland Architecture” and “The Science of Harry Potter,” will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Each course will have at least two teachers and will be capped at 15 students. All participants will receive a free pizza lunch, snacks and a T-shirt. Parents can register their children at

Parents with children in pre-K through 4th-grade can register their children for one morning course, one afternoon course, or both one morning and afternoon course. Children in fifth through eighth-grade will take one full-day course. The morning courses will begin at 9 a.m. with a pickup after lunch at 12:30 p.m., and the afternoon courses will begin with a drop-off before lunch at 11:30 a.m. and pickup at 3 p.m. Students taking two courses, or one full-day course, can be dropped off before 9 a.m. and picked up at 3 p.m.

These engaging courses will be fun and accessible to students, and will introduce them to the physical environment of a college campus, helping to develop college readiness.

The Ignite Program is made possible by Grinnell Careers in Education Professions, the Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement, and a generous gift from Helen Redmond and Pete Brownell.

Near Grinnell

The Grinnell community has no borders. Everything from the curriculum to the day-to-day conversation in the residence halls is open-ended in context and consideration.

For those who want to add geographic dimension to that intellectual latitude, the cities of Des Moines and Iowa City are just an hour away, and one can be in Chicago, Minneapolis, or Kansas City in less than five hours. But for most students, the 120-acre campus and the town of Grinnell provide more than enough opportunities for exploration and entertainment.

The Prairie

Grinnell sits in the middle of a vast and dynamic environment known as prairie. Tall grasses, flowering plants, deep root systems, soil, and fire comprise the ecosystem. The complex root system means that two-thirds of the prairie lives below ground, and that fire will destroy only the dead matter above ground. This ecosystem is responsible for creating the rich Iowa soil that agriculturalists have enjoyed for generations.

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