Businesses connect with students in creative ways
Crusader Carreer Connection photo -
Posted on Tuesday November 15, 2022
This fall, Main Street Coon Rapids (MSCR) partnered with the Coon Rapids-Bayard School District to bring local businesses into the classrooms through a new program called Crusader Career Connection.
“We created Crusader Career Connection in an effort to build strong connections between CR-B students and local businesses to show students what employment options are available right in our small towns,” said Natasha Adams who spearheaded the program and has served as a MSCR board member for two years.

MSCR launched the program in early August. Twenty-one businesses in Coon Rapids and Bayard signed up to be partnered with a CR-B class. Businesses paired with elementary classes are planning to visit the classrooms once a quarter and the class will take a field trip to the business once this school year to tour the business. The elementary pairs will be reading books, doing engaging activities and touring businesses.

In October, Adam Esdohr with Coon Rapids Hardware Hank visited Mrs. Nikki Esdohr’s kindergarten class. Appropriately, he read the book “Tool School” to the students. Mrs. Shannaon Heisterkamp's first grade class took a field trip to visit their partner business, Thomas Rest Haven on October 24. The kids sang songs and read books to the residents. Tia and Trevor Hilgenberg with Natural Expression Photography took pictures of Mrs. Sylwia Johnson's second grade class. On their next visit, Hilgenbergs will work with the students on a holiday craft using the photos

Mrs. Karen Mohr's first grade class visited Mohr Lumber Monday, Nov. 14. After a tour of the lumber business, students took supplies back to school to make a gift for their parents. They also stopped in and got a special treat from Jenna's.

“I'm impressed with the creativity!” said Adams of the activities the businesses are doing with students.

Businesses paired with secondary classrooms will be offering more curriculum specific opportunities for students to learn about the jobs in our community and even tour some of the businesses while extending the learning for the class they are taking. For example, the family and consumer science class is paired with Jenna's Tattooed Confections. Owner, Jenna Robb, will demonstrate her culinary skills for the class. This program will strengthen the knowledge of career options in rural Iowa for all students and continue to build a strong relationship between businesses and the school.

“More businesses are continuing to express interest in participating next year,” said Adams, “and we are excited to watch this program continue to grow into something special for the entire community!”

Crusader Career Connection Partnerships

• Availa Bank with Ms. Rachel Nees (Kindergarten)
• POET Biorefinery with Mr. Ryan Nees 9-12 Science)
• REG with Mr. Ryan Nees (9-12 Science)
• Karl Companies with Mrs. Amy McAlister (Fifth Grade)
• New Way Ford with Mrs. Laura Lane (Fifth Grade)
• Hardware Hank with Mrs. Nikki Esdohr (Kindergarten)
• Landus with Mrs. Sheri Danner (Fourth Grade)
• Mohr Lumber with Mrs. Karen Mohr (First Grade)
• St. Gregory's with Mr. Brady Johnson (Health)
• Jenna's Tattooed Confections with Mrs. Marissa Wiskus (Family and Consumer Science)
• Natural Expressions Photography with Mrs. Sylwia Johnson (Second Grade)
• Thomas Rest Haven/Park View with Mrs. Shannon Heisterkamp (First Grade)
• Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home with Mr. Ryan Nees (9-12 Science)
• Coon Rapids Enterprise with Mrs. Annette Nees (PreK)
• Bayard Gazette with Mr. Jorden Kenkel (9-12 English/Yearbook)
• Beautifully Me Salon and Spa with Mrs. Marissa Wiskus (Family and Consumer Science)
• Coon Rapids St. Anthony Clinic with Mrs. Tanya Schieffer (Third Grade)
• Heritage Insurance with to be determined
• Country Store with Ms. Kristi Miranda (Fourth Grade)
• ET Products with Ms. Kendra Kelso (Third Grade)
• Lewis Chiropractic with Mrs. Cory Behrens (Second Grade)

City of Coon Rapids
City of Coon Rapids
123 3rd Avenue South, Coon Rapids, IA 50058
Phone: 712-999-7749
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