The following is a release from District 181:
Following a reception to honor major donors and grant recipients, the District 181 Foundation announced 2011-12 grants and special initiatives totaling $124,315. The grant program supports innovative and creative proposals that the Foundation hopes will someday have district wide application.
Grants went to teachers, students and parents at , , , , , , , and schools.
“The Foundation has had a very busy year, and we are excited and proud to recognize our talented staff, involved students and supportive parents with these grants. Their ideas will benefit our students in many subject areas at many grade levels. The generosity of our donors has made it all possible,” Foundation President Nancy Pollak said.
The 2011-2012 Teacher Grant winners are:
Outdoor Learning Center: Rosemary Grant and Pam Henry
With an interest in following water through its cycle so that students can appreciate its use, Pam Henry and Rosemary Grant have added a unique environmental setting to Prospect School. Water is harvested through a system engineered to direct, contain, and use it in this outdoor classroom. That same water is shown to be an essential resource for the life growing in the garden, stimulating students’ curiosity about water’s role in the natural world. The Foundation worked with The DuPage Community Foundation and Clarendon Hills Bank to secure funding for this project.
Technology for the Wind Turbine: Nancy Grapenthien, Ryan Cantrell
This follow-up grant adds power to the already-funded Wind Turbine at Clarendon Hills Middle School by incorporating software that manipulates, stores and retrieves data from the wind turbine to make it accessible to all students in District 181.
Matt Haeger, Karin Johnson, Justin Horne, Chris Feeney, Jo Ellen Berni. This district-driven tech initiative is designed to test various technology tools for delivering the curriculum. With the PTOs at Elm and The Lane, the Foundation supported the pilot to test the 1:1 use of iPads in Elm’s 5th grades and 1:1 laptops in the Lane’s 5th grades. The Foundation contributed $50,000 to this project.
Infusing Technology in the Science Curriculum
Kelly Pelak-Ditmars. By adding 15 MacBook Pros and related equipment to the eighth-grade science classroom, teams of two students used them for research, reports, and information sharing. This pilot used technology to enhance the curriculum and increase student engagement and learning. Designed and proposed by Kelly Pelak-Ditmars, the grant provided daily access to computers in one classroom, thereby increasing the frequency and depth of technology use for 150 8th grade science students at Hinsdale Middle School.
Principal Mindy McMahon, Mary Kay Longwell, Gail Incrocci, Susie Lebensorger, Nancy Kramer, Karen Miller, Tiffany Egan; parents Suzanne Wychocki, Donna Blair, Ana Loduca, Roberta Wentling, Trayce Biancalana. To provide an element of creativity and collaboration in the playground setting, Madison School will purchase a set of assorted polyethylene blocks, noodles, balls, and mats, which students can configure to create spaces, structures, imaginative machines, and more. This equipment will add a new option for unstructured, collaborative play for children of all elementary ages and will support their intellectual, spatial, creative, social, emotional, and physical development.
Rowers and Monitors for Multiple Fitness Possibilities
Michael Piper, Carol Dronzek, Lori Lowey, Diana Branca, Timothy Chandler. The use of six rowing machines will strengthen the physical education curriculum at Clarendon Hills Middle School by adding this new activity that will appeal to all students, including some with physical disabilities. In addition, 40 heart rate monitors will be purchased for full-class activities and team sports to help students assess their fitness levels and growth and make data-based decisions. The equipment will add the technology to the physical education program and is intended to engage all students in their healthy growth.
QR Codes That Grow Independent Readers
Mary Morgan Ryan. With a goal of encouraging reading for pleasure, the Oak School Media Resource Center, led by Mary Morgan Ryan, will initiate a system to label children’s books with QR Codes that students can use to read reviews, watch book trailers, and even compose and create their own reviews and videos of books for others to use. In addition, 25 iPads will be dedicated to the MRC for this project, so that literature, writing, and technology will be integrated.
These grants funded a weeklong training and provided funds for classroom materials to staff, who then developed and used inquiry-based lessons. Awardees were: Rita Anderson, Dawn Barcus, Rosemary Grant, Matt Haeger, Sara Havel, Troy Huber, Vicki Marek, Leslie McCarty, Maureen Miks and Danny Riehle.
The Foundation also honored recipients of two other types of grants at the May 14 event. Kids Initiating a Difference in Society (KIDS) Grants are awarded to students for their community service projects. During 2011-12, the following students earned KIDS Grants:
- Lucy and Sarah Battaglia - Fencing for Survivor and Vegetable Gardens, Madison
- Allison Bruns - Collecting DVDs and CDs for Recycling, HMS
- Jack Mason - Repainting the HMS Sculpture, HMS
- Samson Pollak - Care-a-Thon Dance Fundraiser for 8th grades, HMS
- Jacob Schaik - Adopt-a-Soldier, Elm
- Hannah Ahdab - Raffle for Syrian Sunrise Foundation, Elm
- Hudson Courtney, Kareem Alzein - Lunch Recycling, Elm
- Michael Bradley - Kids Helping Kids, Oak
- Jimmy Lee - Ignite the Fight, HMS
- Kendall Reichmann - Sharing Chess with Underprivileged Children, HMS
- Sydney Thayer, Mary Claire Arbor, Denise Fischer, Caila Foley, Anisha Sunkara - Hinsdale Community Service Giving Garden, The Lane
The Foundation’s Community Partnership Grants provide funding for parent and community programs that align with the Foundation’s mission. The 2011-2012 recipients include:
- SELAS, the District Social Emotional Learning for Academic Success Committee, sponsored One District, One Book, a facilitated discussion of The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine, January 19, 2012.
- GECO, the District 181 Gifted Education Cooperative, sponsored Cleopatra, a performance with Barbara Rinella, April 12, 2012.
The District 181 Foundation was founded in 1997 and has provided over $500,000 to support the district’s curriculum through a variety of grants. For more information, to donate to a specific grant or make a general donation, visit www.d181foundation.org.
The Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of trustees, aided by a part-time executive director and District 181 liaisons. Board members are: Megan Balderston, Matt Bousquette, Trish Donlevy, Suzanne Furey, Matthew Haeger, Tracey Head, Tim Leahy, Julie Liesse, Jerry Mejdrich, Rebecca Miller, Jeanne Osgood, Nancy Pollak, Helena Puche, Emilio Salvi, Kara Thompson, Fernanda Valentino, Colleen Verbiscer, Lynne Wallace and Kyle Zake. Executive Director is Meg Cooper; PTO/A Liaison is Anna Cumberland; District 181 Liaisons are: Rita DuChateau and Dr. Janet Stutz.