Foundation Awards a Gripp Grant Totaling $6,704 to Highcrest Math Teachers
This spring the D39 Educational Foundation awarded a Gripp Grant totaling $6,704 to Highcrest Middle School math teachers. This Gripp Grant will provide innovative educational opportunities for our 5th and 6th grade students in D39.
Continue Reading Foundation Awards a Gripp Grant Totaling $6,704 to Highcrest Math Teachers
Foundation Awards Three Fall Gripp Grants Totaling $10,026
Three Fall Gripp Grants totaling $10,026 were awarded to our D39 schools which will have a positive impact on our students. These grants will provide innovative opportunities for a range of students in our elementary schools and at Highcrest Middle School.
Continue Reading Foundation Awards Three Fall Gripp Grants Totaling $10,026
Foundation Awards Two Spring Gripp Grants Totaling $15,519
Two Spring Gripp Grants totaling $15,519 were awarded to 12 teachers across all four elementary schools and will benefit students from our earliest learners in the Lechner Early Education Program (LEEP) through fourth grade. The grants address both the need for kids to move their bodies in new and innovative ways, as well as to learn and practice literacy in the digital world.
Continue Reading Foundation Awards Two Spring Gripp Grants Totaling $15,519
Foundation Awards Two Spring Gripp Grants
Two Spring Gripp Grants totaling $8,705 were awarded to 12 teachers, library professionals, and administrators, which will positively impact every student in the District by addressing needs encompassing those resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Fall 2020 Gripp Grant Awarded to Romona!
Kristin Johnson, Early Childhood LBS teacher, Elizabeth Foley, Early Childhood LBS teacher, Stacy Levine, Kindergarten teacher (Romona), Kristen Olsen, Comprehensive LBS (Romona), Stephanie Boron, Early Childhood SLP, Cindy Anderson, Principal (Romona), Lisa Anderson, Assistant Principal (Romona), and Amanda Barton, Early Childhood Coordinator, received a grant to build an all-seasons outdoor classroom to be used by the District’s Early Childhood program, as well as Romona Elementary students in grades K-2. The wooden structure will take the form of a cafe including a “mud kitchen”, dining area, and work table, and will be called the Romona Mud Cafe. The goal of this project is to provide a space that allows students a year-round, nature-rich environment to learn through play-based, imaginative, and collaborative experiences. In addition, the space can be used for curriculum based lessons and will be universally accessible to the diverse community of students at Romona.
Educational Foundation announces a $3,000 gift to District 39 to support implementation of SORA
The Board of Trustees of the District 39 Educational Foundation proudly announces a $3000 gift to District 39 to support the implementation of SORA – the Student Reading App, from Overdrive.
Continue Reading Educational Foundation announces a $3,000 gift to District 39 to support implementation of SORA
Foundation Awards Over $17,000 In Spring Gripp Grants!
Five Spring 2020 Gripp Grants totaling $17,104 were awarded to 12 teachers, positively impacting students and inspiring learners at each of the District 39’s six schools. Bonny Skutch, Differentiation Specialist Teacher at Central, received a grant to bring Tang Math ‘Math Mania Days’ to each of the District 39 schools, which will be co-funded by the district. Math Mania Days will provide an immersive full day experience at each school for students, teachers and parents in the 2020/21 school year and will include: student assemblies, materials for teachers and students, professional development training for teachers, and family math nights led by Greg Tang. The goal of this program is to enhance mathematical fluency for students, develop best practices for teaching math fluency for teachers, and educate parents about how to support math fluency at home. Learning Behavior Specialists, Julia Ryan (Romona), Kristen Olsen (Romona), Jen Archer (Central), Amanda Kahana (Central),…
Continue Reading Foundation Awards Over $17,000 In Spring Gripp Grants!
Hallway Sensory Path Encore Gripp Grant Awarded in November to McKenzie School
Congratulations to Paula Lundell, McKenzie School OT, for the Encore Gripp Grant awarded to her for a hallway sensory path. Encore Grants are awarded for Foundation-funded projects that have previously been successful within D39 schools. In this case, sensory paths were awarded to each D39 elementary school last spring and are being used by students in each school with great success. McKenzie’s hallways were carpeted at that time so a sensory mat was purchased to use in the school’s motor room. Now McKenzie School has new linoleum hallways and is ready to have the same sensory path experience for its students. This Encore Grant will allow McKenzie students to benefit from a path that engages them in a sensory motor activity during transitions.
Continue Reading Hallway Sensory Path Encore Gripp Grant Awarded in November to McKenzie School
Two Spring 2019 Gripp Grants Awarded
Cheri Bridge and Jill Forti, Technology Specialists at WJHS, were awarded a grant to purchase 29 MERGE cubes to support the initiation of the D39 Augmented Reality program, which builds upon the existing Virtual Reality program. MERGE cubes allow students to visualize complex systems by turning 3D models into a virtual object that students can manipulate, allowing them to better ‘experience’ the content they are studying. All four elementary schools will benefit from the grant for Sensory Paths to be installed in each of the schools. A Sensory Path is an organized course typically placed in a school hallway that encourages a routine, predictable motor break and provides students with an additional place to take ‘brain breaks’ during the school day. This grant was a collaborative effort involving 10 staff members, namely: Elyse Adamo (Romona LBS), Michelle Mermelstein (Romona OT), Lindsey Barnes (Romona Early Childhood OT), Gabrielle Young (Romona 1st…
$15,415 Awarded for Four Fall 2018 Gripp Grants!
Four Gripp Grants were awarded on November 14th for the Fall 2018 grant season. Jeneane Pence, Highcrest PE teacher, was awarded a grant for 30 Zone watches to assist students with heart rate monitoring during PE activities. Students will get accurate, real time feedback while still active to help them make a connection between their intensity level and heart rate. Teachers will also be able to use this information to personalize the students’ fitness goals. D39 Student Services Coordinator, Taylor Harvey and Romona/Harper Assistant Principal, Elena Ryan were awarded a grant to purchase 20 Qballs and JBL Flip portable speakers which will be used in all D39 elementary schools. A Qball is a ball-shaped microphone that sends a user’s voice via Bluetooth to a speaker that amplifies their words for all to hear. It can be passed or tossed around the classroom as students answer questions, read papers, and contribute…
Continue Reading $15,415 Awarded for Four Fall 2018 Gripp Grants!
Foundation Gifts Pedal Desks to All Highcrest & WJHS Classrooms
Due to the resounding success of Meghan Espinoza’s 2017 Gripp Grant for pedal desks in her 6th grade classroom, the D39 Educational Foundation has gifted Highcrest and WJHS up to $5000 to purchase approximately 144 under-desk pedal units to be used in classrooms across the two campuses.
Continue Reading Foundation Gifts Pedal Desks to All Highcrest & WJHS Classrooms
Foundation Awards Three Spring 2018 Grants
The District 39 Educational Foundation announced that three Gripp Grant’s were awarded this spring, totaling a gift of $14,031 to District 39. The Gripp Grants will impact students at Highcrest, Wilmette Junior High and those in the comprehensive needs classrooms throughout the district. Overall the District 39 Educational Foundation had a very robust year awarding 9 grants and gifting a total of $25,164. Moticams: Dr. Peter Ower, requested the purchase of 4 Moticams (one per classroom) to enhance the 7th grade science curriculum. Moticams are special cameras that can be mounted to the lab microscopes already in use at Wilmette Junior High School. These cameras will allow students to take pictures of their work in biology and share this work with their teachers and other students. The current practice is for students to hand draw what they view in the microscopes or in some cases attempt to photograph their findings with iPads. Moticams will eliminate this cumbersome practice, streamline the workflow…
Six Fall 2017 Gripp Grants Awarded in November!
Six Gripp Grants were funded for the 2017 Fall grant cycle: Mayaan Sloane and Samantha Sutton, Highcrest Technology Innovation Specialists, were granted the purchase of video and recording equipment to transition the weekly WHMS News into a live student written, directed and executed broadcast. Currently only two students per homeroom participate in the broadcast creation and all of the editing, filming, etc. is done by Ms. Sloane and Ms. Sutton. The new, student-led format allows one homeroom each week to write, prepare, film and star in the broadcast. Students will choose roles: scriptwriter, feature creator, anchor, editor, camera operator, sound mixer, meteorologist, or producer. Every student who desires to participate will have the chance to actively create a final live broadcast shared with their classmates and community. The elementary school Differentiation Specialist Teachers, led by McKenzie’s Julie Garry, were awarded a grant to create individual recording studios. This inventive grant…
Continue Reading Six Fall 2017 Gripp Grants Awarded in November!
Fall 2016 Gripp Grants Awarded!
The Foundation approved two Gripp Grants for the Fall 2016 grant cycle – Breakout EDU boxes and Google Chromebooks.
Spring 2016 Gripp Grants Awarded!
The District 39 Educational Foundation is proud to distribute $12,502 to 3 D39 schools and the District’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction.
Fall 2015 Gripp Grants awarded!
The Foundation awarded four Gripp grants this fall totaling $5,802. Three grants were awarded to McKenzie school and one to the special education departments for Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High.
Spring 2015 Gripp Grants Awarded
The 2015 Spring round of Gripp Grants were awarded on March 26th. This grant cycle the Foundation approved four grants for projects at four different schools. 8th grade teachers Beth Kalish and Beth Cummo will pilot transforming a classroom at WJHS into a flexible learning space. Node desks with swivel seats and built-in stands for tablets, and white boards will be purchased to create a fluid environment. The classroom will be adaptable to suit different learning needs such as small-group work, whole classroom discussions, debates, collaborative work, etc. At HMS, 6th grade teacher Eric Resis will pilot differentiated seating options with new, adjustable-height desks. The goal is to provide movement to help maintain focus and attention. The students at McKenzie will soon have reusable water glasses and pitchers to use in the cafeteria thanks to a grant awarded to the McKenzie PTA and principal Denise Welter. This grant teaches the…
Fall 2014 Gripp Grants Awarded
The Foundation awarded 5 Gripp Grants this fall, totaling over $4,100. The 4th grade teachers at Romona will purchase automobile artifacts for students to examine during their inventions study using the 5 lenses of the new social studies curriculum. Romona’s Early Childhood Evaluation Team received a grant to create 3 new play scheme boxes to improve their assessment process. WJHS Drama teacher, Dinah Barthelmess at WJHS will use her grant to conduct a Process Drama unit in her Improv Classes on “Us and Them” focusing on diversity and tolerance through a collaboration with Canadian teaching artist, Margaret Boersma. Also at WJHS, Yiyi Xu, the Mandarin teacher, will purchase an application to help students with reading proficiency and advanced vocabulary. Lastly, Central’s 2nd grade teacher Susan Morris will use funds for technology to help with “fliperentiation” and cloned teacher mini lessons to reinforce concepts to accommodate the differentiation among students’ capabilities…
Spring 2014 Gripp Grants Awarded
For the 2013-2014 school year the Foundation has awarded over $30,000 in Gripp Grants! And, this year all six D39 schools received at least one grant to expand, enrich and complement the curriculum. Four grants were approved for the spring grant cycle. Parlez vous francais? Highcrest’s French teacher, Katie Fox’s students will be able to develop vocabulary, grasp story meaning and flow with new French fairy tale books purchased with her Gripp Grant. Using familiar tales will give students confidence, a frame of reference and enhance the foreign language reading experience. “Recess is a time for fun, but it isn’t much fun for kids who feel left out or lonely”. Ms. Belconis’ 5th grade class at Highcrest read that quote in a Scholastic News magazine article from a boy who came up with the idea for a “Buddy Bench”. The class submitted a grant and now HMS will have two…
Fall 2013 Gripp Grants Announced
The foundation will be supporting a number of innovative initiatives within the D39 schools with five new grants that were recently awarded. The grant for Central School’s 21st Century Learning Space will pilot the initial phase of creating a collaborative learning area by reconfiguring the computer lab, library and adjoining classrooms. This new student-centered space will include technologies and other tools, space configurations and furnishings to facilitate various learning modes, and more. Pre-loaded, portable audio books called Playaways, will be purchased for Harper’s library thanks to a Foundation grant. Playaways increase opportunities for students of all reading abilities to have creative, educational, and successful literature experiences both in school and at home, provide support for struggling readers, and give all students access to more challenging text. HMS will host composer Quincy C. Hilliard as artisan-in-residence for the sixth grade Hawks Band on February 19, 2014. The band will be performing…
Spring 2013 Gripp Grant
Tanzania Sister School Program (Central) Central School classrooms will be receiving Tanzanian artifact boxes to complement their Sister School Program thanks to a Gripp Grant from the D39 Educational Foundation. These boxes will include hand-crafted artifacts, maps, flags, games and many other items that will enable Central students to make personal connections with the students in their sister school located in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. This program has expanded students’ perspective of our cultural similarities and differences and the foundation is pleased to be able to broaden students’ awareness of different cultures with these hands-on materials.
Spring 2011 Gripp Grants
Solar Car (WJHS) Debbie Clark, 8th grade science teacher at WJHS, has been awarded a grant to fund a Solar Car science initiative. This project will engage all of the 8th grade students in real world problem solving and allow them to experience inquiry-based learning as well as provide deeper understanding of an alternative energy source. They will build and race cars and then seek to improve their vehicles’ performance based on experimenting, learning, and adapting angles, mass, and other parameters. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference – Professional Development (WJHS) Andrea Kowalchik, and 3 other WJHS math teachers will attend the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference in April 2011. This conference will allow our teachers to collaborate with colleagues, drawing on best practices from math teachers around the country. These teachers will learn about new math technologies and approaches to teaching math to 7th and…
Spring 2010 Gripp Grants
Architecture in Education: Building in Community (Highcrest Middle School) The Foundation is pleased to support a pilot grant for several Highcrest 5th grade classes to participate in the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust’s “Architecture in Education: Building in Community” program. Preservation Trust instructors will visit Highcrest to work with students on architecture and design. Students will learn how to use their measurement and math computation skills to lay out an architectural floor plan and design a building and community. Grant recipient Joe Taylor, a HMS 5th grade teacher, says “Doing this project will inspire students to learn math and build their confidence in their math problem-solving skills.” This program complements the Foundation-sponsored “Math: Let’s Get Real!” program, where students learn how math is an important component of many careers. Last spring, a local architect, airline pilot, and basketball team statistician demonstrated to HMS 5th graders how math is vital to…
Spring 2009 Gripp Grants
Kindergarten Finger Fun In an effort to support our students’ development from the outset, the Foundation is awarding a grant to Barbara Bruno, Patricia Patrick and Paula Lundell that will impact kindergartners across D39. This grant will provide sets of manipulatives for teachers to use to improve our youngest students’ fine motor skills. 4th Grade Orienteering The Foundation is pleased to support efforts that enable practical and real-world application of concepts taught in the classroom. This grant, awarded to Central School fourth grade teachers Marc Elman and Jim Tingey, will provide compasses, hand-held GPS units and orienteering handbooks, allowing students to learn how to use these devices and extend beyond the map-reading skills learned in the classroom. Green Initiatives As part of the 6th grade ecology unit, and in conjunction with the District health & wellness initiative, students at Highcrest Middle School will now be able to grow food-producing plants…
Spring 2008 Gripp Grants
Classroom Performance System Pilot The Foundation is pleased to help fund a pilot program at Harper School to test the Classroom Performance System, which makes use of personal interactive pads in conjunction with LCD projectors. This project will link the technology used by third and fourth graders closer to the level of technology applications at HMS and WJHS, where smart boards and document cameras are in use. Connecting Kids Playground Project The Foundation teamed up with Wilmette School District 39 to help fund this two-phase project located at District 39’s Early Childhood pre-school program, which is housed at Romona School. This integrated program serves both typically developing children and children with special needs. The project will provide a developmentally appropriate playground that encourages collaborative play among children, regardless of their varied abilities.
Spring 2007 Gripp Grants
World Environments Learning Lab This is a continued grant for Romona School’s garden and outdoor classroom. The garden features plants from many different biospheres, and a set of raised, continent-shaped gardens that will encourage geography, biomes study, cultural awareness and provides access to people of all abilities. See how this project turned out > Disability Awareness A full-year program at Central School teaches students about people with different abilities. Through hands-on activities, speakers, and classroom discussions, students get a better understanding of what life is like for people with disabilities. Navigating in wheelchairs, and getting around without the sense of hearing or sight are just some of the challenges that students experience first-hand. Central School Boys’ Fort This is the Foundation’s first student-presented and student-directed grant! As part of a math-extension program, 12 fourth-grade boys were given the assignment to design a play structure for the playground. With the help…
Fall 2012 Gripp Grants
Say ‘Yes’ to Improv (WJHS) Say Yes to Improv! brought 8th grade drama students at WJHS an in-depth study of the art of improvisation. Two guest artists from the Actors Training Center in Wilmette joined drama teacher Dinah Barthelmess in the classroom two times a week for four weeks culminating in a performance given for students and parents. The drama students learned the art of on-the-spot storytelling and relied on teamwork and collaboration to create their informal Improv performances. Garden Habitats (Romona) At Romona, a Gripp Grant helped support and enrich the school’s Garden Habitats. Funds were used to improve the bird, butterfly, native bee, worm and “rolly polly” habitats at the school. These improvements will provide a richer experience when classroom teachers use the gardens with their students. Students will also create nature-focused art to be showcased in the Spring Open House. Chinese New Year – Cultural Perspetives (HMS)…
Fall 2010 Gripp Grants
Mission to Mars (Highcrest) Joanna Flintz and Amanda Utynek, 6th grade math teachers at Highcrest, have been awarded a grant to fund a Mission to Mars program at Highcrest Middle School. This project will complement the math curriculum, requiring data collection and graphing, and will incorporate 21st century skills such as design technology and computer programming, as students design and operate their own Rovers. Students will work collaboratively and draw on problem solving skills as they simulate what NASA does with the real Mars Rovers. SmartMusic (Highcrest) Band and orchestra teachers Michael Holden, Ann Dufek and Laura Guili have been awarded a grant to incorporate SmartMusic software into the current band and orchestra program at Highcrest Middle School. This software aids in instruction differentiation and at‐home practice as students submit practice submissions online for teacher comments, guidance and grades. Teachers can customize lessons and students can customize how they practice…
Fall 2009 Gripp Grants
Two veteran, and highly acclaimed, McKenzie teachers (Jane Dolkart and Jennifer Weill) received a Foundation grant to attend a prestigious professional development program at the Center for Teaching & Learning.
Fall 2008 Gripp Grants
Electronic Dictionaries In supporting the District’s effort to teach across various learning styles, this technology pilot at WJHS will provide 15 electronic dictionaries to enable vocabulary improvement. “Hand-held dictionaries kept at one’s desk will go a long way to increasing the likelihood that students look up words they do not know and will actively increase their vocabulary and improve their spelling skills,” notes 8th grade reading teacher Kelsey Leonard. Upper/Lower Body Workout Bicycles In an effort to put the community’s students on a path towards healthy living, with a focus on fitness habits that will extend into adult life, the Foundation is awarding WJHS PE teacher Lynn Bocinsky a Gripp Grant for four workout bikes. Fitness involves the performance of the heart, lungs, and muscles of the body and also affects our minds, which has been a focus of brain research. “Our goal is to get students hooked on fitness,”…
Fall 2007 Gripp Grants
Multimedia Projector/Document Cameras New teaching techniques will be supported at WJHS through this grant, which provides two pilot projector/camera purchases. This technology allows teachers to display documents and 3-D objects onto a plasma screen television or a whiteboard. Wilmette Junior High This grant supported cinemagraphic expert Steven Frentzel’s presentation during the 7 th grade narrative writing unit entitled “Short and Shivery”. The presentation consists of a series of film clips that illustrate the way in which Hollywood masters were/are able to create suspense and fear without tremendous violence Central School 4th Grade One of the 4th grade classrooms will be piloting new teaching and feedback tools. This Gripp Grant will purchase a 78” Activboard, 10 Activotes and 2 Activslates. These interactive tools allow students to respond to teacher questions during the lesson. This helps to instantly check for understanding, facilitating efficient formative assessment within the classrooms. Central School Computer Lab…
Fall 2006 Gripp Grants
Rebels Without Applause Tools and materials were funded for WJHS theater classes, allowing technical theater students to design and build safe, effective, and efficient sets for school performances. Curriculum Differentiation Studies This grant supported travel costs for several District 39 curriculum differentiation teachers to attend the National Conference for Gifted Children. Romona School The Foundation was pleased to fund the opening phases of Romona’s World Environments Learning Laboratory, which will create an outdoor classroom and working garden area in the school’s central courtyard space. Students in grades 1-4 have opportunities to study science, nature, art, and other subjects in the outdoor spaces, while also maintaining the gardens and preparing the beds for planting.