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posted: 9/20/2011 2:50 PM

Oak Grove students receive grant to help Lamb's Farm

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Oak Grove Education Foundation submission

The Oak Grove School Education Foundation has awarded a mini grant to its eighth-grade team to fund a day of community service at Lamb's Farm in Libertyville.

On Sept. 23, approximately 130 eighth-grade students, along with 12 teachers, administrators and aides, as well as Lamb's Farm residents, grounds crew and community members, will participate in a community service effort to clean up and improve the grounds.

The Lamb's Farm project was conceptualized by Oak Grove eighth-grade teacher Kathleen Mahoney, a recent recipient of the WGN Teacher of the Year award.

Mahoney, fellow eighth-grade team members and students will help Lamb's Farm residents and employees paint fences, weed, rake and pick up trash, all in an effort to spruce up the property as Lamb's Farm celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The day of service allows Oak Grove School students to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center tragedy by demonstrating how individuals can work together to make a difference in their community.

Oak Grove School Education Foundation provides classroom grants based on the foundation's goals to enrich curriculum through programs and technology that focus on three key areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Arts and Language; and Supporting Teacher Innovation.

"All foundation grants revolve around our core goal -- to see every student reach his or her full potential," says foundation President Kim Moody.

"The Lamb's Farm project exemplifies how a program added to routine curriculum can help students realize their full potential -- to develop into responsible citizens who are willing to give back to their community."

"We want our students to be aware that they can get involved and make a direct impact on their community as well as individual lives," Mahoney said.

"Oak Grove eighth-graders will also have opportunities to work at local soup kitchens throughout the year. By the time they enter high school, we hope they bring with them an awareness of the importance of helping others."

The Lamb's Farm community service project will allow student volunteers to develop social awareness and interpersonal skills and will enable students to establish and maintain positive relationships with classmates, teachers and community members.

The grant will go toward student transportation costs, substitute teachers, paint brushes, and cleanup supplies.

The Oak Grove School Education Foundation, via individual and business contributions, provides supplemental funding to Oak Grove Elementary District 68 in the form of equipment, resources, and classroom mini-grants intended to enhance the overall Oak Grove School educational experience.

Since its inception in 2005, the foundation has distributed more than $125,000 for projects and grants that give Oak Grove students opportunities to reach new heights in academic excellence.