Twenty-two Libertyville Elementary District 70 teachers have been awarded Partners for Excellence in Education grant monies this year to enhance education through innovative and creative new programs in their classrooms. Sixteen grants totaling more than $5,606 were awarded to progressive teachers in five schools. There were 20 applications for the grants.
The grants are sponsored by Partners for Excellence in Education, a group of local business representatives who offer their time and financial donations to District 70. This is the 17th year for the partnership's "Mini-Grant Awards" program, which has awarded almost $100,000 over the years for direct use in the classrooms.
This year's grants will go to fund such programs as using iPod touch applications to improve student problem-solving skills; reading books that feature protagonists with disabilities; buying Earthballs which float to be used in PE; creating an economics fair for students; games to enhance student vocabulary; audio books to help reluctant readers; and books.
"This funding opportunity provides wonderful extensions to classroom activities for our students," Superintendent Dr. Guy Schumacher said regarding the mini grants. "This year the staff presented extraordinary grant ideas and the Partners were very invested in the decision making process." The business partners make all the final decisions based on core criteria set up for the grants, which vary from $117 to $500.
The recipients are:
Adler Park School
• Erin Carr: Read & Feed. Third- through fifth-graders join a Read & Feed Book Club during lunch and review the books in a group.
• Teresa Gasick: Reading Every Nook and Cranny. Students use reading tablets/e-readers to increase reading skills.
• Krista Panock, Amy Reichart, Lida Knoll, Lisa Wolf: Apps 4 Learning. Students use iPod Touch apps to improve problem-solving skills.
Copeland Manor School
• Julie Jermakowicz, Becki Jo Miranda, Amy Hay: Economics in Action: An Interactive Simulation of Supply and Demand. Third-graders set up an economics fair where they create products to "sell" to first grade students.
• Danya Greenberg: Continuing Our Journey With Positive Behavior at Rockland School. Introduce a new student behavior program to monitor student behaviors utilizing the SWIS data system, as well as celebrating positive student behavior. Year two.
• Mike Kolar: Earthball Mania. Earthballs range in size from two to six feet and float in the air. They will be used in PE class to team build.
• Debra Fagan: eBooks for Rockland. Reading tablets/eBooks for the school Learning Center to encourage reading.
• Danya Greenberg, Kara Graeb: Imagine a Community Where Everyone Gets the I.D.E.A! (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.) Buy books featuring students with disabilities to create disability awareness.
• Dale List: Kindergarten's Passport for Writing at Home. Students take home a stuffed animal as the class pet and journal about the adventures.
• Debra Fagan: Literacy Through Listening. Purchase playaways, which are pre-loaded with audio books to improve fluency.
• Debra Fagan: On the Air: Communicating in the 21st Century. Camera and microphone to use for morning announcements.
Highland Middle School
• Katie Michols, Linda O'Connell: Celebrating Differences -- Providing Engaging Literature Titles that Feature Characters with Disabilities. Buy books to teach students about disabilities.
• Katie Michols, Linda O'Connell, Nicole Godzicki: Game On! Interactive Word Games to Enhance Students' Vocabulary and Word Choice. Buy vocabulary and word card and board games.
• Erin Wyat, Lori Benjamin, Crysta Sharp: Listen Up: Reading Reluctant Readers with Audiobooks on Demand. Buy playaways or other audio delivering devices for audiobooks for students.
All Elementary Schools
• Cindi Sartain, Alicia Sather: Paperless Assessment and Sketch Ability … Dry Erase Boards for the Art Room. Purchase dry erase boards for the art rooms in the schools.
Local companies working as partners include A Village Green Montessori School, Candlewood Suites, Cary M. Salm -- State Farm Insurance, Cedar Roofing Co., Chicago Wind Soccer Club, City Subs and Smoothies, Core Martial Arts & Fitness Inc., Culvers Frozen Custard, David Adler Music & Arts Center, GreenAssociates, Improv Playhouse, Jets Pizza, Libertyville Bank & Trust, Libertyville Cooperative Nursery School, Libertyville Wellness Group, Marjo Graphics, Music Now DJ Group, Nirvana Wine and Grillerie, Northshore Academy of Martial Arts, Papa John's Pizza, Retirement Plan Consultants Inc., Restorante Bottaio, Stephen Parker, DDS, Subway-Libertyville Crossing, Sunset Foods, Trattoria Pomigliano and Weppler Law Group.