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Article updated: 2/5/2013 5:43 PM

District 158 education foundation awards almost $12,000

By Tara García Mathewson

When the Huntley Unit District 158 Education Foundation awarded $11,790 in grants last week, it moved eight teacher projects from dreams to realities.

The foundation collects money throughout the year for its annual grant awards. Lori Woods, the district's community relations coordinator, said this year's amount has become fairly standard. Last year teachers across the district got about $12,200 for 11 projects.

"It's basically like a wish list," Woods said. "Things that aren't typically provided through the district funds, but they also enhance the education."

Debra Ryan, a speech/language pathologist at Mackeben and Conley elementary schools will now be able to spend $3,135 on 10 Expanding Expression Tool kits. The kits provide a multisensory approach to help students improve their speaking and writing language skills.

Ryan's award was the largest with others ranging from $175 for Math Team contest fees at Huntley High School to "a library in a tablet" at Martin Elementary School for $3,000. Kelly Fusco, also at Conley Elementary School, will be able to purchase an Elmo document camera for $720 and Lisa Kunde at Leggee Elementary School will be able to get tools for her Interactive SMART Board.

More teachers applied for funding than were granted the awards. The rest of the applications can be viewed online where the community can choose to donate.

"We obviously can't fund everything," Woods said. "The wish list is out there."

Visit the Fund a Need Program website at district158.org/education-foundation.

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