Vehicle sticker upgrades continue to be the greatest revenue source for the 112 Education Foundation. Net revenue from vehicle stickers increased approximately $1,200 over the previous year. We are fortunate to partner with the city of Highland Park and the city of Highwood for this program.
The Foundation continues to look for ways to increase the number of vehicle sticker upgrade participants. Targeting families with students in our schools, we conducted an incentive program at each school in the fall. One car displaying a 2016-2017 or 2015-2016 upgraded 112 Education Foundation vehicle sticker (Highland Park or Highwood) was randomly selected at each of the District 112 Open House Curriculum Nights in August and September to win a $25 Frost Gelato gift card. Frost Gelato Highland Park generously donated all gift cards.
All Trustees again participated in writing hand written notes to residents who upgraded their vehicle sticker to demonstrate our personal appreciation for their commitment to the Foundation and their support of D112 schools.
Fun(d) Run 2016
The Fun(d) Run was held on Saturday, October 1, 2016. Despite a bit of rainy weather, most of the 1,400 people who registered turned out to support the D112 Scholarship Fund. In their first year as co-chairs, Leah D’Antonio, Sara Grossmann and Jodi Eldridge, helped to raise a record $34,000 through registrations and sponsorships. Through the efforts of the Fun(d) Run Committee, many new sponsors were secured this year. Lincoln Elementary won the trophy for highest participation for the third year in a row. The Foundation continues to help the Fun(d) Run Committee with administrative support, processing payments and donations and help with day of tasks.
The 112 Education Foundation approved 46 grants totaling nearly $54,000 for the 2016-2017 school year. Our fall application season continues to appeal to many teachers and we plan to continue with two application periods each year. Through several STEM and STEAM grants, students in our schools were encouraged to study science, technology, problem solving and more in many creative ways. Music, art and performance-related grants provided many inter-disciplinary opportunities for students to combine curriculum areas. Outdoor learning centers for kindergartners were created in all elementary schools. Through the Robot Revolution grant, each school in the District was able to create at least 1 robotics team and participated in a District-wide robotics tournament in December. In the spring of 2017, the Foundation approved nearly $29,000 in funding 22 grant programs for the 2017-2018 school year.
iRead ran from January 7th through January 31st. The Foundation again partnered with the Highland Park Public Library for the annual iRead Kick Off which was held at the HP Library on Saturday, January 7th from 9-3. Each year the HP Library secures authors to meet and talk to the students, secures a storyteller who gives 2 performances and has other activities during the day such as bookmark making and photos. The Foundation works with the school librarians to encourage teachers to sign up to read to the students throughout the day. Students who attend receive an additional 30 minutes of reading time. It is always one of the busiest Saturdays of the year at the Library.
This year 1,837 readers throughout the District schools raised approximately $29,000 for the Foundation. Collectively, students read about 1.675 million minutes! For the third year in a row, Sherwood School won the iRead elementary school trophy by having the most minutes read per student. All readers received a ribbon and all students who fundraised received a certificate for a free gelato donated by Arriva Dolce in Highland Park.
The music partnership with Ravinia Festival’s Reach*Teach*Play program was based on two themes this year. First, the elementary level students enjoyed a multimedia performance about the planets by 5th House Ensemble at Bennett Gordon Hall on April 5th. The program combined an educational presentation about the formation of the universe with painting and music. This year the District’s 4th graders were invited to attend the performance in addition to the 5th grades from each school.
The middle school music artist in residence program theme was a tribute to the music of Henry Mancini. Conductor Javier Mendoza and professional musicians visited each of the middle schools to help band students prepare for the performance. Students from all three middle school bands joined together by grade level to perform songs from the Mancini catalog at Bennett Gordon Hall on April 25th.
The annual Kids Go Classic concert will be held on August 6th. The concert is a continuation of the Henry Mancini theme with a program called Mancini and Moon River performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and James Galway.
The Foundation’s second annual Reel 112 Film Festival took place on Thursday, May 4th at the Landmark Renaissance Place Theatre in Highland Park. The Reel 112 Film Festival showcased 18 student films created by middle school students throughout the district. In addition to the film screening, acclaimed film critic, Milos Stehlik of Facets Multimedia, moderated a student-let panel discussion. Starting as a residency program and one-time super grant from the Foundation, the film program has now been implemented into the CMA curriculum. As a culminating event, the Reel 112 Film Festival allows the student filmmakers to share their work while walking a “red carpet”, posing for photos at the Reel 112 Film Festival backdrop and receiving custom-made posters. It is an evening enjoyed by students, families, district staff and the greater community.
The Foundation continues to provide Caring Cards as a way to honor teachers, family or friends – whether it be as a memorial, or as recognition of an important event or special achievement – through a donation. Caring Cards were presented to the PTO/PTA Presidents’ Council in order for them to help publicize the Caring Cards and increase donations.
School librarians used the funds provided by the Foundation to host several authors this year. Steve Jenkins and Robin Page shared stories about unusual animal adaptations and showed students how they created their illustrations at Indian Trail, Braeside, Lincoln, Ravinia, Red Oak, Sherwood and Wayne Thomas. Jennifer L. Holm, author of the Babymouse books, visited all District elementary schools, teaching students about the graphic novel writing and drawing process. Adam Rubin, author of Dragons Love Tacos, brought his interactive presentation to Red Oak, Sherwood, Braeside, Lincoln, Oak Terrace, Ravinia and Wayne Thomas.