Community Support – Day of Giving

The 112 Education Foundation proudly continued its long-time support of the annual Day of Giving program this year by donating $5000 to this perennial local program. On Saturday, December 19, with support of the of hundreds of volunteers, the Day of Giving program served 516 people in 120 families with 650 bags of groceries, personal items, and holiday gifts! Community volunteers and D112 students made blankets, holiday ornaments, baked goods, and personalized messages to families. The 10th annual Day of Giving was a beautiful example of what can happen when people unite for a common goal.

FUNd Run 2020

The FUNd Run 2020 was a success! The virtual event looked different than in years past, but that didn’t stop the endless District 112 school spirit from making our 5K and 1-mile family walk a huge win.
The FUNd Run took place from October 3rd -12th creating TEN DAYS, ONE GOAL (#tendaysonegoal) to safely give the community time and space to participate. Families photographed themselves in front of one of the many “I Ran FUNd Run 2020” signs near our schools and shared their pictures and support on social media. It was a fantastic way to get some exercise, fresh air and build excitement for the cause!  FUNd Run printables to color and participation certificates were found on our website to help keep up the momentum. We also hosted a socially distanced vintage FUNd Run swag giveaway. Almost 600 runners of all ages and from every school completed the FUNd Run and we raised over $32,000. With an additional contribution from the 112 Education Foundation, the total donation of $34,000 went directly to need-based student scholarships and assistance for District 112 families from every school.
The committee is actively planning the next in-person FUNd Run for Saturday, October 2, 2021 on the beautiful Ravinia Festival grounds. We will see you there!

iRead 2020

There was no precedent for iRead 2021. With no in-person Kick-Off event, teachers pivoted to make the start of iRead an equally special way by creating read-aloud videos of favorite books. The response from teachers was terrific! We had teacher read-aloud videos from every school in the district, with almost 70 teachers participating. And Sherwood art teacher, and Foundation trustee, Melinda Donelan, created fabulous school mascot coloring pages for every school to use for Flat Stanley-like adventures.
During the month of iRead, one-third of elementary students district-wide participated in the read-a-thon. In this very unusual year, the Foundation was thrilled to engage such a large group of students and to provide an experience that felt reminiscent of a normal January. The program raised over $17,000, which speaks to the generosity of the community and the support of district readers!
This year’s iRead trophy goes to three-peat winner Ravinia with 832 minutes read per student. A huge congrats to Erin Lau and the Ravinia team with 80% of the students participating. Ravinia also received a $150 donation to the IMC. Additionally, there was a first-ever TIE for second place this year. Congratulations to Sherwood and Braeside for sharing this honor.

Foundation Grants

The Foundation Grant program did not run its normal cycle due to pandemic-related in-school restrictions. A small number of grant programs approved for the 2019-2020 school year took place over the course of the 2020-2021 year, including Fifth House Ensemble at Northwood and Edgewood, the Lost Boys of Sudan guest speakers, also at Northwood and Edgewood, and Regatta design and construction project at Wayne Thomas.
The Foundation was proud to fund StoryWalk112, a district-wide literacy program spearheaded by Karen Grost and the D112 team of librarians, for the first time this year. In the fall and spring, picture books were posted outside of every D112 school on a rotating basis. Families could be outside together, safely distanced, and enjoy a good read. Look for StoryWalk112 to return this fall.

Ravinia Music Partnership


With much excitement, our regular music programming in partnership with Ravinia Festival’s Reach*Teach*Play education programs will resume on Friday, August 6 with the annual Kids Go Classic concert. Hundreds of D112 families have registered for the concert and will enjoy CSO: Conlon Leads Mozart. We thank Ravinia Festival for generously providing this opportunity to local families, and we look forward to a return of our full programming with Ravinia in the coming school year.

Annual Appeal

Historically, the cities of Highland Park and Highwood offered residents an option to upgrade their vehicle sticker by making a donation to the 112 Education Foundation. The proceeds from this opportunity provided the Foundation its largest sources of revenue. . With the decision to discontinue vehicle stickers, the Foundation is exploring alternate paths for fundraising.
The generosity of the Highland Park and Highwood communities is essential to the growth of the Foundation Grant program and signature Foundation programs, such as the Robot Revolution robotics program, The Reel 112 Film Festival, Author Visits. In the summer of 2020, the Foundation launched its Annual Appeal, asking perennial supporters of the Foundation to continue their support through this new program. The 2021 Annual Appeal will kick off in November.
We also encourage you to donate to our Annual Appeal to help ensure that we can continue to deliver the high-impact programs that are the hallmark of a top-tier school system.

Junior Trustees

The Foundation is excited to welcome Danny Hernandez as its newest Junior Trustee. Danny is an alumna of Indian Trail Elementary School and Northwood Junior High. We are thrilled to have her join the Foundation team!
We also recently said goodbye to Nathan Kornberg, whose two-year term ended in May. Nathan dedicated himself to supporting the Foundation’s mission and work. He regularly contributed during meetings and was valuable support at our events and programs. He did a fabulous job providing Spanish translation for all Foundation communications. We wish Nathan the very best as he starts at Washington University in St. Louis this fall.

Reel 112 Film Festival



The 2021 112 Reel Film Fest took place on the evening of Monday, May 24th. Most years the Reel Film Fest is held at the Highland Park Renaissance Theater. This year the film festival was moved to a virtual format, open to all students in the K-8 grades. Teachers Laura Baartmans of Northwood and Elaine Allison of Edgewood helped more than 70 students create, act, direct and produce over 21 individual movies. The students’ work was shown through in an assortment of diverse and creative movies that did not fail to entertain all those who watched. 
There was a touching tribute to the life of Milos Stehlik, the founder of Facets Multimedia, who died in 2019 and was intimately involved in teaching our D112 students about filmmaking, as well as, developing a love for film. We hope that his memory lives on in future Reel 112 Film Festivals

High Five A Teacher Program

The 112 Education Foundation launched a new fundraising campaign in the spring of 2020. The High Five A Teacher program allowed students and families to send a virtual High Five to a teacher. To purchase a High Five, families made a donation to the Foundation in the teacher’s honor, and included a personal message. Teachers received an email notification that they were “High Fived” along with the note from the students.
The program was such a success, a winter holiday version was added to the offerings in December 2020. In the spring of 2021, the program shifted to paper cards mailed to teachers rather than the email option. The program continues to be well-received, with tremendous praise from families and teachers alike.