2003-2004 Opportunity Grants

The Foundation began the 2003-2004 school year by awarding 32 Opportunity Grants to 55 teachers in 10 of the district schools. Winning teachers used the grant money to purchase equipment and supplies needed to conduct their various classroom enrichment projects. Since the Grant program was created eight years ago, the 112 Education Foundation has awarded over 250 grants, totaling over $100,000 to more than half the District’s teaching staff. To date, just about every student in District 112 has participated in one or more of these projects.

Edgewood Middle School

Hats and Scarf Service Project — Students create polar fleece hats, scarves, and headbands to distribute to pre-school students at the Sojourner Truth Parent Care Center. Students “adopt” the children for a special Secret Santa party for the holidays. Debbie Figge

Circles I Intimacy & Relationships — Special needs students learn how intimacy levels change as relationships change. Through a series of videos, wall graphs and personal graphs, students will “see” social and sexual distance and learn relationship boundaries. Elizabeth Koeck, Lynne Korman

Elm Place

Finding the Music Connection through Language Arts — Special education language arts students make their own mix of music that complements the literature curriculum. Teachers initially assemble an inventory of music CDs to enhance certain areas of study. Then, students burn their own CDs to accompany their assignments. Amy Pessis, Esther Kusy-Leavitt

Monitoring Physical Fitness & Health with Cardiovascular Indicators — After engaging in different physical activities, students monitor and chart their blood pressure each year. They learn about blood pressure, how it can be an indicator of cardiovascular health, and how different activities affect it, with a view to designing their own personal fitness programs.Deborah Finkelstein

Advanced Juggling — The Elm Place Circus expands as basic jugglers learn advanced techniques. In addition to refining the basic pattern of juggling, students learn how to juggle with sticks and on stilts. Ken Million

Writing Mentors — Sixth-graders refine their writing techniques though a writing lab manned by college students who provide one-on-one practice and critique. Elm Place students work intensively on written pieces and edit them with the help of their college mentors. Suzanne Greenwald, Luisa Benson, Leslie Jaffe, Jane Scheff

Social Action in the Classroom — Students research agencies that provide social and community services to families in the Chicago area. After selecting several agencies to visit, the students meet with facilities coordinators on site to determine how they might be able to offer assistance. Following up, the students write KICS grant applications to obtain funding for the service projects they will create and finish by implementing the project on-site. Suzanne Greenwald

A Journey through Time — After studying the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, students tour Highland Park to discover examples of classical influence. The students make their own Greek urns, write myths and stories about the people who might have lived in the ancient masterpieces, and present an exhibit of their work at the Suburban Fine Arts facility. Jane Scheff, Leslie Jaffe

Indian Trail

Family Poetry Night — Professional performing group “A Child’s Voice” conduct writing workshops and perform poetry at an exciting “Poetry Night” for all students and their families. A publishing center allows children to decorate and publish their poetry in creative ways, and the new poets share their poetry with their parents. Marcy Lesser, Linda Diamond

Nutrition Education — Can learning about nutrition be fun? Students learn about nutrition through various games, displays, videos and other media. Students participate in interactive discussions and share questions with the school nurse to explore what they’ve learned. Darline Scott

Health Education — Students perform various demonstrations and experiments relative to health issues like hygiene, germs and hand washing, oral health and anatomy. Darline Scott

Mentor Tutor Program — For nine years the mentor program has been an ongoing project involving the Highland Park High School Key Club and Indian Trail students. Volunteer high school students are trained to work on academic and social skills with special needs or at risk students at Indian Trail. Ronna Nitekman, Nancy Carson, Beverly Ramirez

Plant Growth — By using a GrowLab system, third graders learn how to program and control everything plants need to grow successfully. They test different variables, record results, and report their recommendations. Cheryl Bergman, Ila Deutsch, Kari Kane, Deanna Prestinario

Get a Clue: Secret Spies Solving Mysteries! — Third grade classrooms are transformed into detective agencies as students explore the mystery genre. They read and solve mysteries, act out plays, keep detective diaries, and play mystery games searching for the clues in their classroom. Deanna Prestinario

Space Seekers — Students blast off to the stars as they make their own space models and view the constellations through celestial seekers. Music and songs are introduced to enable students to learn the planets of the solar system and the constellations. Deanna Prestinario

Art Alive! — As fifth grade students study various famous artists, they try to imitate or model the artist’s work. They try their hand with various media: clay, beads, stained glass, and paper, and they study the math concepts of symmetry, proportion, and ratio often found in art. Students conclude this unit with a trip to the Art Institute. Elizabeth Miller

Restoring a Native Prairie — Fourth graders at Indian Trail enhance the school grounds by restoring a portion of their field to native prairie. The process will involve consultation with experts from the Heller Nature Center for site planning, preparation of the area for planting, obtaining native seeds and management of the site. Merle Arenson