2004-2005 Opportunity Grants

The Foundation began the 2004-2005 school year by awarding 33 Opportunity Grants and 1 Super Grant to 73 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 nine years ago, the 112 Education Foundation has awarded over 250 grants, totaling over $120,000 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

Poetry Impressions — Artist, singer, songwriter, Bonnie Koloc will present her hand printed book of 13 linocuts of farmyard animals accompanied by original poetry which is sung a capella. Ms. Koloc will give a short demonstration of how the prints are made, and will describe how words and rhythm are selected to best enhance the ideas of each poem. Students will create their own original poetry, illustrate it with hand drawn images or with linocuts, and then read or sing the poetry in the IMC Edge Cafe, which celebrates National Poetry Month in April. Carolyn Lorence

Linus Project — Students will create and design quilts by sketching out their design, measuring and cutting flannel fabric, and sewing them together. These quilts will be distributed to various hospitals in Illinois to benefit cocaine babies and children in hospitals. Debbie Figge

Elm Place

Election 2004 – A Grade Level Approach — In an interdisciplinary unit in seventh grade, students will learn about the candidates and issues. They will engage in activities that will help to identify key issues, learn speech-writing techniques, understand the voting process, and the technology associated with elections. Students will plan and run a “national political convention” as the culminating activity. Cindy Baggio, Mary-Martha Hancock, Esther Kusy-Leavitt, Cheryl Levi, Amy Pessis, Jackie Schlosberg, Chuck Smith

The Japanese Art Form — After studying various poetic forms in the language arts class, students will become acquainted with the strict traditional forms of the Haiku and Tanka. They will learn how Haiku and Tanka masters use imagery, silence, compassion, an awareness of impermanence, and keen observation in their writing. Using the Internet, they will research and report on various aspects of Japanese culture. Susie Greenwald

Photography as a Window and a Mirror- Students will write and take photographs as a means of exploring and understanding both their inside world (who they are) and their outside world. They will compare, contrast, and analyze the processes of writing and photography. Professional and personal photographs and slides will serve as catalysts for writing and discussion. Susie Greenwald

Participating in the poem — Sixth grade students will learn alliteration, simile, metaphor, personification, imagery, onomatopoeia, theme, and other poetic techniques. After an intense study of famous poets and poetry, they will choose a theme to write about. Students will begin by taking many pictures with the digital camera. After learning to edit their pictures, they will choose five to write poems about using the techniques taught in class. The final project will be publishing a class book that will include one of their best pieces. Jane Scheff

Indian Trail

Super Grant:
Ecology in Action – Restoring a Native Oak Savanna — Indian Trail 4th graders have a hands-on opportunity to restore a piece of land to a native oak savanna. Students will research the prairie/savanna ecosystems and how they relate to our area’s history. A land surveyor will talk to the students about how this land looked in the 1800’s. A trip to Heller Nature Center will allow them to compare woodland and savanna areas. They will conduct research on the web to learn the appearance of the various grasses, sedges, and flowers that will be planted. A “Webquest” will be conducted to explore the prairie/savanna biome, with children taking on roles of botanist, meteorologist, zoologist, cartographer, and environmentalist. Students will also participate in a “Build a Virtual Prairie” activity on the internet. These research activities will be conducted in the fall, integrated into the 4th grade ecosystem unit. Actual planting will take place in the spring. Through this interdisciplinary project, our students and our environment will benefit. Merle ArensonMentor Tutor Program — For ten 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. Nancy Carson, Alysa Fetters, Ronna Nitekman, Beverly Ramirez

Reaching Out – Sharing Literature and Writing Between 4th grade and Kindergarten Buddies — Kindergarteners and 4th graders enrich each others academic experience. Kindergarteners have an older student as a mentor and role model while 4th graders develop leadership skills and respect for others’ needs. Along the way, students develop a multitude of language arts, math, technology and character education skills. Merle Arenson, Barbara Ross

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. Elizabeth Belkind

Listening Center — Learning disabled students and those students reading below grade level will benefit from the additional resource of a listening center. They will be provided with books on tape allowing them to listen to grade level material promoting growth in the areas of decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension. Marcy Lesser, Robin Teplitz

Literature Exploration — In this three part program, 5th grade students have the opportunity to work with the teacher in ability based groups of 4 or 5 students. Through this Guided Reading approach, fundamental reading skills and strategies are taught with text at their level. While this is going on, the remainder of the class is busy with the other two aspects of the program. Students read independently the novels they have selected at an assigned reading level. They monitor their own progress, thereby fostering independence and responsibility. In the third aspect of the program, students write a one-page letter to the teacher showcasing their reading reflection and promoting dialogue about literature. Christine Kasallis

Literacy Center For Independent, Life-long Learners — To allow a first grade teacher the time needed to instruct children individually or in small groups for Guided Reading, a Literacy Center is created. The Literacy Center keeps the remainder of the class focused on meaningful, differentiated tasks that support both their social and academic growth. These centers involve hands-on, creative approaches to reading and writing. They can be adjusted for different ability levels and made more challenging as the year progresses. Examples include: “Reading Tent” – a fun place to read independently or with a buddy, “Make-a-Word” – children use magnetic letters or alphabet stamps to create words or sentences, “Discover Cards” – cards prompt students to use their imagination to write a detailed description or story. Maren Harris

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. Linda Diamond, Marcy Lesser

Sherwood School

Say Hola To Spanish — First graders will have the opportunity to explore the Spanish culture by hearing selected books read in both English and Spanish. The program will include listening to Spanish music, watching Spanish videos and playing Spanish games. The goal is to help children appreciate the beauty of the Spanish language being taught to them. Betty Duffy

Character Detectives — Second Graders will become more aware of people showing the 6 pillars of character through this program. Six backpacks representing each pillar will rotate home with the students on a weekly basis. The backpacks will contain books that focus on one character theme. The books are to be read at home. A notebook and camera are included in the backpack so that the families can record on paper and film, acts, events or examples of the particular Pillar theme. The students will meet on Fridays as a class to share their results. This program allows for a direct home school connection with the Character Counts program. Stephanie Cardella

Kids As Storytellers — Students practice effective listening, speaking and reading skills as they discover new stories to tell for enjoyment. Through the storytelling process, children will strengthen their communication skills as well as practice higher level thinking skills. Students will demonstrate good citizenship, respect and caring as they listen and respond to other studentsÕ stories. This project culminates with an all school storytelling festival. Darlene Neumann

Theme Boxes/Technology For Vocabulary Enrichment — This project aims to enhance the vocabulary, oral language and literacy skills of children in dual language classrooms,grades K-2. Specific storybooks are part of theme boxes containing props and manipulative to provide students with tactile and visual senses of each concept. A computer software program will also be utilized to reinforce learned vocabulary and concepts. Monique Richardson, Olga Nunez, Ty Belmont

Spanish Animated Alphabet For Phonemic Awareness — This project will provide instruction on literacy, oral language and phonemic awareness to native Spanish speaking students of grades pre-K through 2 in he dual language programs. The program contains a variety of components that would also benefit Spanish teachers who wish to teach the Spanish alphabet and sound system to native English speakers. The program is focused around an animated alphabet that includes hearing stories, singing songs about alphabet characters. The students will incorporate their mind, muscles, and imaginations to actively explore each characterÕs story. Monique Richardson, Olga Nunez, Ty Belmont