2009 – 2010 Opportunity Grant Winners



Wholemovement: Branford Hansen Smith Ms. Susan Ozawa
Branford Hansen Smith is an artist and sculptor who will bring his art to the concept of teaching math through folding paper.

Edgewood Middle School

Hats Off to the 100’s Day of School Ms. Deborah Figge
Students will sew 100 hats, scarves and head bands, using polar fleece material and donate to a school in need. This project will introduce the students to a variety of needs and service opportunities present in our extended community.


Green Bay School

Reading Buddies Ms. Nydia I. Burgo
This project will help implement a process that reinforces the love for reading at the earliest stages of development.

Sparking The Spirit Between Young and Old Ms. Sheri Offenbach
The project will help to build trust, respect, understanding and tolerance between the generations.


Elm Place School

African Landscapes: A Folkloric Safari Ms. Beth Lucker-Grobarek
The creative arts, industrial arts, and physical education departments will collaborative to explore the vast history and rich study of Africa’s contributions to the world of music, art, and athletics. This arts integrated approach to studying African culture will culminate on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 during Elm Place’s 5th Annual Arts Collaboration Night: Art Show and Concert

Elm Place (cont.)

Going Green the Elm Place 7th Grade Way Ms. Amy Pessis
In support of Project Citizen 2009, students will implement the Green Week plan to help create a greener environment at Elm Place School. A rain garden with drought resistant plants in order to make the grounds and air of Elm Place the healthiest possible.

Using Photography as a Catalyst for Writing Ms. Suzanne Greenwald
The students will use photography as a catalyst for self-expression. The students will develop visual sensitivity and increased powers of observation which will aid them in writing poetry and narrative essays descriptively. This project incorporates photography, technology, and writing in a unique manner and will be displayed at Elm Place School upon completion.


Indian Trail School

Ecology in Action Merle Arenson 
This innovative ecology project will encourage students to develop a deeper understanding of healthy ecosystem functions. The students will explore and research Illinois’ native habitats in addition to the benefits of the restoration of native species. The hands on activities will include seed collection and the planting of trees!

Eye Popping Book Reports Ms. Karen Grost
The 5th grade students will read a self-selected book, keep track of characters, settings, images, objects, or symbols from the story, and create a pop-up book as a response to the literature. This exciting project will support both the Language Arts and Fine Arts goals.

High Tech Rec Ms. Kelley M. Combs
The STEP students at Indian Trail School will continue to develop their gross and fine motors skills as well social interaction skills with the use of the Wii system in the classroom. Through the incorporation of Wii into the classroom, students will be able to gain additional physical activity opportunities.

A Piece of Mexico Ms. Laura Golden
This fun and exciting school project will introduce art, history, and culture of Mexico in addition to a resident artist from the National Museum of Mexican Art. Students will work alongside the artist in residence to explore different ideas for the creation of a work of art to be displayed at Indian Trail School.

Plush Habitats: Scientific Script Writing Ms. Kristen Zanon
The 2nd grade students will research a form of habitat and they will create a script as told by the animals in that habitat with the use of puppets.


Lincoln School

Interdisciplinary Exploration of Cinco de Mayo Ms. Michele Jenson
Kindergarten students will be introduced to basic Spanish words and literature related to Cinco de Mayo. This grant includes projects relating to music and art as well.


Northwood School

International Club Ms. Mary Jane Thompson
This after school club will help promote multiculturalism. By researching and preparing an Ethnic Food Fair students will develop a better understanding and a deeper appreciation of the diverse cultures within our school community and throughout the world.

Career Day Ms. Penny Adis
This project will expose 8th grade students to possible careers and to help guide their high school curriculum. The project will culminate in a day-long “career fest” with students participating in the planning for the event over several months

Roots Fest Ms. Carolyn Bramble
All students will participate in a celebration of the cultures of their school community. Activities will include Latin dancing, Holocaust education, immigration education and cooking. Students will learn cultural dances, songs and music for a community –wide performance.

Smart Music = Smart Musicians Ms. Margaret Delligatti
The purpose of the Smart Music program is to captivate young musicians in music learning and practice strategies that will help them become proficient musicians. Using interactive music technology students are engaged in a visual and musical setting that provides instant feedback.

Star Lab Ms. Mary Jane Thompson
Starlab is a portable planetarium. It is an inflatable dome that uses a cylinder projector to project images onto a dark canvas background. Students enter this dome to learn through a multisensory approach about a variety of topics.


Oak Terrace School

Cocinando con Matematica (Cooking With Math) Ms. Erica Johnson
Interdisciplinary application of academic skills, including curricular math, science, reading and writing skills to explore different elements of food, cooking, and nutrition in classroom activities and in daily life. Culminates in a final project exhibiting learning–a cookbook.


Lincoln School

Step to Fitness Mr. Stephen Buti
Pedometers motivate students to move with constant feedback. Through continual self-assessment students develop and maintain a healthy level of physical fitness.



Fruit Break for Worms Mr. Dennis Brosseau 
Students will compost fruit break organic waste. The waste will be feed to Red Wiggler Worms. The vermin-composting soil will be used in school garden and greenhouse.

2nd Grade Gross Out Ms. Sarah Walsh
This project will use “gross” health related science activities and the expertise and knowledge of the school nurse to teach students about: Why they get upset stomachs, how to take care of their scrapes and bruises and how to take care of a cold.

Storytelling In Kindergarten Ms. Amy March
Students will be engaged in a yearlong study of the art of storytelling. They will learn how to express themselves creatively, and speak effectively.


Red Oak

Intergenerational Reading Club Ms. Kristen O’Rourke Salamanca
This Reading Club will unite people across the generations through positive shared reading experiences. Seniors will be invited to read aloud to children and children will share a book with them.

Poetry Night Ms. Linda Diamond Robbins
Families will come together to participate many aspects of poetry. They will create and share their work in a common experience.

Reading Stars/Esrellas de Lectura Ms. Kristen O’Rourke Salamanca
The purpose of this program is to increase oral reading fluency and comprehension skills to children with few books at home.

Reading Under The Stars/Leyendo Bajo Las Estrellas Ms. Kristen O’Rourke Salamanca
Spanish speaking families will become partners in the education of their children. This project will promote a love for reading to enhance early literacy and further strengthen the home-school connection.



Seeding Young Minds for Plant Education Jennifer Sagat
This project will help enhance the third grade science curriculum through the use of children’s literature.


Wayne Thomas School

Building Early Literacy Skills Ms. Mindy Kirsch
The goal of project is to build the pre-reading skill of knowing letter names and sounds in Kindergarten. Using a multi-sensory approach students who need these skills reinforced will be identified and given tools for at home practice.

Rocking Out Research Ms. Betsie Lasko
Introduce research skills to first graders in a fun and engaging way. From November to June, students will be taught how to use non-fiction literature to conduct research using a method modeled after recognized educator and author Sharon Taberski.