D58 Education Foundation Gives Away $40K in Grants

Foundation nearly doubles amount it gave away two years ago.

From :

The gave away $40,000 in grants this school year – nearly double the amount it gave away two years ago, and $5,000 over the amount it gave away last year.

“It was truly a pleasure to be able to increase the funding amount this year and see the money put to such good use,” said Education Foundation President Jay Stocki.

Staff were encouraged to apply for grants to enhance curriculum or technology innovations and staff development. The committee received a total of 31 requests.

“It was wonderful to see so many quality requests again this year,” said grants committee chair Laura Crawford.

To ensure an impartial review, all identifying information regarding the applicant(s), their job title and their school were removed from the applications prior to their distribution to the committee. In addition to Crawford, this year’s grant review committee included Foundation Directors Mike Busse, Stephan Upshaw and Greg Bedalov, science teacher Meg Van Dyke, and District 58 Communications Coordinator and Foundation ex officio Jennie Waldorf.

Grants were awarded this winter for the following projects/purchases; the applicant(s) name is in brackets:

  • iPad2/visual arts program implementation for all District 58 schools (Jon Belonio, Sarah David, Elizabeth Lukes)
  • iPad 2s for (Tara Fulton, first/second grade combination class)
  • LCD projector and media cart for O’Neill Middle School (Stacy Swimmer, foreign language)
  • AnyBook Reader for (Kelly DeMarco, fifth grade)
  • Document camera for (Allison Swade, Language Arts/reading)
  • Wii karaoke to improve reading fluency at (Christy Gergits, reading specialist)
  • iPad 2 and Apple TV for (Kim Wojcik, second grade)
  • SMART board for O’Neill Middle School (Sarah Brost, social studies)
  • iPad 2/iPod Touches and Apple TV for (Robin Bruebach, principal)
  • iPad 2s for Belle Aire (Joan Mommsen, LRC Director)
  • SMART boards for Belle Aire (Patricia Miller, sixth grade)
  • Interactive iPad projection system for (Diane Claver and Vann Bennett, third grade)
  • iPad 2 and Apple TV for Whittier (Deb Krygeris, sixth grade)
  • LCD projector and Apple TV for O’Neill Middle School (Tasha Squires, LRC Director)
  • AnyBook readers for Pierce Downer School (Mary Eagan, second grade and Sabrina Breault, first/second grade combination class)
  • iPad 2s for Belle Aire (Heather Howland, kindergarten)
  • iPod Touches to enhance science instruction at Herrick Middle School (Jill Henry, science)
  • LCD projector for O’Neill Middle School (Bev West, Language Arts)
  • Mounted projectors for El Sierra (Maura Prekwas and Meg Adams, fifth grade)
  • SMART board for (Katie Maurella, fifth grade)
  • Nonfiction leveled readers for content areas at (Barbara Potocki, kindergarten)
  • SMART board for O’Neill Middle School (Kate Nickell, Language Arts)
  • iPad 2 and Apple TV system for El Sierra (Julie Iaquinto and Kelly Wyatt, fourth grade)
  • iPad 2 and Apple TV for Indian Trail (Beth Hatlen, kindergarten)
  • Guided reading books for Pierce Downer (Kaitlin Wegner and Catherine Reinert, first grade)
  • SMART board for O’Neill Middle School (Kathleen “Kit” Hamilton, science)

Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has raised and distributed more than $350,000 to District 58 schools. Funding is made possible via Foundation events and programs such as Entertainment for Education, Cash for Kids, the Kelly Miller Circus and online contributions.

In addition to the annual grants, programs sponsored by the Foundation include Sneak Preview for seventh-graders, the Select 58 service and citizenship awards for eighth-graders, and the Distinguished Service Awards for staff.

For more information on the District 58 Education Foundation, visit www.dg58ef.com.

Elizabeth Major December 14, 2011 at 11:44 PM
Chad - Maybe teachers at schools with lower number of recipients didn't have teachers that applied for the grants? As far as the school with most recipients - Oneill - be happy about that one - your children will go there one day ;)
Greg Bedalov December 15, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Chad, As stated in the article, all grants are reviewed and approved without any knowledge or indication as to the school submitting the request. The Foundation volunteers work very hard to ensure that each and every submittal is thoroughly reviewed and each application is judged based on its merits and its fit with the Foundation's objectives of technology, curriculum enrichment and staff development. Greg Bedalov Board Member and Grant Review Committee Member District 58 Education Foundation
Chad D. Walz December 15, 2011 at 05:05 PM
I know about the process Mr. Bedalov. I don't agree with it. When it comes to education I believe in equality across the schools is the right thing to do. Your foundation is creating schools that have and schools that have not. I just don't see how the foundation benefits the whole community. I would rather give the money to my PTA and have them spend it at my school. It’s your little club and you all can do with it what you will, but I can advocate with my school community to support the PTA rather than the foundation. I am confidant my school community can raise just as much money as your foundation gives out. I don’t want this to be a competition. That is not the point. The point should be funding education equally. Period.
Dan F. December 16, 2011 at 05:36 AM
Understood that it is a "blind" selection process, but Mr. Walz has a point about supporting schools equally. Does it equal out over time, i.e. over a five year period what does the tally look like? Also, doesn't the PTA have a different function than the Education Foundation?
Chad D. Walz December 16, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Dan, The rolls of the PTA and the Education Foundation seem very similar the past few years. Both have provided technology needs for the schools much to the chagrin of the D58 board. I am of the opinion that the district should provide the tools our children need to succeed. The roll of the PTA should be to provide supplemental enrichment programs such as field trips, fun activities and supplemental learning tools as directed by the Principal. The Education Foundation should find district wide programs to fill a monetary supplemental need. This is just my opinion, I am sure many will not feel the same as I do. In the end I want the strongest educational system for our children.


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