This year The Foundation continued its commitment of partnering with D101 to provide educational excellence to our students. The WSFEE Board approved thirteen grants totaling over $146,000 during the 2022-23 school year. One of these six grants were chosen from WSFEE’s Big Idea Contest, where teachers submitted their biggest and best ideas. These grants all positively impact D101’s more than 1,400 students.
Renovation for Innovation:
WSFEE submitted a $75,000 payment for Renovation for Innovation. It was approved contingently at the May 2022 meeting pending Dance fundraising. Given the success of the event, we made the payment in September 2022.
First Grade Soft Start Program
In order to create a thriving environment and strengthen communities in our D101 first grade classrooms, a “soft start” to the day was incorporated. This was created for our first graders as well to shift from a morning worksheet to a few well thought out play based activities for students to choose from to start their day after completing their morning routine (think play-dough, WIXI sticks, block STEM
challenge bins etc.). Empowering students with these choices and starting their day with a preferred activity will result in a calm, settling, age-appropriate, community centered start to the day. This grant funded some of those well thought out bins for students to choose from to start their day with.
Space Academy for Educators
The grant for the submitted by McClure Math teacher, Emily Knaub was approved. She will attend the NASA Space Academy for Educators at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Marshall, one of NASA’s largest operation centers, leads the development of cutting edge propulsion technology. All 6th grade math students at McClure will benefit as she incorporates project based learning experiences into the curriculum. Also, her experience can be used to reach students in science in any grade level, broadening the impact.
Field Park Soft Start Materials
Similar to the First Grade Soft Start Program, all Field Park classrooms will incorporate the ‘soft start’ to the day. Empowering students with these choices and starting their day with a preferred activity will result in a calm, settling, age-appropriate, community centered start to the day. This grant funded some of those well thought out bins for students to choose from to start their day with.
Abilities Fair 2023
This fair is for D101 students to gain a greater understanding for some of the challenges and struggles that classmates who have a disability face on a daily basis. It will create disability awareness and empowerment, while inspiring students to practice kindness, inclusivity, and compassion as they learn about several disabilities with a hands on experience. This grant is for the 2023 Fair.
We had a Grinch Fundraiser in December in which the Grinch visited D101 families to say hello and deliver BB donuts. The event raised over $4,000.
Currently the elementary buildings have 3D printers for use by our upper elementary students, this grant makes 3D creations accessible to younger students. The possibilities for creation are endless. There are many ways for teachers to integrate the 3D pens into their STEAM curriculum.
Transforming the Library with Mobile Shelving
Individual classrooms have hugely benefited from the transformative abilities of mobile furniture and flexible learning spaces through the district’s Renovation for Innovation initiative. The district’s vision to maximize the potential for learning in all of our environments is currently a challenge in McClure’s library learning center due to the confining, permanent setup of aisles of bookshelves. In order to make the LLC a dynamic, adaptable, and customizable learning space for all of McClure’s students and content areas as well as support professional development needs, mobile shelving would allow an infinite number of setups and configurations, making the most of the library as one of the larger instructional and meeting rooms in the district.
Forging a New Way to Hands On Learning with GlowForge
The goal of this grant is to enhance student learning by incorporating engineering and design with science and math in our Makerspace. A Makerspace is a collaborative space where the students will come together to design, create and build items of their own creation through inquiry-based learning. Glowforge impacts student learning by encouraging them to use collaborative ideas to solve problems, creativity to design their project, and learn a variety of topics. This would supplement the electives taught and enable students to work collaboratively.
WSFEE granted (and reimbursed) $9,000 in our ongoing sponsorship with D101 for STEAM night. This was the first STEAM Night back since 2019-2020 year.
LTHS Scholarships (Service and Leadership)
$1000 Scholarship to Lyons Township High School Senior who is a former D101 student/graduate. Scholarship will provide an average student access to scholarship for post high school use for demonstrating active community outreach/service to encourage them to continue to grow and give back to their community. This is an annual scholarship.
Second Grade Small Group Instruction Texts
These reading resources will provide differentiated short texts for teachers to use to enhance their current guided reading/small group instruction. Having a readily available resource that teachers can pull from to help students develop deep comprehension and engagement with vocabulary, themes, perspectives, plot, and structure will lead to student engagement and deeper learning. This resource is aligned with district practices of guided reading and utilizing differentiated approaches. The goal is to use these resources with the district developed curriculum/targets and adopted core resources and that these texts will serve as a supplemental enhancement.
To increase engagement, collaboration, whiteboards were purchased that can be used within instructional routines in 2nd grade at Forest Hills. These large whiteboards allow for students to work on a large vertical non-permanent surface which feels novel and safe to students as they collaborate. The whiteboards will be used in a variety of content areas but are used in math most often.
We were happy to conclude the year with our biannual Golf & Tennis Outing at Lagrange Country Club. Thanks to our generous sponsors and participants, the event raised over $60,000. We added a silent auction component this year to engage those who were unable to attend the event but wanted to participate in some capacity! The much appreciated financial support from our Western Springs community is instrumental in helping us achieve our mission to raise funds for educational programs and activities that extend and enhance the quality of education, and provide students in D101 with expanded learning opportunities. Thank you once again to our administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students for making the 2022-2023 school year possible and such a success.
Carey Freimuth on behalf of 2022-2023 WSFEE Board