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2018 Annual Grant Award Recipients

The Naperville Education Foundation is pleased to announce that this year, we awarded grants for 13 projects in the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and STEM categories and bestowed five WOW! Prize Awards. Recipients of the 2018 Annual Grants are giving invaluable educational experiences to Naperville 203 students, and the NEF Board of Trustees recognizes them for their outstanding proposals.

Together, we are providing exceptional opportunities for our children. NEF’s Annual Grant Award program has been in existence since 1993, and has funded a total of 892 projects. These projects represent an investment of more than $1,000,000 to enrich student-learning experiences. Grant applications are due after the start of the new year and are reviewed within each category by a committee comprised of NEF Trustees, district staff and community volunteers.

Please join us in celebrating all of our grant recipients who are listed after each proposal name along with all of the schools that will be touched by each grant!


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Grants

Beebe Dine 4 The Better


Karen Amundsen and Ella King - Beebe Elementary School

Too often, students sit alone or play by themselves at recess. Ella King, a fifth grader at Bebe, saw an article about a high school in Boca Raton that has implemented a very similar program called “We Dine Together.” The purpose of this project is to make all students feel welcome and encourage empathy by training select students to create a "Lunch Bunch," which would help students form new groups at lunch and recess. Learn more


Engaging And Empowering Hispanic Families Through Cultural Responsive Collaboration

Maribel Guerrero - Mill Street Elementary School

This project will foster Social and Emotional Learning among Hispanic students and parents by providing professional learning opportunities to address parents and students in a culturally relevant approach.


Global Scholar EdTalks


Seth Brady and Randall Smith - Naperville Central High School

This project creates a TED Talk-style opportunity for District 203’s students to teach the public what they’ve learned as they worked to complete Illinois Global Scholar capstone projects in STEM or the humanities. Learn more



Shawnita McClure and Regina Rogers - Kennedy Junior High School

SUCCESS, Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to help Strengthen Students, at KJHS will focus on mentoring underrepresented students through coaching, workshops, and social activities. SUCCESS will address the achievement gap by helping gear students toward college readiness at an early stage, which will increase test taking skills. Learn More


Mindful Moments In The Early Childhood Classroom

Megan Hafer and Stephanie Budrow - Ann Reid Early Childhood Center

Mindful Moments Kits for the Early Childhood Classroom will be developed to support and enhance the current SEL curriculum in the early childhood setting, aiding in teaching and implementing mindfulness practices with young children.


The Eagle Has Landed – Welcome To Elmwood School

Victoria Hegranes - Elmwood Elementary School

A program will be initiated to welcome new Elmwood students, making them feel comfortable in their new school. Additionally, this will provide a leadership role for current students to increase self-esteem and will improve and grow the school culture and climate.


Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) Transition Program

Laurel Anderson, Ebony Baker, Annette Herrera - Jefferson Junior High School

Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) is a junior high orientation and transition program that pairs 6th grade students with 8th grade WEB leaders to promote social-emotional and academic success. Two Jefferson Junior High School Counselors will receive training in the WEB curriculum, thus expanding preventive supports to students. This is the junior high equivalent of the LINK Crew program, which already exists at NNHS and NCHS.


Playing Like A “CHAMP” With Watch Dog Dads

Karen Leffelman - Highlands Elementary School

This program will provide Watch Dog Dads with educational games to promote positive student social interactions while practicing math and literacy skills in a small group. The educational board games will be selected by the K-5 teachers based on the needs of their grade level curriculum. The CHAMP model, Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, and Participation, will emphasize using encouraging words, playing fairly, taking turns, listening to others, and following directions in the engaging format of board games.


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Grants

Can You See Me Now?

Melanie Reicher and Adam Schmitt - Madison Junior High School

Digital microscopes (standard microscope with a digital camera built into the head and an LCD display screen for multiple viewers to see at the same time) at Madison will provide students with the technology to take an ordinary activity and turn it into an extraordinary one. A USB port in the base will connect to the students’ Chromebooks, allowing them to upload what they are viewing and manipulate their data technologically.


Math and Science in Motion


Kimberly Lukawski, Ronnie Wu,Marianne Keefe, Karen Olson, Brian Glasby,Amy Eissens, Mallory Hashiguchi, Julie Keleghan, Lindsey Lichtenberg - Lincoln Junior High School

Students will get moving in math class as they utilize motion detectors, graphing programs, and Chromebooks to analyze qualitative graphs, proportional relationships, quadratic functions, piecewise functions, systems of equations, and the distance formula. Students will also have the chance to collect and interpret quantitative data during the Forces and Fields unit, such as velocity and acceleration on an inclined plane, and to analyze sound waves in science class by utilizing the microphones and motion detectors.


STEM Integration Through Choice-Based, Student-Led Learning In The Visual Arts Curriculum

Ann Ossey - Kennedy Junior High School

The purpose of this project is to provide opportunities beyond the traditional art making mediums like pencil, paint, clay, and paper within the visual arts curriculum. Visual arts will serve as the catalyst for STEM integration for students, providing the opportunity to engage in media arts and 21st century skills, preparing them for STEAM careers through the use of 3D printing, green screen technology, iPad apps, light painting tools, and small circuitry.


To Infinity And Beyond


Kim O’Neill - Ann Reid Early Childhood Center

This project will provide early childhood students with hands-on learning opportunities in STEAM with Legos that support inquiry-based and active learning. The STEAM Park Lego product will allow students to use their natural curiosity to plan and design while exploring, experimenting, and playing. This will develop students' understanding of cause and effect relationships, making predictions & observations, problem-solving, and creating representations.


Maker Lab

Josh Stumpenhorst - Lincoln Junior High School

Lincoln Junior High will be creating a Maker Lab within their Learning Commons as a space for students to use creativity and innovation to create, tinker, build and enhance their learning. The addition of the resources will provide a wider range of maker activities for all students to engage in. A robust makerspace will be usable for all students during lunch and study hall, but also for a natural partnership with current curricular areas. 


* The Donald G. Schroeter Prize has been generously funded through the Donald G. Schroeter Memorial Restricted Fund established by Paul and Beth Schroeter. The Donald G. Schroeter Prize funds NEF Annual Grant Application proposals selected by the family. Donald and Phyllis Schroeter were original supporters of NEF.