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2019 Annual Grant Award Recipients

The NEF is proud to present the 2019 Annual Grant winners!

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Grants

Supportive Stalls - Bathroom Beautification 

Meredith White and Rebecca Hirst - Kennedy Junior High School

Bathroom Beautification was designed to provide students at Kennedy with positive messaging to spread joy, confidence, and mindfulness, which impacts their overall wellness. This grant helped provide students with a sense of comfort and peace while at school through art and affirmations.


Bringing SEL Literature to Life through Music

Jeffrey Peller - Kingsley Elementary School

Alan D. Krashesky Award Winner

K-5 Music and SEL curriculums are explored within the contexts of integrated visual, auditory, and kinesthetic musical & performing arts experiences that culminate in a musical and literary representation of music and its connections to SEL. Students reflect by identifying and managing one's emotions and behavior, recognizing the feelings and perspectives of others, and contributing to the well being of one's school and community.


Sensory-Rich Environment to Promote Focus & Attention

Lisa Connell - Mill Street Elementary School

This project supports the 203 SEL vision statement that all students will utilize social, emotional, and academic skills in order to become resourceful and resilient life-long learners. Students will be able to identify and manage their emotions and behaviors by utilizing self-chosen brain breaks and calm-down strategies in order to improve attention, self-control, and emotional resilience.


Naper’s Calming Corners

Lauren Dawson and Alexandra Briggs - Naper Elementary School

Naper’s Calming Corners provide a focused space within each classroom to promote self-regulation, and help student’s bodies & minds return to a regulated state. The Calming Corners are a focused space within general education classroom where all students can access calming and sensory supports in order to respond to a variety of feelings and emotions.


You Got This: Anxiety-Free Kids

Tisha Allison - Ellsworth Elementary School

This grant funded the purchase of books and resources to help students cope when faced with anxiety for the library.


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

Glowforge Laser Cutter

Josh Stumpenhorst - Lincoln Junior High School

Lincoln’s Learning Commons are always looking to diversify the opportunities in its already rich maker culture, and the addition of the Glowforge cutter will do just that. It will be yet another outlet for students to create in a unique and creative manner. The Glowforge allows students to create, cut, and produce at a higher speed than traditional cutters which will help more students have access and opportunity to create.


Printed Chemistry 

Kasie-Marie Smith - Washington Junior High School

Schroeter STEM Prize Winner

This project brings the 7th grade chemistry unit to life with 3D printing! Two hundred students will build their STEM skills by using CAD software and the school’s 3D printer to construct a model of atomic structures and molecules. 


Geometry and Construction of a Balsa House

Grace Twietmeyer - Naperville Central High School

Students from Honors Geometry and Woods 1 will collaborate on building a miniature house from Balsa wood using actual architecture plans that they will need to scale down to size. This project serves several purposes - it will allow students in  two different disciplines to work together, and it will allow them to share their knowledge from each course they are taking to build this house.


Play Doh Can Conduct Electricity

Jean Abbott - Ann Reid Early Childhood Center

Schroeter STEM Prize Winner

If the dough contains salt, it is conductive. If the dough contains sugar, it is an insulator. What a great way for little minds to learn about simple circuits and electricity in a fun and safe way!


Maker Mentors

Jessica Golz - Mill Street Elementary School

Maker Mentors aims to provide authentic social emotional learning opportunities for students through creative problem solving. This program builds positive relationships through innovative projects in a safe and creative learning environment.


Patriot Maker Space Plus!

Joseph Hinsberger - Jefferson Junior High School

This grant funded a laser that could be used in the classroom for STEM related projects. The laser is very user friendly and this project could help draw students of ALL abilities to STEM related courses as well as career choices. 


Fine Arts Grants

Save the Drama for… The Naper Knight Drama Club

Suzy Flack - Naper Elementary School

This grant created an after school drama club at Naper Elementary. Participants have the opportunity to work collaboratively with peers while participating in drama related activities including; improvisation, Reader’s Theater, choral and echo reading, culminating to performance involving all students.


DrumFIT, KNIGHTS moving to our own original beat!

Kim Blitek - Kingsley Elementary School

The DrumFIT program (cardio drumming) is a creative and original way to strengthen and develop physical and musical literacy while building students self-confidence and mindfulness. DrumFIT is an all inclusive fitness activity that will provide an innovative cross-curricular learning experience for all students K-5 in the physical education classroom enhancing student engagement and helping to support social emotional learning. Additionally, the DrumFIT program will increase learning readiness with students in all grades through implementation within our schools cardio club intramural program.