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2020 Annual Grant Award Recipients

The Naperville Education Foundation is pleased to announce the 2020 Annual Grant Award Recipients! We awarded grants for 17 projects in the categories of Diversity & Inclusion, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Fine Arts & Physical Education, and STEM.

Grant recipients are giving invaluable educational experiences to Naperville 203 students. The NEF Board of Trustees recognizes them for their outstanding proposals and positive impact on the community. Together, we are providing exceptional learning opportunities for our children. 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, which makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Please join us in celebrating all of our grant recipients! 

Diversity & Inclusion

Ann Reid READS

Jean Abbott - Ann Reid Early Childhood Center 

This grant funded the launch of a family book club for the Ann Reid community. The book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate was a Naperville READS book in 2019, and was the perfect book to talk about diversity and inclusion with families. Staff and parents who are wanting to participate received the book and read it at home, then were able to discuss it at a book club meeting.


The Boldest and Bravest Voices: Books to Inspire Young Readers

Mandy Bert, Amanda Kahl, Liza Palubicki, Misael Vargas, Christine Warriner - Jefferson Junior High School 
Students should have access to books that represent all aspects of our population at Jefferson. The ability to put a book in a kid’s hand within the classroom setting is very powerful, and displaying these books prominently allows our diverse populate to feel seen and represented visually in our classroom. 


Special Education and Diversity

Tracey Cowart, Gina Weber, and Joe Nikkel - Madison Junior High School 
Funding purchased reading books, markers and craft supplies that will correlate to cultural projects, where students will benefit from learning about each other's backgrounds. This grant allowed our Special Needs students to become aware of each others cultural differences and similarities.


Using Citizen Social Science to Develop New Literacies

Seth Brady and Michael Wilson - Naperville Central High School 

For at least two decades, students enrolled in Comparative Religions have completed a final practicum requiring each student to attend multiple houses of worship, observe services, and interview knowledgeable practitioners of each religious tradition. This project used funding for a media-rich platform that enabled students to “map” the rich cultural and religious history of our community. 


Restorative Circles on Race and Diversity

Vincent Adamo and Seth Brady - Naperville Central High School

Students at Naperville Central conducted a series of restorative justice circle discussions that will allow students to closely examine and address the issue of implicit racial bias in their school community and more deeply connect the student body. The requested funds were used to hire a professional consultant to educate students on how to “keep” restorative justice circle discussions, pay for office supplies needed as part of the circle, and provide modestly-priced lunches at student-conducted circles.


It’s Not About the Robot

Mark Rowzee - Naperville North High School

This grant is designed to benefit students struggling with academics due to socioeconomic influences, as well as students from NNHS’s Robotics Team, by pairing students seeking academic help with robotics students who are available one night per week to assist a peer with classwork or homework in a variety of subjects, but specifically math and science.


Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Steeple Run Calming Corners

Nicole Donahue and Katie Dugger - Steeple Run Elementary 

Calming corners located in all general education classrooms provide the opportunity for ALL students to access tools that support their self-regulation in order to be available for learning. The funds purchased calming tools, sensory tools, visuals, and strategies in order to create safe, designated spaces within each of our 27 general education classrooms that students can access in order to regulate their bodies and emotions. 

The Amazing Outdoors

Marua Anderson and Josh Louis - Steeple Run Elementary

STARS and Steeple Run students benefit from the implementation of The Amazing Outdoors via developing social-emotional, sensory play, interpersonal, conflict resolution, and physical fitness skills while accessing the benefits of the outdoors. Funds were used to purchase stencils from Fit and Fun Playscapes.  The Steeple Run students and staff use the materials as recess, alternate recess, alternate PE, SEL and sensory group, and alternate break and de-escalation strategy options.

Wildcat Mindful Moment Room

Lori Kimberley - Washington Junior High School  

The school will repurpose a classroom or other space for students can manage he stress that students felt in and out of the classroom that can impact focus and learning. Funds were used to furnish and supply the meditation room with furniture, lighting, and mediation supplemental aids. The students assisting with this grant researched and supplied the information for materials they would like to see in a meditation space.

Healthy Relationships for Students with Disabilities

Alicia Ash and Jon Schwartz - Naperville North High School 

Many of our adolescents with more significant disabilities are missing out on critical social and life skills, impacting their ability to form meaningful social relationships after aging out of IDEA services. This curriculum helps teach our students with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities, and significant learning disabilities life and social skills to prepare them for both personal and professional life. Funds purchased curriculum manual, outcome tools, visual elements, home supplements, role plays and demonstrations, “check for understanding” quizzes, comprehensive training, over 65 videos, and access to online portal.


Fine Arts & Physical Education

Innovate and Create Building with Xyloba Musical Marble Runs

Susan Tarson and Scott Larson - Scott Elementary 

Students developed collaboration, decision making, and musical skills as they work together in building and designing to create known and new compositions using Xyloba Musical Marble Runs. Funds allowed students to explore, create, modify, and compose music as they collaborate by designing and building Xyloba Marble Runs. 

Put Your Heart Into It

Adam Schmitt and John Scherrman - Madison Junior High School 

Bluetooth heart rate monitors were purchased to allow students to have the ability to constantly track their heart rate, have access to their date, and enhance instruction in PE. This heart rate and GPS telemetry is the latest technology and will provide students access to real life heart rate technology and allow teachers to differentiate their Physical Education learning in ways not possible yet.

Lancers, Getting DrumFit & Fabulous

Nadine Stanley - Lincoln Junior High School

This program is an innovative method of increasing their heart rate during individual and team based physical activity, while stimulating their brain through the use of cross lateral and rhythmic movement.  In addition to the cardiovascular and muscular endurance benefits are the self-centering and regulating qualities that drumming plays in mindfulness.