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2021-2022 Express Grant Winners

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 Express Grant winners!

September 2021 Winners

A Friend Like Me

Eileen Hall and Naseem Ghouse - Scott Elementary School

"The purpose of this grant is to provide kindergarteners with authentic learning through play opportunities that cultivate cultural awareness. The purchase of multicultural dolls will reflect the diverse cultures represented in the classroom, open the door to interactions that help children understand one another, and value the uniqueness of each student."

66 students impacted

Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics 

Kimberly Lukawski and Amy Eissens - Lincoln Junior High School

"The use of non-permanent vertical space (NPVS) allows students to stand, see other groups' work, try various methods & erase easily, and make connections between & among the problems of which they are working. These funds will be used to purchase six NPVSs in the form of Wipebook Heavy Duty Flip Charts. This will directly benefit students as they learn soft skills of communication, work with a variety of classmates, and share their work."

OSHA 10 Hour Certification 

Grace Twietmeyer, Wright King, and Chris Feid - Naperville Central High School 

This grant will provide students the opportunity to pursue Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10 hour certification for free. "By providing our Geometry in Construction students with the ability to get OSHA-10 General Industry certified, we are fulfilling our safety target in out Construction Curriculum. Students will learn about the basics of OSHA, as well as many of the most common hazards in General Industry."

October 2021 Winners

Educational Equity Through Music

Caitlin Skrbec - Meadow Glens Elementary School

This grant will be used to purchase additional quality xylophones for equitable distribution of quality instruments for all classes. "Bringing in access to more instruments allows students to practice responsible decision making and self-management skills."

Manga Collection Development

Josh Stumpenhorst - Lincoln Junior High School

Funds will be used to meet student demand for Manga graphic novels that has far exceeded current supply and budget. With this grant, they will be able to exponentially increase the quantity and variety of titles in the library. "These books are a creative and innovative format of literature which is directly in line with our students' current interests."

The Steeple Run Goodmintons 

Maggie Kulzick - Steeple Run Elementary School

The grant will purchase supplies necessary to set up a badminton gym after school in the Steeple Run gym for girls 2-5th grade. "Students will learn the foundations of badminton while learning important life skills such as teamwork, growth mindset, patience, and perseverance."

November 2021 Winners

Ellsworth 5th Grade Craft Club

Students with help from David Liszka and Kim Rutan - Ellsworth Elementary School

This grant will purchase supplies for the Ellsworth 5th Grade Craft Club. "[This will] allow students to express their creativity, help the community through service projects, and provide the opportunity for students to work and problem solve together."

47 students impacted

Ensuring Educational Excellence Through Decodable Texts

Christine Roy and Kristine Campbell - Mill Street Elementary

The grant will purchase books for 2nd and 3rd graders to increase literacy skills. "The funding for this grant for decodable texts is crucial in the success for many early readers in second and third grade with phonics."

200 students impacted

Identity, Inclusion, and Diversity

Annemarie Pradel - Highlands Elementary School

"This grant is to build an identity, inclusion, and diversity library for our school. We are a diverse community focused on the inclusion of all students that celebrates each students' many facets of identity."

225 students impacted

Take-Home Math Games

Lauren Michels - River Woods Elementary School

The grant will purchase supplies to create portable math games for students to take home.

489 students impacted

STEAM To-Go Kits for Check Out

Rebecca Nelson - Teacher at Jefferson Junior High School

"Through circulated kits, students will be encouraged to continue their sense of wonder and exploration outside of the physical school building."

880 students impacted

Structured Literacy Grant

Karen Otto-Waddell - Ranch View Elementary School

This grant addresses a high value need for K-2 students as they are learning to read, purchasing phonics tools to enhance literary education.

400 students impacted

Women in Automotive Aerodynamics

Greg Ditch, Avery Belgio, and Grace Carsello - Naperville North High School

Materials will help young women learn about aerodynamics when engineering a car. "[This] will give many of our female students confidence and a gateway into a male dominated program at our school."

40 students impacted

December 2021 Winners

A Functioning Learning Environment: A Book Study on Executive Functioning Skills in the Classroom

Colleen Glasby and Christine O'Neil - Beebe Elementary School

Funds will be used to support a book study for 20 staff members and provide them resources to enhance students' executive functioning in the classroom. Students in all grade levels will benefit from the shared learning amongst staff members as instructional strategies are implemented across grade levels. 

449 students impacted

Bridging Graphic Novels

Natasha Konrad - Madison Junior High School

Funds will be used to help to build a collection of titles written in verse that will help reluctant readers transition from graphic novels to traditional ones.

620 students impacted

Engaging Students in Reading Through Inclusive and Complex Texts

Samantha Robbins and Sarah Viager - Kingsley Elementary School

Third grade reading materials will include diverse characters whom students can identify with and be inspired by, increase text complexity and context, and appeal to student interests.

82 students impacted

Fine Motor Academic Centers

Stephanie Schreiner and Kristin Lee - Naper Elementary School

Based on Susan Thompson's Handy Learning program, this project will provide multi-sensory and highly engaging activities to help build fine motor skills in kindergarteners and first graders.

100 students impacted

Got Your Back With This Pack: Behavior Support Toolkit

Ashley Dougherty and Christine O'Neil - Beebe Elementary School

Funds will be used to purchase supplies to build toolkits to be used by the Instructional Support Team when supporting students in crisis throughout the building. 

30 students impacted

I Survived the Integration of Fiction and Nonfiction

Allison Anderson, Alyssa Estvander, Raquel Cortez, and Leann Martin - Mill Street Elementary School

Funds will be used to purchase multiple copies of the high interest non-fiction book series, I Survived in English and Spanish to support engagement and reading growth for fourth graders. This grant addresses the high value of pairing fiction and nonfiction texts using authentic literature related to social science. 

100 students impacted

Integrating Spanish Text to Develop Skills and Cultivate Love for Learning

Veronica Zamora - Jefferson Junior High School

High-interest Spanish language books will help teach essential standards, support achievement of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and promote bilingualism and biliteracy.

200 students impacted

LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity Books

Junior High Students with the help of Liza Palubicki and Jennifer Nekolny - Jefferson Junior High School

Funds will be used to purchase age-appropriate LGBTQIA+ friendly books. JJHS students identified books for elementary audiences, which were then chosen by librarians at 12 elementary schools. These books will help students feel recognized and accepted as well as encourage learning and understanding.

6,258 students impacted

Meaningful Math and SEL Learning Beyond the Classroom

Nicole Stevens, Jaime Noffke, and Linda Smith - Meadow Glens Elementary School

Students and teachers can check out board games, labeled with math and social-emotional learning targets and family discussion questions, from the Learning Commons.

490 students impacted

Personal Care Cart

Junior High Students with the help of Chris Heffernan - Jefferson Junior High School

A Personal Care Cart will help junior high students with unexpected (and potentially embarrassing) needs by giving them access to personal hygiene products, wardrobe malfunction solutions, and fidget devices.

150 students impacted

January 2022 Winners

Books for Calming Corners and SEL Skill Teaching

Catherine Stumpf and Katherine Flessner - Steeple Run Elementary School

Steeple Run will expand the existing resources in their classroom "calming corners" by purchasing books to promote pro-social behaviors and coping skills for students. "Students will have the social emotional and behavioral skills as well as supports necessary to maximize their availability for high levels of learning."

600 students impacted

Look At Me Baby

Jean Abbott, Stacey Funk, and Rachel Del Ciello - Scott Elementary School

Using NEF funds, Scott Elementary will implement the Dr. Becky Bailey's Baby Doll Circle Time Program to help early childhood students acquire the social-emotional and communication skills needed to develop healthy behavior. "This innovative approach will strengthen attachment, attunement and social play without increasing staff burdens or staff numbers."

20 student impacted

Maplebrook Sensory Tools

Caroline Weiss - Maplebrook Elementary School

This grant will help expand the tools available in Maplebrook's sensory room to better align with the School Improvement goal of "l promote a safe, inclusive and positive school climate by developing the social-emotional core competencies of all students." "This helps these children calm and focus themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others."

520 students impacted

Together We Can

Hugh Boger and Safa Dada - Scott Elementary School

To help foster an inclusive and safe community for all who enter Scott School and to help parent/guardians better understand their core values of diversity, equity, inclusion and "Together We Can," this grant will purchase a diverse array of books to have in the front office. These books will be available for parents/guardians to read with their children upon entry into the school. "This innovative approach will strengthen attachment, attunement and social play without increasing staff burdens or staff numbers."

February 2022 Winners

Moving with Math

Kimberly Lukawski, Julie Keleghan, and Kate Krenek - Lincoln Junior High School

NEF funded the purchase of math mats for interactive math lessons involving movement. "By providing students an opportunity for movement, we are addressing academic, physical, social, and behavioral skill development,"

500 students impacted 

STEAM Stations for Structured Learning

Emily Goeden - Kingsley Elementary School

This grant will provide a STEAM station for the existing Structured Learning classrooms at Kingsley, where students can do various hands-on learning activities both collaboratively and independently. "They (students) will be able to engage in a variety of STEAM based activities that are both engaging and aligned to the district science curriculum/standards."

15 students impacted

Women in Automotive Aerodynamics II

Greg Ditch and student Ivy Cain - Naperville North High School

This grant will purchase splitters and diffusers for the NNHS Girls' Autosports Club to study how they can be used to increase performance and fuel economy. "Creating intriguing and inviting projects and opportunities has broken boundaries in our auto shop and opened up new possibilities to several young ladies."

50 students impacted