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2022-2023 Express Grant Winners

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Express Grant Recipients!

November 2022 Recipients

Irresistible Audio Books

Courtney Marcordes - Ann Reid Early Childhood Center

This grant purchases user-friendly digital listening devices allowing early childhood students to listen to familiar or new books and stories while fostering their independence. The recording function on the device allows families to record stories in their native language, students to record stories they create on their own, or teachers to record stories from the classroom. "When young children are exposed to strong, rich stories, they are then able to create stories of their own."

30 students impacted

Buddy Books 

Jean Abbott and Valerie Rattary - Beebe Elementary

Funds will be used to by the EL Team at Beebe to purchase sets ( total of 60 books)of Meg and Greg chapter books that are targeted at struggling and dyslexic readers. The EL teachers will be able to use the materials with students in a small group. The books can also be loaned out to individual students for independent reading time in the classroom where they can pair up with a buddy in the classroom to read or re-read the books as well.

30 Students Impacted

October 2022 Recipients

Info/Tech Systems 1/2 Raspberry Pi and Arduino Capstone Projects

Dan Kischuk - Naperville Central High School

Purchased instructional supplies for students to begin leveraging newer technologies that can be used in a variety of enterprise and career-oriented, hands-on projects for Info/tech Systems 1 and Info/Tech systems 2 classes. "This project allows students to produce something that is creative and innovative while implementing knowledge from the course and modern technology."

43 students impacted

Thermal Learning

Adam Schmitt and Kristin Werve - Madison Junior High School

Funding the purchase of a thermal camera to allow for a deeper lab process with specific data on temperatures and color displays of energy transfer for students to track. "Incorporating the use of the thermal camera affords students increased rigor, skill, and knowledge acquisition as it provides an entirely new forum of data collection and way of digesting the effectiveness of testing hypotheses in regard to house materials, structures, and modes of engineering."

600 students impacted

Books Can Talk?

Jean Abbott - Scott Elementary School

This grant purchases Vox Books, which are physical books with audio players attached. Students will be able to listen to a book, look at the words, and turn the pages independently without increasing screen time with virtual audiobook programs. "This is a creative way to solve the problem of 'too much screen time' while at the same time giving access to texts that the reader might not be able to read independently yet. These books fill a void. It is a way for students to be engaged and independent at the same time."

50 students impacted

SEL Robots

Tobey Sanford - Kennedy Junior High School

Two modern robots, EMO and Qoobos, will serve as excellent tools for students to manage stress. These robots will be available for use in the Learning Commons, a safe place where students find midday respite in a variety of ways. Students can check out a robot during their Learning Commons visit and spend time interacting as an escape from possible stressors in the school day. "Every student will have access to use the EMO or Qoobos in the Learning Commons in ways that make them feel safe, valued, and to release stress. These experiences should prepare them for greater comfort and productivity the rest of the school day."

938 students impacted

A Glowing Good Time

Emily Fiedler - Elmwood Elementary School

This grant will be used to increase engagement and showcase every student’s artistic accomplishments via an open house display with art created with NEF-funded supplies. "I am excited for the possibility of students having multiple ways to enjoy making glow art while also supporting their growth and learning through different art mediums with the inclusion of printmaking materials, paints, sculpture media, and drawing materials."

704 students impacted

Math Games Compute

Debra Morris - Highlands Elementary School

This grant will provide a wealth of games to support math learning for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. "The games will directly benefit students as it will increase their math skills by providing additional opportunities to explore fundamental number concepts like counting sequences, one-to-one correspondence, subitizing, problem solving, and computation."

500 students impacted

The Calming Club

Juliann Sturgeon - Elmwood Elementary School

This club is for second and third graders needing a space to counteract negative emotions by setting aside a moment each week to reset, recharge, and find moments of mindfulness. Students will be able to partake in calming activities using NEF funded materials. "This club promotes creativity with the freedom to have a calming space that is just right for the individual child."

25 students impacted

September 2022 Recipients

Master Math Minds Homework Club

Tracy Pisarski - Kennedy Junior High School

This grant funds materials for a math homework club where students receiving math intervention can receive extra homework help after school. "By allowing more time for student to explore math in a stress-free environment, it is my hope to help them develop an appreciation and (dare I say) a love for the subject! Students generally don't like math because they aren't good at it - once they find they CAN be successful they also find that they DO like it!"

40 students impacted

Engaging and Empowering Students Through Authentic Spanish Literature

Eulalia Hernandez - Beebe Elementary School

This grant will provide the funds to purchase diverse and authentic Spanish literature for students in the third, fourth, and fifth grade dual language classrooms. "Students will have access to novels written by authentic, own voice authors that will enhance and enrich every dual language classroom with diverse perspectives, improve language skills and development and provide equitable opportunities for language learners to find literature that represents their linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds and learning styles."

70 students impacted

GaGa Pit

Kevin Quaid - Mill Street Elementary School

Purchased materials to build a GaGa Ball pit, a new, organized, and specific game for all recesses during school day. "This game can be used as a SEL learning game: how to make new relationships with other students, teaches the students how to develop game strategies"

650 students impacted

Giant Word and Math Winder

Kelly McGroarty - Beebe Elementary School

Popular games, Giant Word Winder and Giant Math Winder, will be purchased for Honors Math and PI students to boost engagement in class. "Using games in teaching can help increase student participation, foster social and emotional learning, and motivate students to take risks. Students must creatively think of strategies, communicate effectively with peers, and evaluate success and failure to lead to growth in understanding."

200 students impacted

Representation Matters - Learning Inclusivity through Play

Reyna Nungaray - Elmwood Elementary School

This grant will provide all six kindergarten classes with Educational Multicultural Pretend Play Figurine Family Doll Sets. "The purpose of this grant is to provide Elmwood students with the opportunity to be exposed to play based materials that represent the wide variety of cultures in our District. This can foster a sense of community, respect, and inclusion. As research shows, when children have authentic and meaningful learning experiences through play, there can be a profound positive impact on social emotional and interpersonal development."

130 students impacted

Games for Good: Bringing 7th Grade Science Alive!

Liza Palubicki, Elise McNamara, Alisha Waters, and Vanessa Daker - Jefferson Junior High School

This grant will purchase board games and materials for a periodic table relay race for 7th grade chemistry and biology classes to bring complex science concepts to life. "We want the concepts of chemistry and molecular biology to be brought to life for ALL of our 7th graders, regardless of readiness or language proficiency. We believe these activities will help students visualize the concepts we are teaching as well as get our students interacting and moving!"

300 students impacted