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May 28, 2024 / District

Foundation awards 2024-25 grants

During the week of May 20, the District 45 Foundation for Excellence in Education paid several surprise visits to D45 staff who were awarded Educational Grants for the 2024-25 school year.

With giant replica checks in hand, Foundation Board President Rae Srch, Directors Linda Nystrom, Ken Hildreth, and Superintendent Dr. Brian Graber arrived at schools to surprise each grant recipient with news of their award. In all, the Foundation awarded five Educational Grants totaling $7,519.71.

One of the grants awarded went to Katie Bolin and Kelly Ramirez from Schafer Elementary. Their “Quiet Time STEM Bins” grant will allow them to purchase materials to create Quiet Time Bins for Schafer students. Each bin will be filled with engaging grade-level activities, such as Magna-Tiles, Legos, Brain Flakes, Bristle Blocks, Plus Plus Puzzle Blocks, and more.

“This project will supply classrooms and grade levels with a variety of STEM activities for Quiet Time, which will provide students with activities they can complete independently to recharge and reset for the afternoon,” said Bolin and Ramirez in their proposal.

New to D45 this year, Quiet Time allows students to transition back into the classroom after lunch and recess in a purposeful and relaxed way so they are better ready for an afternoon of learning. Quiet Time provides 10 to 15 minutes to read, write, draw, work on a puzzle, or do some other quiet work to help students take a physical, mental, and emotional breather so they are more ready to engage in learning in the afternoon.

Bolin and Ramirez plan to create and distribute Quiet Time Bins to all Schafer grade levels, with teachers able to use them during Quiet Time.

In February, the Foundation invited District 45 staff to apply for grants for new and innovative projects that were not within District 45’s normal operating budget. Then, in April, the Foundation’s Board of Directors carefully reviewed the grant applications they received and arrived at five winning proposals.

Earlier in the 2023-24 school year, the Foundation awarded five Mini-grants of at most $1,000 in addition to the regular grant program offered each spring.

2024-25 Educational Grants were awarded to:

Quiet Time STEM Bins
Katie Bolin and Kelly Ramirez
Schafer Elementary
Amount: $2,035.31

Tier 1 Fine Motor And Prewriting and Writing Supports
Jen Elias and Natasha Omel-Edwards
Westmore/Stevenson Elementary
Amount: $1824.40

AACtively D45: A Parent Support Group for Students Using AAC
Theresa Versaci
Early Childhood Center
Amount: $200.00

Wildly Cool Learning Adventures
Melissa Carpenter and Carly Lee
North Elementary
Amount: $3,000.00

Full STEAM Ahead
Kristi Isaacson
Ardmore Elementary
Amount: $460.00

The District 45 Foundation for Excellence in Education raises funds for Educational Grants throughout the year. Donations to the Foundation can be made online or by mail anytime.