A group of parents at Evanston Township High School found a unique way to help teachers obtain funds to finance creative programs that might otherwise never get done, and they recently awarded cash to teachers to make it all happen.
Six grants were awarded last month for a total of $2,000 with funds raised by donations from parents and other supporters.
The group, called Parents Engaged, is a successor to the old Parent Teachers Association, and their grants ranged from the purchase of spectroscopes to funding for a college application prep program for first-generation students.
Spanish teacher Clare Delgado received funding to purchase Spanish language books to enhance ETHS Spanish students’ collaboration with District 65 students participating in “Battle of the Books” literacy enrichment program. Honors Spanish 4 students are required to reach out to Evanston’s Latino community, and these books will facilitate tutoring Spanish speaking elementary school students.
World History teacher Aaron Becker was awarded funds to purchase photography books and used guitars for his classroom. Becker uses these non-traditional learning tools to enhance the world history curriculum and to find creative ways for students to learn about different cultures and traditions.
Choral Director Theresa Reed was awarded a grant to help update the music program’s vocal repertoire library. Reed directs all of ETHS’ choir groups. These funds will enable her to purchase a series of musical scores and sheet music to replenish and refresh this resource for music students.
Counselor Tina Tiziano Dreher received funding to purchase supplies for the College Application Prep (CAP) program. This program will assist first-generation students in the college application process starting with research on colleges and universities during junior year through the college application and financial aid process in fall of senior year.
English teachers Sara Williamson and Julie Mallory received funding to purchase a set of graphic novels to supplement texts used in their freshman English classrooms. These visual novels will help students connect with classic literature in different ways and make that content more accessible to students.
Gionmatthias Schelbert, of the Astronomy/Physics department, was awarded a grant to purchase 40 new handheld spectroscopes. These instruments will be used in both astronomy and chemistry classrooms to study light and will allow each student to use his/her own instrument in the classroom.
Now in its third year, Wildkit Grants solicits grant proposals online from any faculty member, with a maximum request of $500.
This year, the six grants were culled from 13 applications submitted.
The awards committee was headed by Jane Corey Holt, wife of District 202 School Board member Doug Holt, and included Rebecca Groble Hull, Maria Widmaier-Senecal and Karen Larkin Young.
Persons wishing to donate to the fund for next year’s grants are invited to contribute online.