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Oak Grove School Receives Three New Mini-Grants

The mini-grants helped provide for a Lamb's Farm project, purchase of video cameras and an expansion of the school's Drama Club.

The Oak Grove School Education Foundation recently awarded three new mini-grants to classrooms and teachers.

The grants were awarded based on the Foundation’s core goal -- to enrich curriculum through programs and technology for teachers and within classrooms, focusing on four key areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Arts and Language; Supporting Teacher Innovation; and helping every student realize their full potential.

The first grant to be awarded this year funded an eighth grade community service day to benefit in Libertyville on Sept. 23. Nearly 130 Oak Grove School eighth graders, along with 12 teachers, administrators and aides, bussed to armed with rakes and paint brushes to work for several hours sprucing up the residential area.

Project teaches helping others

Oak Grove eighth-grade teachers Kathy Zurawski and Kathleen Mahoney conceptualized the project along with eighth grade faculty members Anna Crary, Eileen Pavletic, Lynn Snell, Sarah Sikorski, and Chris Walsh. The eighth grade teachers, as well as other specials teachers, and students helped residents and employees paint fences, weed, rake and pick up trash.  

“The service day was presented to Oak Grove School eighth graders as an opportunity to commemorate the by demonstrating how individuals can work together to make a difference in their community,” said Kim Moody, president of the Oak Grove School Education Foundation.

“We wanted our students to be aware that they can get involved and make a direct impact on their community as well as individual lives,” said teacher Kathleen Mahoney. “Oak Grove eighth-graders will also have opportunities to work at local soup kitchens throughout the year.  By the time they enter high school, we hope they bring with them an awareness of the importance of helping others.”

The OGSEF Lamb’s Farm grant was applied toward student transportation costs, substitute teachers, paintbrushes, and clean-up supplies.

Second grant provided students with cameras

The Foundation has also awarded a mini-grant to provide Kodak Playsport Video cameras to second grade classrooms. The video cameras will enable second-grade teachers to: share classwork throughout the entire second grade; record presentations in an effort to develop student listening and speaking skills; and provide a vehicle for group discussion regarding how to appropriately critique peers and record student presentations.   

“The camera has endless potential for the classroom," said Colette Poore, a second grade teacher at Oak Grove School. "Camera use has the potential to evolve over a period of time, as all effective teaching and learning tools do.”

Third grant expanded Drama Club

The third mini-grant awarded by the Foundation was granted to expand Oak Grove School’s Drama Club into two separate sections due to the overwhelming number of students participating in the club. 

“Dividing the club into two sections will allow a larger number of students to join the club and participate while still getting individualized attention and the breadth of opportunity typically found in smaller groups,” said Betsy Williams, a drama teacher at . “Fall performances will be fractured fairy tales that depict standing up to bullies, incorporating both social and emotional learning standards for the participants. There will also be winter performances geared toward participation in the Lakeside Conference Speech and Drama Festival. “

The Oak Grove School Education Foundation, via individual and business contributions, provides supplemental funding to in the form of equipment, resources and classroom mini-grants intended to enhance the overall Oak Grove School educational experience.  Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed over $125,000 for projects and grants that give Oak Grove students opportunities to reach new heights in academic excellence.

Information provided by Oak Grove School District 68.

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