Grant Awards



-Pedal Pushers
-iPads for Art & Music
-ExploreWeDo 2.0

2015/2016: $22,000+

-WIM Science Engineering Kits
-Little Bits STEM Electronic Building Kits

2014/2015: $18,000+

-TAPit Learning Center
-Digital Teaching Manual Pilot
-Discovery Education Math
Techbook Pilot

2013/2014: $20,000+

-200 Apple TVs Districtwide
-Art Periodicals Districtwide

2016/2017 School Year: $16,000+

The NLSD122 Foundation is pleased to fund over $16,000 in Teacher grants this school year.

  • $4800 is awarded for Pedal Pushers submitted by Mary Wolf at Bentley School: These under-desk portable cycles will be used by students during the school day to increase their focus during whole or small group instruction. Another use is during “indoor recess” on those inclement weather days that result in the students staying inside instead of going outside. Pedal pushers have been implemented with great success in other schools that actually set up “Ride and Room” rooms in which students use recumbent stationary bikes while reading. For some students, consistent academic success is impaired by their natural inability to focus during instruction. The pedal pushers can help these students by providing an outlet for their excess energy. From a long term perspective, a love of exercise might be achieved for a lifetime of fitness and good health.
  • $4000 for MakerSpace at Spencer Pointe and Spencer Crossing submitted by Annette Vanderwall: Last year the Foundation funded MakerSpace at Bentley School and we are so pleased that Bentley’s success is now to be experienced by students at the two Spencer schools. These two schools share a Library where the MakerSpace is to be implemented and will impact 800 1st through 6th grade students. MakerSpace resources are housed in the library, used during library and/or open library time. Through centers and projects for the students to work on each trimester, they will rotate through the projects during library classes when a lesson is not being presented. Students are afforded a learning environment rooted in the four “C’s” of 21st century learning: creativity; collaboration; communication and; critical thinking. Learning experiences will cover circuits, electricity, and programming. Through these experiences, students will take chances, learn from their failures, and experience success. The students are encouraged to have a growth mindset that leads them to expend energy needed to wonder, learn, and create.
  • $2,800 for iPads for the Art and Music Room for over 1,000 1st through 6th graders at Nelson Ridge and Nelson Prairie submitted by Tammy Kordik and Jennifer Bendy: These iPads were primarily funded because the Foundation was apprised that Fine Arts are not core subjects. Therefore, the district cannot purchase them for art and music. Fine Arts is only different curricula from the other grant awards, but it provides an enriched way for students to explore this instruction. The iPad apps can play musical instruments, splice art, and provide a recording studio through Garage Band. One only has to Google Art or Music apps for iPads and there’s no question the extent to which these iPads can be used!
  • $2,720 for ExploreWeDo 2.0 for 150 4th grade students at Oster-Oakview School submitted by Heather Kettelson and Katie Anderson: This program is part of the Lego Education. The project meets the science standards in a fun, engaging way and a kit comes with 40 hours of teaching materials. There are over 17 projects that capture motivation and engagement across key science topics including physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering. Therefore, science investigation and experimentation is promoted. If the Foundation has one grant that grabs board members’ attention given the enthusiasm that is in the application’s written text, kudos to Ms. Kettelson and Ms. Anderson. For example, they wrote “The Design Library offers students design and programming support and contains INSPIRATION models for them to build and modify if they have extra time. This gives students a place to HONE their skills: learning new building and programming techniques without direct oversight from the teacher. The WeDO 2.0 software provides an excellent platform for science learning.” Lastly and most importantly, the narrative states that the objective is to “IGNITE students’ curiosity, enhancing their skills in science, engineering, technology, and coding.” You convinced us that students will greatly benefit from the project, its implementation, AND your enthusiasm.
  • $2000 for Little Bits Workshop Set for approximately 400 first, second and third grade students at Spencer Pointe submitted by Dawn Thompson, Cindy Mack, Connie Kinney, Jen Shileny, and Laura O’Shaughnessey: Similar to funding approved last year for MakerSpace, the Foundation approved a grant for Little Bits for Haines School. Little Bits, which reinforces STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning, empowers students to create inventions with the platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks. The modules snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning about lights, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, and motors. Some Foundation board members shared positive comments about Little Bits purchased for their own children. Imagine how valuable something FUN can be due to the educators’ foresight in this valuable learning tool. At Spencer Pointe, the kit provides materials for 32 students or INVENTORS. These activities are completed with partners or small groups. Therefore, this kit allows for a minimum of 2, possibly 3 classes working on STEM activities at the same time and learning from each other. The Foundation appreciates that the grant application said that Spencer Crossing students may also benefit from this award. Spencer Pointe and Crossing are creating a science lab for materials this summer. The materials will be stored in the lab which will give students and teachers in 4th – 6th grade the opportunity for learning as well. Sharing the wealth of education – not grant money – is clearly what Ms. Mack considered when applying for this grant at Spencer Point and possibly Spencer Crossing. Congrats to Dawn Thompson, Cindy Mack, Connie Kinney, Jen Shileny, and Laura O’Shaughnessey, the educators and students at Spencer Pointe for receiving the Little Bits Workshop Set for 1st, second, and third grade students!
  • 2015/2016 School Year

    The NLSD122 Foundation is pleased to fund over $22,000 in Teacher grants this school year.

    • World in Motion Science Engineering Kits – The New Lenox School District 122 is being awarded $18,490 for World in Motion Science Engineering Kits. This program will benefit the entire school district of 5,200 students. This Enrichment grant will provide hands-on engineering experiment that is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. This project is needed because it provides K-8 students with STEM lessons that are aligned with these new standards. The school district provided funding for one engineering kit per school in the district. However, after seeing the materials, the submitters felt that additional kits would provide a richer experience for students and it will allow more students to participate in the activities. Very compelling explanation!The objectives or outcomes of this project are to make connections across multiple disciplines. Students will engage in engineering practices by constructing models, forming a hypothesis, and testing their predictions. The kit provides them with materials that they will be able to manipulate and use year after year. As the largest grant award this year, the Foundation is thrilled to reach all students and appreciates the teamwork involved in supporting this request.
    • Makerspace – The award is for $2,900 and was submitted by Mrs. Heidi Morgan at Bentley School for the Bentley Makerspace. The Bentley Makerspace will be labs in which students with diverse learning backgrounds will come together to work on common projects. The students will take risks and learn from “failures” to achieve success. They will build the skills of creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, persistence, social responsibility, and teamwork, among others. They will experiment with basic circuitry, robots, programming, and building.The objective of the project is to afford students a learning environment rich with possibilities and rooted in the 4C’s of 21st century learning which are creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.The Makerspace will be created in the Bentley LRC or Learning Resource Center, and Bentley will host a bi-monthly “Maker Club” and a parent night will be hosted where students can bring their parents and share with them some of their favorite things in the Makerspace.
    • Little Bits STEM Electronic Building Kits – The Foundation awarded $750 to Barb Mores, a 3rd grade teacher at Haines Elementary. Ms. More’s grant is for “Little Bits” STEM (or Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Electronic Building Kits. Not only can other third grader classes eventually use these kits, it may be integrated in the fourth grade curricula. “Little Bits” makes an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. The winner of countless awards from Popular Science, Crain’s, Maker Faire, and more, Little Bits consists of tiny circuit boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming, just snap together for prototyping, learning, and fun. Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc.) and modules snap to make larger circuits. The project’s objective is that students will set goals, build knowledge, design, test, and present an electronic device made using with the kit. Students will follow the STEM model for engineering.

    2014/2015 School Year

    The NLSD122 Foundation is pleased to fund over $18,000 in Teacher grants this school year.

    • Digital Teaching Manual Pilot- Marianne Cucci, Director of Curriculum is being awarded $3,440 for iPads to be used by first or second grade teachers with the EveryDay Math Program.  This program will have a new edition for grades K – 2.  There is a Classroom Resource Pack or CRP which is a digital tool replacing the traditional teaching manual.  As a pilot, the Foundation appreciates that this is experimental and that a request for additional CRPs may subsequently be submitted.
    • Discovery Education Math Techbook Pilot – also submitted by Marianne Cucci, Director of Curriculum.  Also as a pilot, this grant award of $5,040 serves four classes of sixth grade math students in each of the four middle schools.  Discovering Education is developing a Math Techbook aligned with Math Common Core State Standards.  The impact of piloting this program will allow the district to explore the usability of a digital curriculum and assess the advantages of using technology as a teaching tool.
    • TAPit (Touch Accessible Platform for Interactive Touch) Learning Center- Emily Schissler, Principal is receiving $10,000 for the TAPit at Cherry Hill.  TAPit will be used to serve individuals with special needs.   An extremely helpful picture was included with the application and the learning center looks like a stand-alone drafting table.  It is an enrichment that allows students with a wide range of disabilities to access technology.  While TAPit will be primarily used at CH, it is not limited to being used by students at that school.  Hence it has the potential to be far reaching insofar as student usage.

    2012/2013 School Year

    The NLSD122 Foundation is pleased to fund over $20,000 in Teacher grants this school year.

    • The Foundation awarded over $20,000 in teacher grants, including 200 Apple TVs and a grant to purchase a Scholastic Art Magazine subscription for all middle school students in District 122. Pictured are students from Mrs. Morgan’s 6th class using the Apple TVs to make their stories come to life. Students wrote a short story, colored a picture, and working with their IPads and Apple TVs, made the pictures come to life as an animated production. Please note that not all students have an iPad to use. Also pictured are students using their art subscriptions to advance their knowledge of artists, art, and various techniques.