2007 Initiative Grants

The following Initiative Grants were funded by Winnetka Public Schools Foundation!

Crow Island

Reading for Fun with Sound & Sight Words

Crow Island staff wrote a series of books based on the first grade Phonics and Red Words Sequence. These books provide practice with specific sounds and sight words that build upon the Reading curriculum. Children are able to color illustrations in the books and keep their own copies. Foundation funds were used to reimburse the expenses incurred in the process.

Bugs Don’t Bug Me

Fourth graders use the outdoor experience of 'pond mucking' to learn about various microscopic organisms. Pond mucking consists of dipping nets into lake water and then observing the organisms, some under hand-held microscopes. Foundation funds were used to purchase kits with the same types of organisms (which are encased in plastic), thereby extending learning into the classroom.

Modified Math Exemplars & Exemplar Problem Solving Booklet

Staff modified Math Exemplars and created Word Problem booklets to differentiate learning for students with diverse needs. These problems are aligned with the Everyday Math series for 3rd and 4th grade students. These modified Exemplars are shared with colleagues across the district and were funded by the Foundation.


Rebuilding the Reading Curriculum: Integration of Studies, Authors, and Genres

Staff collaborated to enrich the first-grade Reading curriculum at Greeley School by integrating literature with current units of study. Through this integration, and author and genre studies, they hoped to instill a love of reading through in the students. Foundation funds were used to consult with Reading experts for advice on how to choose and level books, as well as create lesson plans and book lists by author, genre, and unit study. This consultation served to ensure that all materials were developmentally appropriate and leveled to meet the diverse needs of students.

Hubbard Woods

Healthy Living For a Lifetime

Foundations funds were used to purchase pedometers so that students can use them to evaluate whether certain activities are anaerobic or aerobic during their KW classes. Classroom teachers then continue with activities activities that promote cardiovascular health and further incorporate this new found knowledge into existing Math and Science units.

SMARTBoard for SMARTer Kids

Using interactive technology, specials staff hope to positively affect student learning by raising their level of engagement, motivation, and enthusiasm in their students. SMARTBoards were purchased and provide a large area for exploring and manipulating material, promote active inquiry-based learning, and engage students with differing learning styles.

Learning History Through Song

In years past, fourth grade students at Hubbard Woods have learned folksongs as part of their historical studies. Building on this, a collection of folksongs was compiled and stored on numerous CDs. As more colleagues became interested in sharing this library of songs, the need for more efficient storage and retrieval of musical files became apparent. Foundation funds were used to purchase iPods and supplemental equipment which allow for greater efficiency in teaching history in a creative way.

3rd Grade Math Games Resource Kit

Teachers created a collection of Math games for third grade students. These games were pulled from the Everyday Math Series, the work of Lola May, and new games that are aligned with the District’s math curriculum guide. This collection is shared with teachers at all elementary buildings.


Supplemental Fitness Equipment for Skokie KW

Foundation funds were used to purchase equipment to quickly and accurately measure pulse rates, additional pedometers, a portable pace clock, and sturdy and dependable stopwatches. This equipment acted as a supplement to equipment already being used in Skokie’s KW curriculum. The entire Skokie student body uses these items throughout KW instruction.

Developing and Connecting at the Nursery School

Fifth grade students observe Nursery School children 2-times a week to learn developmental landmarks of young children, and engage in conversations and play to build social-emotional skills. Technological equipment was purchased for team use to enhance this project and decrease computer lab restrictions. Digital cameras are also used to help capture experiences. From these activities, students compose power point presentations, journal entries, and letters to share their experiences.

Bring The Spring In

In conjunction with the Grade 5 Energy unit, students explore energy in the real world by growing vegetables. In early spring, they begin by preparing and planting beds, and observe germination as growth begins under grow lights. Students also plan cooperative garden containers. Vegetables are harvested to create a cooperative group salad at the end of the school year and energy chains and the transfer of energy are discussed throughout this activity. All expenses included in this unit are covered by the Foundation.

Graphic Novel Infestation

Using the popularity of the Graphic Novel genre as a basis for a grant, Foundations funds were used to bring graphic novelist Aaron Reynolds to Skokie. Students were selected to meet in small group sessions with Mr. Reynolds based on their interest in writing. After their meeting, students read quality graphic novels and worked on their own graphic novels. Mr. Reynolds then returned to Skokie to help students rrevise their work. The students' creations were then shared with the Skokie student body in a Graphic Novel display.

Learn to Podcast, Podcast to Learn

Fifth grade students in three different areas (Service, Create-A-Museum, and TEK {Technology Empowered Kids} Club) learned the process of 'Podcasting'. Through the use of Podcast technology, students were able to promote their passions. For Service students, awareness about social issues; CAM students were able to present their research projects more creatively using Verbal Linguistic Intelligence; and TEK Club Members were able to do SK Podcasts of school events to share with parents. All of these Podcasts were made possible through a Foundation Grant.

Art + Writing = Creative Book Making

This grant was a continuation of the collaboration between an Artist In Residence and students on a project that incorporates writing and art with 6th grade students. Different forms of poetry were introduced and students journaled and discussed seasonal qualities and color palates, then write a poem using their own memories. Students shared their work at the end of the term with the SK community.


Bringing Social Studies to Life Through Technology

7th and 8th grade students enhanced their understanding of history and government by interviewing adult community members then using advanced media to create Podcast documentaries and digital storybooks. The technology used for this project was funded by the Foundation. This project served as a model for similar projects throughout the district.

Document Camera For Social Studies Department

As part of a Foundation grant, document cameras were provided to enable the entire class to view several types of printed media. Each student presented a current event article taken from different types of printed media and labeled the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and 'how'. This information was then used to help students learn how to formulate a thesis sentence. These were then presented to the class. The document cameras were also useful in displaying picture books, magazine articles, charts and maps, and examples of student writing.

Math, Measurement Charting and Graphing in Science

Teacher reference books, student trade books, supplies and manipulative were purchased with Foundation funds to enhance microbiology, genetics, density, water, and rocket units for all 7th and 8th graders.

DVD/CD Recorders & Duplicators for the Band Program

Foundation funds were used to purchase numerous copies of recordings to accompany sheet music as well as DVD/CD Recorders and Duplicators. This allows students to hear modeling examples recorded by college level or professional musicians and thereby learn countless playing skills such as tone, articulation phrasing, dynamics, and balance. These recordings can also be taken home to further enhance student practice. Band students are also able to record and listen to their own playing which is invaluable, as well as record and share their performances with their teachers and other students.

Return to main Grants page, or Past Grants page, or for Foundation-initiated programs that have become integral to the curriculum, see the Programs page.