Foundation Funds At Work At The Skokie School
Growing Minds in the Garden
Skokie School's south courtyard garden will transform into an outdoor classroom and a thriving crop producing area. Students will influence the design and construction of the courtyard elements in order to increase the function of the garden. Through collaboration, negotiation and problem solving, students will see how using different growing techniques will influence the effect on human food supply. Mathematical concepts of measurement, area, volume and spacial awareness will be applied to enhance the courtyard. (Grant Recipients: Michael Hynes and Michael Martinsen, The Skokie School)
Cutting Edge Technology in the “MakerSpace”
Over the past 17 years, Skokie teacher Kathy McDonough has wisely allocated Foundation funds to build her digital literacy and technology classroom into a hub of science, technology, engineering and math or STEAMinvestigation for all 5th and 6th graders. Starting with basic iPods and printers, the classroom now contains 3D printers, “Raspberry Pie” motherboards, and a variety of other technology.
Students use the Digital Literacy classroom throughout the day for classes, but it’s at lunch time when the students really get creative. During the 2015-2016 school year, groups of students gather daily in the “MakerSpace” to attempt aerial photos of Skokie, to 3D print a variety of projects, to film themselves using the Green Screen, to code games and various other projects.
Author speaks about famed Environmentalist Rachel Carson and “Silent Spring”
In mid-April, 2015, Evanston author Laurie Lawlor spoke to Skokie students about the scientist and environmentalist Rachel Carson (author of “Silent Spring”). Following her presentation to the entire school, Ms. Lawlor returned for targeted hands-on sessions with each of the sixth grade teams.
Other Examples of Past WPSF Grants
Through a WPSF grant, Padcaster systems are being used at Skokie School to inspire students' creativity using up-to-date digital technology. The Padcaster system allows students to transform their iPads into a mobile production studio.
“At Skokie, WPSF funds purchased Padcaster systems, which helped create a full-scale, mobile broadcast production studio. With these enhancements, students are collaborating on commercials for our November book election and submissions to theGoogle Educator Group Chicagoland Student Film Festival.” – Kathy McDonough, The Skokie School
(Grant recipients: Kathy McDonough, Jeffrey Weir and Gina Wild)
Student Book Reviews embedded in QR codes in library books
Resource Center director Candy Gordon has used Foundation funds for the past three years to record student book reviews of Skokie library books. Other students browsing the library shelves can scan the QR code to hear more about the book and thus expand their literacy experiences.
Skokie Book Clubs
What first began in 2002 as a grant written by Resource Center teacher Candy Gordon to enable students to read a variety of books in a group setting is now the the Caudill Book Club, which affords each student the opportunity to read books on the Caudill list.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
- Vaune C. Blalock - African Dance Workshop, 5th grade
- Muntu Dance theater - African Song and Dance workshop, 5th grade
- Paul A. Cotton and Tepka Lunda - Extravaganza Consultants
- Sue Gundlach - Art and Writing workshops, 6th grade
- Bill Hinchcliff - Architectural Tours, 6th grade
- Leonardo DaVinci (actor) - “Inventing” talk, 5th and 6th grades
Create a Museum
Started with Foundation funds in 1997, this fully integrated twelve-week class allows students to pursue issues of personal importance. The project builds research and presentation skills and is an important milestone for continuing to build self-advocacy skills so pivotal to a Winnetka district education.