By Kevin Lyons
Providing a quality education balanced with fiscal responsibility is a consistent tradition in Woodstock School District 200, but for a quarter century students have benefited from hundreds of extra classroom enhancements funded by the District 200 Education Foundation.
On Tuesday, (Oct. 1) the Foundation presented more than $37,000 in Impact Grants to Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 staff to fund a school play for students with special needs, a performance from a professional Latino dance troupe, an event to serve needy families in a portion of District 200, equipment for a world drumming music unit and dozens of other ideas.
Early each school year, District 200 staff members apply for Impact Grants brainstorming ideas that wouldn’t fit into a traditional school budget — field trips, unique classroom supplies or playground equipment or author visits.
A committee of D 200 Education Foundation members reviews the proposals and issues the grants. More than 60 projects received funding this year, including $2,500 Ellen Wrzeski Impact Grant, named for a former District 200 superintendent, to fund calming areas at Greenwood Elementary School students who need a quiet area during the school day.
“It’s always exciting to see the creativity and passion that the teachers put into their ideas. It inspires our efforts to fund these worthy projects,” said Al Wilson, co-chair of the District 200 Education Foundation Board.
Wilson presented a check on Tuesday, Oct. 1 to District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan for $37,485 generated by the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, which are mainly the annual Groundhog Day Dinner/Auction and a Wine Walk event conducted with the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Our staff sincerely appreciate these Impact Grants, and we’re fortunate to have these Foundation volunteers who are so dedicated to our schools and enhancing education in our community. It’s a great partnership,” Moan said,
Chuck Jones, a Prairiewood Elementary Art teacher and Jeriel McGinness, a Creekside Middle School Art teacher, spoke at the presentation about their Impact Grant from last year, which allowed them to involve students in a permanent mosaic that now adorns the school campus sign.
Amanda Harmer, career facilitator for District 200, also spoke about her Impact Grant opportunity to take a Future Latino Leaders group on college visits. Harmer, who also received a grant this year for a similar endeavor, said many of the students will be the first in their families to attend college.
More information about the District 200 Education Foundation including the Oct. 19 Wine Walk on the Woodstock Square and the Feb. 8 Groundhog Day Dinner/Auction can be found on the Foundation’s website at d200edfoundation.org/