An adventure farm visit for students with special needs, an elementary school safety patrol program, an improvisation workshop for budding actors — these are among many educational opportunities being funded this year by the Woodstock District 200 Education Foundation.
Each year, the Education Foundation awards Impact Grants for projects, equipment, field trips and other educational enhancements proposed by Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 teachers and staff that don’t fall under the District 200 budget. More than $26,000 was awarded at an event held Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Woodstock North High School.
“We’re always excited to see the great ideas that staff members come up with. District 200 students are fortunate to receive an excellent education, and we’re glad to be able to supplement that by funding some unique opportunities for them,” said Jaci Krandel, Foundation co-president.
The Foundation is composed of volunteer community members who meet throughout the year and raise money to fund the Impact Grants. Its largest event is the Groundhog Day Auction held each February, and members recently held a Halfway to Groundhog Day event this summer.
Current Foundation Board members include: Co-Presidents Jaci Krandel and Jennifer Thomas, Larry Baier, Gigi Carlson, John Schuette, Linda Gabrielson, Melanie Dougherty, Mark Heckmon, Robert Teuber and Diana Frisbie.
A total of 35 Impact grants were awarded for the 2023-2024 school year. Below are examples of how some of the funds are being used:
$729 for new chess sets for Chess Clubs at Dean Street and Mary Endres elementary schools, which was proposed by teachers Kiera Parpart, Christina Monroe and Luke Moyta.
$2,080 awarded to Creekside Middle School teachers Emily Gay and Eric Schleutermann for a field trip to take 8th-graders to the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
$2,500 for equipment to teach students at Greenwood and Dean Street elementary schools the necessary skills to play disc golf in a grant awarded to physical education teacher Julie Joslyn.
$1,000 for the Woodstock North High School Green Club to revive the school’s garden with plans for a bird-friendly pollinator space, a project proposed by occupational therapist Roxanne Monti.
District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan said he’s always been impressed with the level of creativity that staff put into their Impact Grant applications and that he is grateful to the Education Foundation for helping to augment the educational experience for students.
“We appreciate both the support and the spirit of making our schools even better places for these kids,” Moan said.” We’re excited to see these projects unfold and to see the positive impact they produce.” For more information on the District 200 Education Foundation, visit their website at https://d200edfoundation.org. To view a full list of the 2023-24 Impact Grants, click here.