2016-2017 Grant Winners

Educators in Unit 5 and District 87 submitted 77 applications requesting a total of $108,302.
The Foundation awarded $40,825 toward 32 projects.
Since 1992, $635,237 has been awarded to support 724 projects.

Elementary Schools


Christine Sewell, Annie Lee, Dawn Goldman, Carol Johnson ~ $350 ~ Cupcake Wars
Jessica Stutz, Amy Johnson, Amy Brooks ~ $400 ~ Everything is Awesome Logo Club
Jennifer Gibson, Lisa Callis, Nikki Piercy ~ $158 ~ What’s the Weather?
Tena Sprau, Tracie Ghrist, Mary Aper, Mallory Hayes ~ $1,600 ~ Phenomenal First Grade Light and Sound
Annie Lee ~ $380 ~ Social Studies Mind Missions

Cedar Ridge

Lyndra Webb, Carla Hansen, Heather Jones ~ $1,400 ~ Discovery Learning in the Classroom!

Field / NCHS / NCWHS

Michelle Brown, Collette England, Dawn Sheppelman, Susie Zink, Marissa Frietsch ~ $400 ~ SEEDS (Students Exploring Extraordinary Discoveries in Science) Garden Project

Colene Hoose

Ashleigh Tucek, Karen Mercer, Tom Triezenberg ~ $379 ~ Biking to Success
Ashleigh Tucek, Tom Triezenberg ~ $393 ~ Calm Bodies, Focused Minds
Karen Mercer, Natalie Shumaker, Ashleigh Tucek ~ $396 ~ Learning with Legos


Kelly Gallick ~ $370 ~ Pounding out the Pounds – Using Drums Alive in Physical Education


Rhett Felix, Annette Langellier ~ $200 ~ Mark Me Up!
Alycia Carroll ~ $392 ~ Express Yourself!


Leah Crews, Kissy Mercer ~ $1,500 ~ “Wrap Me Up, Spin Me Around, and Send Me Back to Class!”


Katharine Corley ~ $393 ~ “I’m Building! It’s Growing!”  Making Little Ideas Real
Annie McWilliams ~ $2,194 ~ EYE can communicate!

Sugar Creek 

Len Childers, Karen Showalter ~ $400 ~ BUILDing my Social Skills


Kelly Mathy, Shinnosuka Sawada ~ $1,247 ~ Mental Math Calculation Power Japanese Abacus Instruction

Junior High / Middle Schools


Helen Brandon ~ $390 ~ Building Community with Chess


Katherine Brown ~ $1,278 ~ Bringing Literature to Life through Student Book Trailer & Blogs

EJHS / Fox Creek

Rachel Hughart, Kelly Reardon, Blair Broker, Katie Kindermann ~ $5,000 ~ Training Teachers on Transformative Methods and Techniques


Courtney Knowles, Chelsea Keyser, Barb Hartseil ~ $3,000 ~ One Author, One School: Reading and Writing with Roland Smith

High Schools


Jamie Codron, Don Anderson, Paul Weltha, Steve Clapp, Kay Robbins, Mark Gardner ~ $4,998 ~ Find Your Own Fitness


Brad Bovenkerk ~ $400 ~ A Book by its Cover: Practical Publishing to Increase Writing Engagement
Meghan Hawkins ~ $1,500 ~ The Statecraft Simulation ~ Crafting a Perfect World


Devin Wilson, Vicki Kafer, Kim Rohlwing, Dave Lehr, April Schermann ~ $245 ~ Using Geoboards to Investigate Circles and solve crimes
Amanda Long ~ $250 ~ Ion: A Compound Building Game for Chemistry
Beth Smith ~ $352 ~ Random Acts of Art
Teri Wilson, Barb Bush, John Mackinson, Robert Scornavacco, Kevin Enderlin ~ $400 ~ Reaping What We Sow
April Schermann ~ $2,560 ~ Computer Science for All – Using Robots to Make Learning come to Life
Barb Bush, Teri Wilson, Paula Birsa, Vasthi Schwarz, Nicole Holiday, Jennifer Walls ~ $5,000 ~ Ready, or Not….Before It Comes

Joint Unit 5 and District 87

Sugar Creek / BHS

Tracy Hitchins, Jodi Hall ~ $2,900 ~ Big Brains Teach Little Bodies




Monies for this award are provided by the Shirk Family Foundation

Bloomington Junior High, Bloomington High, and Sheridan Elementary Schools

Mike Jones, Michele Chon, Nicole Bounds, Jen Weaver, Anne Besler, Kristi Sutter, Ashley Schnittker  |  $10,000  |  STEM Read – Learn the Science, Live the Book

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” (Ben Franklin)

This project will provide an experience that allows students to love the book and live the science.  STEM Read blends science, technology, engineering, and math (a.k.a. S.T.E.M.) lessons to inspire readers to learn, play and explore.  Readers will enjoy the books on their own or in groups and then meet to explore the science behind the fiction through hands-on activities and games working in teams while competing against others for survival.  We will partner with NIU’s SmartSpace to develop three read events (two middle school and one elementary) open to all Bloomington/Normal students.  Writers and NIU staff will be brought in to work with the students and teachers.  Curriculum materials will be offered for free before and after the events for teachers and parents to support both STEM and reading; books will also be donated to libraries. 


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