2021 - 2022 Grant Awards

Educators in District 87 and Unit 5 submitted 63 mini and standard grant applications requesting a total of $119,338. The Foundation awarded $76,276 to 44 projects.  


Early Education & Elementary Schools


* Mary Aper, Tena Sprau, Amanda Dytrych, Mary Current, Amber Thomas | $400 | You Can COUNT on First Grade!
* Lauren Romero | $4,985 | Orff Instruments – Helping meet students where they’re at!


Benjamin (Fox Creek, Glenn, Northpoint, Sugar Creek, Carlock and Oakdale)

* Lauren Romero, Alex Borst, Kiki Keeney, Beth Lesson and Kristyn Szwajka | $4,268 | Instrument and more: Adapting classic methods to current realities.


Benjamin (Glenn and Oakdale)

* Jennifer Gibson, Mary Aper, Angie Grubic, Hayley Harroun | $1,850 | Getting Math in Students’ Hands so they Understand it with Their Heads.


Brigham Early Learning

* Melissa Adams-McCarthy | $400 | Books Alive: Using objects, actions and engaged play to create literacy.


Colene Hoose

* Jason Alexander | $1,315 | Community Composting



* Jamie Haseman | $355 | Collaboration Boxes
* Kim Harmon and Carol Stawick | $4,900 | A Path to Success!



* Kristen Prahl | $398 | Selves on the Shelves: Creating a More Diverse Classroom Library


Pepper Ridge

* Shauna Gourley | $4,875 | Feeding the Mind



* Kelli Halsey | $2,803 | STEAM Playground


Sarah Raymond EArly Education

* Noel Reidy, Wendy Iverson, Susan Mayan, Amanda Bittner, Jennifer Phelps, Sarah Bertram, Cassandra Dean, Rhonda Toft, Brenda Weir, Caitlyn Taylor, Justine Tumanan, Michele Stalter, Maria Fischmann, Kassandra Kwansy | $2,550 | Reading is Radical



* Lisa Ellis and Kara Thompson | $1,246 | I can do it!
* Annie McWilliams| $1,274 | Eye Can Do Anything!



* Jayme Corcoran, Zach Freeman, Andy Jones and Erin Scott | $1,995 | Lessons that Students “Dig”
* Zach Freeman | $1,999 | Using LEGOs to Develop STEAM Leaders in our Classrooms and Community

Junior High/Middle Schools

Bloomington JHS

* Lisa Clark | $4166 | Cupcake Wars for Middle Schoolers
* Rachel Heckman | $226 | Learning and Teaching Tolerance through Children’s Literature
* Suzie Hutton | $820 | A Literacy Celebration of Diverse Voices
* Greg Kocourek | $350 and $320 | Building a More Complete Mosaic and More Voices in our Historical Choir
* Greg Kocourek, Marsha Veninga, Suzie Hutton, Rachel Heckman, Matthew Mueller, Jonelle Yaklich, Teriann Bauer | $2555 | Get On Up: Exercise and Wellness First and Then Learning!
* Marsha Veninga | $400 and $820 | Field Biology for Beginners and I’m Done! What’s Next?


Chiddix JHS

* Lisa Galliart | $233 | Apple Pharaohs


Evans JHS

* Kate Shanks | $514 and $1,059 | Boom, Bang, Crash: Adding Sound Effects to Old Time Radio Broadcsts and You Can’t Handle the Truth: Taking a Stand for Characters on Trial


Kingsley JHS

* McKenzie Adams, Erin Dobson and Janel Sebeny | $624 | Culturally Responsive Texts for Inter/Multidisciplinary Identity Units
* Jennifer Ritchason | $1,250 | A Unique Frame of Reference – History & Perspectives with Graphic Novels


Parkside JHS

* Jessica Stutz | $311 | I need to unwind

High Schools

Bloomington High School

* Brandon Thornton, Jen Weaver, Monica Estabrook, Sally Kelly, Courtney Marks | $2046 | Get Connected, Stay Connected: Young Alumni Association


Normal Community High School

* Brad Bovenkerk, Jacob Wiechman, Kevin Vernon | $4840 | Whisper Rooms: Amplifying Student Voice
* Liz Harris | $10000 | Making a (Green)house a Home
* Stephanie Hedgespeth, Christine Konopasek, Paul Krogmeier | $4391 | DisruptTexts: Disrupting To Kill a Mockingbird
* Daniel Higby, Donald Whitman, Scott Froelich, Brock Keller, Matthew Emberson | $4994 | Hands On Minds On Community
* Brad Smith, Justin Steve | $2000 | Bioengineering Brain-Machine Interface and Neuroscience Unit


Normal Community West High School

* Ali Akyuzl, Kailey Geiselman, Julie Hinman | $384 | Studio Photography Equipment for the Art Department
* Amanda Long | $398 | Insane in the Membrane
* Abagail Primo, Kathleen Pufahl | $1484 | Microscope Adapter: Viewing Cells Through a Camera
* Claire Rybarczyk, Liz Beggs, Heather Lueschen | $1484 | Best Brew
* April Schermann | $3604 | Full STEAM Ahead with Sphero – Putting Math into Motion
* Lisa Tomlin | $210 | Boning Up on Biology
* Catherine Unsbee | $398 | Mini-Q in World History
* Dave Weber, Jade Griffin, April Schermann| $377 | More Precise STEM
* Deana Wiist, Catherine Unsbee | $375 | Where? Why there? – Geographic Inquiry

Beyond the Box

Monies for this award are provided by the Shirk Family Foundation.

NOrmal Community HIgh SChool

Liz Harris | $10000 | Making a (Green)house a Home

The grant funds will make it possible to renovate and expand the greenhouse to create a dedicated space for the agriscience program. When NCHS was initially constructed, a greenhouse was built even though agriscience was not part of the curriculum at that time. About a decade later, an agriscience program was developed and it was quickly realized that greenhouse structure was missing many menchanics to make it function. Currently, the space is not effective for the advancement of the program. The goal of this grant is to provide a functional spce that an be used by all students enrolled in the agrisicence program over time (approximately 275 per school year).


As Harris wrote in her grant submission, "This project will have direct impact on the achievement of students in agriscience program in various ways, including: access to a laboratory space, real-world experience in creating a business plan, marketing, sales, and financial statements, and to experience learned concepts of anumal health and nutrition through a pig from the agriscience teacher's farm."