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Innovative programs earn grants in D-70

LIBERTYVILLE – More than 50 Libertyville Elementary District 70 teachers and staff members have been awarded Partners for Excellence in Education grant money this year to enhance education through innovative and creative new programs in their classrooms.

Thirty-four grants totaling more than $12,336 were awarded to progressive teachers in all five schools. There were 41 applications for the grants, according to a district news release.

The grants are sponsored by Partners for Excellence in Education, a group of local business representatives who offer their time and financial donations to District 70.

This is the 22nd year for the partnership’s “Mini-Grant Awards” program, which has awarded more than $150,000 over the years for direct use in the classrooms.

This year’s grants will go to fund programs such as creating constellations on a Learning Center ceiling, teaching students reliable resources for internet researching, buying classroom seats that are flexible and move so students can choose their workplace, sending personal, handwritten notes to students for encouragement, creating STEM bins to encourage STEAM work and exploration, buying sewing machines to teach sewing, building a stage to build student confidence in presenting, subscribing to online programs to teach growth mindset and allow for digital storytelling.  

“We continue to value the commitment of the business partners who review and support these endeavors,” Superintendent Guy Schumacher said in the release. “Staff has become increasing imaginative and creative, offering innovative and unique opportunities that build upon learning standards and offer additional educational opportunities for the children of our schools.”

Principals presented the winning grants at a recent school board meeting. While Schumacher and administrators support the business group with the grant applications, they step out of the decision-making process. The business partners make the final decisions based on 21st Century core criteria set up for the grants, according to the release.

The individual grants range from $130 to $500.   

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