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Neighbors of DuPage

Darien District #61 Educational Foundation awards grants

Pictured, left to right: Julie Kowalski-Schmidt from EJH, Jane Moss, foundation member and Cheryl Halla from Mark DeLay School.

Two teachers received Darien District #61 Educational Foundation Grants. Submitted grants are reviewed each year by the committee. The grants are evaluated by the foundation to determine programs to fund for the school year.

This year $2,814 was awarded to Cheryl Halla, Mark DeLay School, to expand an independent reading project, adding books in a variety of subjects and genres. The books are available on movable carts and bins throughout the school, especially in bus line areas.

This program will encourage a school-wide reading community by providing each school employee a plastic sleeve to hold a copy of their favorite book. The sleeves will be posted outside their rooms and other areas so students can stop by and browse their book selections, fostering better discussion between all staff members and students.

Additionally, $2,500 was awarded to Julie Kowalski-Schmidt, Eisenhower Junior High School, to establish and expand libraries in the individual English/Language Arts classrooms.

This program will enhance high-quality, high-interest materials available to promote independent reading within classrooms. Throughout the school year, the grant will fund purchases of grade-level appropriate books in a variety of topics and genres. Selections will be chosen based on student surveys, lists from experts in the literacy field and teacher input, reflecting the diverse interests among EJH students.

To learn more about grants provided by the foundation over time go to: