IVC Educational Foundation mini-grants awarded to IVC District 321 teachers

Marianne Gillespie
Teachers receiving IVC Educational Foundation mini-grants are, front row, from left, Sarah Gauwitz, Morgan Watson, Hillary Tiller, Jen Pillman, Stephanie Thompson, Sam Collier and Michele Stewart. Back row: Courtney McCaw, Keeley Ruhland, Miranda Judy, Earle Capel, Laura Holmes, Steve Williams, Kim Spears and Dustin Birkel.

It is that time of the year when the IVC Educational Foundation awards its annual mini-grants, which were announced at the Oct. 14 Illinois Valley Central District 321 school board meeting.

The foundation annually shares its proceeds to help enrich students’ education in the classroom, above and beyond what the district can provide.

This year 15 mini-grants were awarded to the tune of almost $9,900.

Two-thirds of the grants went to Mossville teachers with many of them having to do with reading and science.

At South School, Hillary Tiller will purchase a nabi2 tablet to enable her preschool students to use technology on a device on their level.

Earle Capel will purchasing Lego Story starter sets, which will be used to foster creative writing in his second-grade students.

At Mossville, the fourth-grade teachers Michele Stewart, Stephanie Thompson and Sam Collier requested an online subscription to BrainPop. The online videos reinforce skills taught in their classrooms.

Cindy Walker will purchase high-interest, low-level books for students who are struggling with reading.

Nancy Coon is also using funds to help students read with leveled National Geographic readers, which is non-fiction literature. The readers will assist students who are reading below their grade level.

Keeley Ruhland will purchase books for her sixth-grade classroom library, available whenever students want to read.

Kim Spears will be able to use guided reading sets with her students. The books match student’s Lexile levels, or their measured reading ability, to the proper book.

Jennifer Pillman’s fifth-grade students will benefit from the use of the Storyworks magazine, which includes science, social studies and language arts content.

Sarah Gauwitz will use her mini-grants to purchase additional playaways for her classroom’s listening center. The playaways are electronic devices, similar to an mp3 player, which contain three or four picture books in an audio format. Children listen while they follow along with the book.

Courtney McCaw and her fellow fifth-grade teachers will purchase NASA BEST science kits to enable students to conduct hands-on learning during their engineering unit.

Steve Williams is purchasing video production equipment for students to use in conjunction with their social studies units.

Laura Holmes will purchase materials to augment the fifth-grade simple machines science unit.

At Chillicothe Junior High, Morgan Watson’s class not only will study math, science, technology and engineering skills for an architectural engineering unit, but the students will take a field trip to Champaign to visit the “green” architecture there.

At IVC High School, Miranda Judy will purchase fiction and non-fiction books for the library.

Dustin Birkel and high school students will build a high-functioning computer. The students researched the parts that are needed for the computer.

In other news, the board approved the resignation of Mossville head secretary Kim Kendall, and her replacement, Kristen Tortat.

Other personnel contracts approved were: Jordan Parr as assistant boys’ basketball coach at Mossville, Mikayla Vail as CEC head girls’ track coach and Amy Kinnary as the part-time District 321 public relations coordinator.