March 5, 2015 - Gillespie, Illinois - The Partnership for Educational Excellence has once again invested in the school children of Community Unit School District 7 (CUSD7) with classroom mini-grants.
During second semester of the 2014-2015 school year, this IRS-chartered 501(c)(3), not-for-profit education foundation awarded $23,442.31 to all three schools in CUSD7.
This total is distributed to:
Ben-Gil Elementary School – 35 teachers (100% of all eligible faculty who are not retiring this academic year) received $16,501.27. Essentially every classroom from Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade has received up to $500 for supplemental curricular materials. All subject areas are included, including math, science, social studies, speech, reading, writing, and physical education.
Gillespie Middle School – 11 teachers (the majority of eligible faculty) received $4,642.57. Again, virtually every eligible classroom from sixth through eighth grade received an award. History, math, life science, earth science, literature, and physical education were all enhanced in this round of mini-grants.
Gillespie High School – 6 of the 8 applicants were awarded funds, directing extra resources to classroom units on math, history, biology, health, fitness, and library research. The total high school award was $2,299.47.
These awards are made possible by the generosity of alumni and local residents. In particular, the W. E. Schmidt Charitable Foundation and the Lon and Lucille Schmidt Barton, which recently merged to become the Schmidt and Barton Family Foundation, have been especially generous. These families have emphasized their preference that the funds stay in the community and reach as many children as possible through long-lived, hands-on projects: mini-grants.
Teachers may apply each semester for awards of up to $500 for supplementary curricular materials that will enhance their students’ learning. Projects which encourage critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and life skills will receive a high priority. Projects which involve team teaching and/or interdisciplinary activities are encouraged.
All money is deposited directly with the schools and must be used only for the designated purpose within the 2014-2015 academic year. All unexpended money must be returned to The Partnership at the end of the academic year.
To maintain eligibility for future awards, teachers must submit receipts for covered materials and written evaluations. Mini-grants cannot be given for textbooks, field trips, computer hardware, equipment, supplies, or for expenses for outside speakers.