Return to Headlines

PEP awards 21 staff members with grants for innovative educational ideas

The Partnership for Educational Progress (PEP) has awarded grants worth $2,869 to five projects that will directly benefit Community Consolidated School District 89 students. The projects will help students celebrate reading, build a garden, learn calming techniques, build literacy skills, and participate in play-based learning.

The 2022-23 CCSD 89 PEP grants are:

Read Across Arbor View - $500

Kim Corrigan, Julie Cufaude, Lynda Goldberg, Joy Yerly

The team at Arbor View will help students celebrate Read Across America Week with daily interactive reading activities. Students will be participating in a character parade, reading buddies, guest readers, reading with flashlights, and a story walk where the pages of a book are spread across a path so students can ‘walk through’ the book. This project will strengthen the bonds in the Arbor View community while celebrating reading.

Growing Gardeners - $500

Nicole Buettner, Nick Ludolph, Jason Nejman, Joy Yerly

Arbor View students will be giving the school’s courtyard a complete makeover. The project begins in the fall with students researching plants that grow well in this climate. In the winter, students will study prices and make plans to purchase plants. Finally, in the spring, students will put the plants in the ground and add art pieces that they have created throughout the year.

Calm Corner Classroom Kits - $500

Lauren Duncan, Sarah Skriba

This project aims to help Westfield students who are becoming disregulated in the classroom. This grant will fund calming corner tools for every Westfield classroom that does not already have them. The grant will also add new tools to the school’s sensory stations. These stations serve students who need a short break outside the classroom. The sensory stations were originally created thanks to a 2017 PEP grant.

Building Speech, Language, Literacy Skills - $500

Zinnia Elavia, Tess Valente

This $500 grant will allow the Briar Glen team to purchase books, games, and toys to support the vocabulary, linguistic concepts, and phonological skills of preschool students in the PALSS and PHONO classes. The items will be focus on child-directed, play-based therapeutic activities.

Play-Based Learning in Kindergarten - $869

Cassie Carlson, Rachel Druger, Joanie Goff, Kelly Keippel, Laura Lipinski, Stephanie McCleary, Louise Osterman, Maureen Romano, Julie Steele, Danielle Vrankin

The district’s kindergarten team is planning opportunities for guided play that will be embedded into current units. This grant will purchase a play stand that can be turned into a pumpkin patch, converted to a puppet show stage where students can practice reading fairy tales, or made into a grocery store where students will practice listing and labeling food. The stand will continue to evolve in fun and innovative ways. 

About the Partnership for Educational Progress

The Partnership for Educational Progress is a charitable foundation that works with Glenbard School District 87 and its feeder elementary districts to provide enrichment opportunities for all students. The PEP grant program is supported by fundraising activities and tax-deductible gifts contributed by individuals and businesses.

Since 1992, the PEP foundation has awarded more than 450 teacher grants worth more than $240,000.

The PEP Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. To commemorate the milestone, the Foundation will hold its inaugural “PEP Rally” fundraiser from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 18, at Ackerman Sport Center Turf Field. The event will feature food trucks and the talents of students from seven districts.

To learn more or make a donation, go to:

Posted: August 30, 2022