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PEP Foundation awards eight staff members with grants for innovative educational ideas

The Partnership for Educational Progress (PEP) has awarded grants worth $1,670 to four projects that will directly benefit Community Consolidated School District 89 students by helping them read foreign-language books, make responsible decisions, improve handwriting, and access diverse reading materials. 

The 2019-20 CCSD 89 PEP grants are:

“The 40-Book/Genre Challenge: Implementing the Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits” ($500)

Glen Crest teacher Laura Guzman and librarian Rose O’Connell

With the help of O’Connell, Guzman will use the grant to diversify her classroom library. Last year, Guzman surveyed her at-risk students and found that almost two-thirds of the students did not like reading and another 20 percent said reading was just OK. Guzman created a 40-book/genre challenge that matched students with books in their interest areas - then gave students time for dedicated reading. By the end of the year, 84 percent of students reported they liked reading, and 77 percent met their growth goals. Guzman and O’Connell want to add more diverse books to her room – specifically those that introduce characters with different ethnicities, physical abilities, etc.

“Namaste Healthy and Strong!” ($500)

Arbor View social worker Kim Wankel, librarian Joy Yerly, and parent partner Kim Carbonneau

Wankel and Yerly will purchase a set of books centered on mindfulness to aide students in self management, social awareness, making responsible decisions, and relationship skills. The books will be used in social-emotional classroom lessons and will be available for students to check out from the library. This will culminate in a Family Mindfulness night with many mindful activities and stories. Carbonneau will lead families in a mindfulness discussion and activity, and explain the benefits for her family and children. This work will help improve students’ mental, emotional, social and physical well being.

“Handwriting Help Support Program” ($170.14)

CCSD 89 occupational therapist Nicole Paneque and first grade teacher Sarah Skriba

Paneque and Skriba will partner up to pilot a program that helps students develop legible handwriting. This grant will purchase supplies for a 10-week program aimed at helping students develop and perfect the motor skills needed for legible handwriting. Paneque and Skriba will help students identify the size and spacing awareness that leads to better handwriting. During this process, students will also refine their self-assessment and corrections skills.

“Sustained Silent Reading in Spanish and French ($500)”

Glen Crest teachers Nancy Egerton, Tracy Dietel, and Laura Guzman

Spanish teachers Egerton and Dietel, along with French teacher Guzman, will use their grant to purchase books that will provide more opportunities for sustained silent reading with world-language books. The teachers hope that having a diverse selection of books for students to choose from will have a positive impact on vocabulary development, grammatical performance, writing, speaking, and listening.


About the Partnership for Educational Progress

The annual Partnership for Educational Progress grant program is supported by fundraising activities and tax-deductible gifts contributed by individuals and businesses. 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.

CCSD 89 will be holding a fundraiser with Buona Beef in Glen Ellyn on August 29. More information here:

Posted: August 21, 2019