Dist. 58 teachers receive grants from Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club

The Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club Education Committee recently awarded nine Downers Grove Grade School District 58 teachers with education grants.

In the past, the DGJWC offered grants in the spring and presented them during Teacher Appreciation Week. However, in 2019 the committee decided to shift the grant timeline so the funds would have an immediate effect on the teachers and their current student population.

“It was such an honor to surprise and celebrate the nine recipients from District 58 who were awarded Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club Teacher Grants for 2020,” said DGJWC Education Committee Co-Chair Allison McNulty. “The applicant’s submissions were incredibly heartfelt and thoughtful. The grants will assist the winners in bringing additional books, technology, resources and manipulatives to their classrooms to further assist their students. We are so proud to have such amazing, dedicated and caring teachers in our community.”

“Since last March, these educators have been going above and beyond for our students every day. Having a chance to give back to them has been such an honor. All the educators who applied, even the ones who were not selected for the grant, proposed innovative ideas to make our children’s education experience as best as it can possibly be,” said Ami Johanson, co-chair of the DGJWC Education Committee.

The grant recipients are:

Keri Bernhardt, O’Neill Middle School, 8th Grade Reading/Language Arts – Bernhardt will utilize the grant to supply additional hard cover books to her in-class library.

Jenn Barnick, Belle Aire Elementary School, 4th Grade – Barnick will use the grant to add soft lighting to her classrooms to create a comfortable atmosphere when in class and on Zoom.

Katie Gallagher, Kingsley Elementary School, 4th Grade) - Gallagher will use the grant to purchase a variety of culturally diverse books for her classroom library.

Georgina Cervantes, Highland Elementary and Herrick Middle School, English Language Learner instructor - Cervantes will be use the grant to purchase literature that promotes cultural perspectives and encourages global awareness.

Colleen Sciacca, Lester Elementary School, 4th Grade - Sciacca will use the grant to purchase picture books to help support students’ social emotional learning and to help understand and speak about their feelings.

Donna Haidle, Grove Preschool, - Haidle will use the grant to add toys and manipulatives to encourage creativity and imaginative play.

Laura Bucaro, Grove Preschool - Bucaro will use the grant to purchase mini objects and structured play-base activities to engage students during speech and language activities both in the classroom and over Zoom.

Rachel Bush, Kingsley Elementary School, 1st Grade - Bush will use the grant to purchase Toobaloo Auditory Feedback Phones for students to hear themselves while working on learning to read and working on their reading fluency.

Mandy Zimolzak, El Sierra Elementary School, K‐6Zimolzak will use the grant to purchase materials for kits containing games, art and discussion to produce an engaging Virtual At Home Math Night for students and their parents.