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LHSEF to support more than $32,000 in grants in 2013-14

The Lemont High School Educational Foundation has committed to supporting 10 grants for more than $32,000 for the 2013-14 school year. Grant proposals were submitted by Lemont High School faculty and staff, with the goal of enhancing educational opportunities for the school’s enrollment of more than 1,450 students.

The Foundation is fully funding 10 Educational Foundation Grants for a total of $32,396, with a stipulation that the funds provided for the projects must be used during the 2013-14 school year. The total awarded represents the most the LHSEF has awarded in grants in one year since its inception in 2007. 

Included among the 2013-14 Educational Foundation Grants are the following proposals:

  • An Evening Out
  • “Beat the Spread” Breakfast
  • Breakfast Buddies
  • Bullying Stops Here
  • Discipline Free Dance
  • Discovery Based Science Learning - Physics Approach
  • Picture This - Integration of Physics and Art
  • Pre-Prom Assembly
  • Self-Defense
  • We See College in YOUR Future - Year 6

2013-14 Educational Foundation Grant Summaries

Lemont High School teachers submitted 15 proposals for 2013-14 Educational Foundation Grants, requesting more than $71,000.

In its six years of existence, the LHSEF has supported more than $190,000 in grants to benefit Lemont High School.

The Lemont High School Educational Foundation provides revenue and support to Lemont High School in order to enhance educational opportunities and enrich the overall experience for its students. The Foundation operates independently from the school, yet fosters the district’s ongoing and systemic efforts to attain the next level of success in all areas of a comprehensive high school education for all students.

The Foundation’s mission is to partner with the community to make lasting improvements to Lemont High School that will enhance the total educational experience for all of its students. Its desire is to fund and support programs and opportunities that aid students’ growth, both academically and as citizens of the Lemont community. 

The Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent provided by the law.

2013-14 Educational Foundation Grants

“An Evening Out”
Funded at $2,900 — proposal by Krissy Bergles, Joan Browning, Kelly Collins-Bunn & Margie Pilarski

Socialization becomes more independent for students as they grow older, but social independence is more difficult to attain for students with disabilities. Attending after school events, or recreational events in the community, requires assistance, supervision and transportation. This grant will help students with intellectual, developmental and/or emotional disabilities become familiar with school events and learn appropriate social behaviors in a public setting. Students who participate in extra-curricular events - ranging from athletic events, to performances such as “Faculty Idol”, to an outing to the bowling alley - have a more positive outlook on their education, and this program will help students learn the skills necessary for independence.

“‘Beat the Spread’ Breakfast”
Funded at $400 — proposal by Dr. Tom Trengove

An award unique to Lemont High School, “Beat the Spread” recognizes students who achieved a better than anticipated score on the ACT portion of the PSAE, compared to their results on the PLAN test, which they took as sophomores. Any student, regardless of ability, can aspire to achieve this award since it compares a student’s performance on the ACT to his or her own past performance. This grant will fund a breakfast in November 2013 for Class of 2014 students who “beat the spread” during the PSAE the previous spring.

“Breakfast Buddies”
Funded at $1,925 — proposal by Joan Browning & Krissy Bergles

Giving a chance for special needs students and their mentors to regularly come together, Breakfast Buddies is held before school on Wednesdays and attracts more than 50 students weekly. Students with disabilities gain confidence and acceptance, helping to make them feel more a part of the Lemont High School community, while their peer mentors gain expertise in working with individuals with disabilities of all kinds and are given college recommendations based on their work. As this program has progressed, many of the peer leaders involved have begun pursuing careers in Special Education or Social Work, and some of those alumni have returned to visit the program and discuss its importance within the school’s climate.

“Bullying Stops Here”
Funded at $3,000 — proposal by Matt Doherty

The classroom environment in a school is indirectly influenced by the social climate of its students. School unity helps to create an atmosphere of acceptance and prevent bullying activities. Cyber bullying often transcends the Web to the ‘brick and mortar’ experience students have during the school year. This grant will help raise awareness of these (and other) types of conflicts and bring to light the ability for every Lemont High School student to connect positively to one another. Guest speaker Jamie Utt will visit the school over a two-day period, working with student leaders on one day and the entire student population on the other day. Stressing school unity, a council of students will be created that includes students from different walks of life, social groups, clubs and sports. After the visit from the guest speaker, that group will meet on an ongoing basis in an effort to foster a social climate change within the school, improve the climate of acceptance, and reduce the number of incidents of bullying (with a concentration on electronic bullying). 

“Discipline Free Dance”
Funded at $2,000 — proposal by Brent Gagnon & John Kennedy

The Discipline Free Dance is an annual event that serves as a reward for Lemont High School students who consistently demonstrate the ability to make the “right” choices. This invitation-only event provides an incentive for students to make good decisions. This much-anticipated event includes a DJ, games and many prizes, and has a tremendous impact on the school’s climate and culture. This grant will underwrite the cost of the 2014 Discipline Free Dance, including the DJ, supplies, and prizes for the attendees.

“Discovery Based Science Learning - Physics Approach”
Funded at $11,461 — proposal by Erin Boyd

A previous LHSEF grant enabled the school to introduce the PASCO Science SPARK Learning System - an integrated hardware and software learning system using 21st century technology - into the school’s Science curriculum through Anatomy & Physiology Honors classes, and the department has gone on to pilot the system in Physics and Chemistry classes. This grant will allow for the purchase of a SPARK classroom set that will be used in all levels of Physics. SPARK system technology enables students to make pre-lab predictions, collect real-time data, use graphic tools to analyze data, compare their experimental data with their initial predictions, and run experiments multiple times to collect more data. Such labs - performed with equipment that includes full-color display with finger-touch navigation - challenge students to think about their data and provide responses in an electronic environment in a fashion similar to the way scientists do it in the “real world.” From beginning to end, students are engaged, challenged and able to interact with each other, as this technology is designed in a way that will help students experience, appreciate and understand data in ways they have been unable to in the past. 

“Picture This - Integration of Physics and Art”
Funded at $2,860 — proposal by Erin Boyd and Ryan Hennebry

Students are surrounded by physics every day, regardless if they realize it. This cross-curricular project provides students a cohesive learning experience by merging their view of the ever-changing world with both physics and art. “Picture This” will allow students to research the world around them and discover science that intrigues them, while also helping them to develop a scientific way of thinking and display and explain phenomena artistically. Students will capture moments, events or activities that intrigue them, then research the physics properties involved with their selection and explain them in easy scientific terminology. The best pictures and explanations will be displayed in the school’s Science and Fine Arts hallways, which will prompt discussion among students about the phenomena associated with the events that are pictured.

“Pre-Prom Assembly”
Funded at $3,000 — proposal by Bobbe Fash

Each year, just before the school’s Prom, all Lemont High School students attend the Pre-Prom Assembly. The program benefits the entire student body by reinforcing valuable concepts students have been taught throughout their lives. This grant will fund a guest speaker, guest group or presentation that will address all students about considering the consequences of their actions, and the importance of making smart choices regarding many of the dangers that teenagers currently face.

Funded at $650 — proposal by the Physical Education Department

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, Lemont High School’s Physical Education Department will expand its self-defense unit and offer it throughout the year; previously, this unit only was available for a short time to a limited number of students. Ken Smith of Modern Arnis Academy (Lockport) will train and certify Lemont High School staff members in self-defense, which will allow the flexibility to offer the unit multiple times per year and maximize the number of students who may be taught. The instruction gives students important insight on how to defend themselves in threatening or dangerous situations that arise due to the unfortunate realities that exist in society. Smith, who has more than 25 years of experience as an instructor, also will be available in classes as a guest instructor for two days.

“We See College in YOUR Future - Year 6”
Funded at $4,200 — proposal by Kathy Brockett

Aiding students on the cusp of achieving a composite ACT score that would qualify them for a four-year college or university, this grant will cover half the cost of the ExcelEdge ACT 36 prep course for 16 students, and the full cost of the class for six students. The eight-week course helps students become familiar with the ACT, providing them with test taking strategies to help them achieve a higher ACT score. The goal is to increase the scores of the targeted students to at least 18, which will make them eligible for entry to a four-year college or university and help the school in its goal of having 85 percent of all its seniors reach that mark.