112 EDUCATION FOUNDATION YEAR IN REVIEW 2017-18

Vehicle Stickers

The Vehicle Sticker Committee had a busy year!  Vehicle sticker upgrades continue to be the largest source of revenue for the 112 Education Foundation. It is also the primary source of funding for the Foundation Grant program, bringing innovative educational opportunities to classrooms across the district. The committee held its bi-annual sticker design contest in February, engaging middle school art students to create a sticker design that reflects the City of Highland Park’s sesquicentennial celebration.   Edgewood 6th grader, Sacha Khazai, is the proud design winner; his sticker design will be featured on the upgraded Drive for Education sticker for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

All Trustees participated in sending hand-written notes to residents who upgraded their vehicle sticker to demonstrate our personal appreciation for their commitment to the Foundation and their support of D112 schools.

Fun(d) Run 2017

The Fun(d) Run was held on Saturday, October 14, 2017.  Despite dreary weather, many of the 1,300 people who registered turned out to support the D112 Scholarship Fund; we even had a number of brave day-of participants register in the pouring rain.  In their second year as co-chairs, Leah D’Antonio, Sara Grossmann and Jodi Eldridge, helped raise $20,000 through registrations and sponsorships.  Lincoln Elementary School won the trophy for highest participation for the fourth year in a row, with a participation rate of over 90%.  The Foundation continues to help the Fun(d) Run Committee with administrative support, processing payments and donations and help with day of tasks.

Foundation Grants

The 112 Education Foundation approved 13 grants totaling nearly $13,000 for the 2017 fall grant cycle.  Fall grants included a workshop with a cast member from the Chicago Hamilton cast held at Northwood Middle School, an opportunity for middle school students to engage with and learn from two young men who were Lost Boys from Sudan, and an enhanced InnovationLab at Red Oak.   Additionally, there were several STEM and STEAM grants, allowing students to explore science, technology, problem solving and more in creative ways.  Music, art and performance-related grants provide inter-disciplinary opportunities for students to combine curriculum areas.  During the spring grant cycle, the trustees approved over $33,000 of grants, including renewal the renewal of the Robot Revolution, a district-wide robotics program and competition, with teams competing from every school.  To read short descriptions of all 2018 Spring Grants, click here.

iRead 2018

The annual iRead read-a-ton took place between January 6 and January 31.  Once again, the Foundation partnered with the Highland Park Public Library for the annual iRead Kick Off event, held at the HP Library on Saturday, January 6 from 9-2.  We had a record number of students and families attend this year’s event, with over 1000 people participating in the Kick Off.  Every year the HP Library secures authors to meet and talk to the students, engages a storyteller who gives 2 performances and has other activities during the day such as bookmark making and photos.  Many D112 teachers volunteered during the event to read their favorite books, and some schools performed “Reader’s Theater”, acting out familiar books.  For the first time this year, the Kick Off event had a Reader’s Theater activity where students could try their hand at acting, too.  Students who attended the event received an additional 30 minutes of reading time in their logs.  It is always one of the busiest Saturdays of the year at the Library.

This year 1,600 readers throughout the District schools raised just under $23,000 for the Foundation.  Collectively, D112 students read about 1.675 million minutes!  For the fourth year in a row, Sherwood School won the iRead elementary school trophy by having the most minutes read per student – with an average of over 1000 minutes per student!  All readers received a ribbon and students who raised funds as part of the read-a-thon received a certificate for a free gelato donated by Arriva Dolce in Highland Park.

Ravinia Partnership

Ravinia Festival’s Reach*Teach*Play education programs introduced students to the music of Leonard Bernstein as part of the two-year celebration of the centennial of his birth. Chorus students from each of the Districts’ middle schools enjoyed engaging with Artist in Resident Bryan Johnson. Mr. Johnson visited each school and helped the students polish works they had prepared with their Chorus teachers, including America from West Side Story and Simple Gifts from Appalachian Spring. The students’ preparation culminated in a moving choral concert directed by Bryan Johnson at Bennett Gordon Hall on March 2nd.

Fourth and fifth grade students throughout the District enjoyed field trips to Bennett Gordon Hall on April 20th. Representatives from the Reach*Teach*Play department shared an excerpt from Bernstein’s televised Young People’s Concerts, noting that they are an excellent resource for students to learn more about music (www.leonardbernstein.com/about/educator/young-peoples-concerts). The students also enjoyed a multi-media performance by 5th House Ensemble that combined a live music performance with video of an artist painting works of art that complemented the music’s themes. As a special treat, two sopranos, a guest pianist and Ravinia Festival CEO Welz Kauffman performed lively Bernstein selections.

The annual Kids Go Classic concert was held on July 28th. The concert is a continuation of the Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Bernstein’s work MASS with Martin Alsop conducting. The concert also featured the Highland Park High School Marching Band and the Chicago Children’s Chorus. 

Film Festival

The Foundation’s third annual Reel 112 Film Festival took place on Monday, May 21 at the Landmark Renaissance Place Theatre in Highland Park.  This year’s festival showcased 16 student films created by students at each of the three district middle schools.  In addition to the film screening, student filmmakers participated in a panel discussion sharing their filmmaking experiences, and reflections on the filmmaking process.  Acclaimed film critic, Milos Stehlik of Facets Multimedia, opened the program with a recorded greeting to the crowd, praising the students for their story-telling and urging them to continue to hone their craft. Starting as a residency program and one-time super grant from the Foundation, the film program is now integrated into the CMA curriculum.   As a culminating event, the Reel 112 Film Festival allows the student filmmakers to share their work while walking a “red carpet”, posing for photos at the Reel 112 Film Festival backdrop and receiving custom-made movie posters.  It is an evening enjoyed by students, families, district staff and the greater community.

Junior Trustee

As the Foundation continues to grow it welcomed its first-ever Junior Trustee during the 2017-2018 school year.  Creating a two-year position open to rising sophomores and juniors, the Foundation sought to engage a high school student to provide perspective, new ideas and social media savvy to the Foundation.  The Foundation welcomed Sophie Draluck in late 2017 for a two-year term.  Sophie will be joined by Lauren Twadell at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.  Junior trustees attend Foundation meetings, serve on the Communications committee, focused largely on social media, and support Foundation events and programs.  It is a pleasure to welcome them aboard!