Grant for Teaching

Grant for Impactful Teaching

The Junior League of Kane & DuPage Counties, Inc. (JLKD) invites teachers to apply for the 2017 JLKD Teachers’ Grant. JLKD encourages and supports excellence in teaching by awarding grants to educators who present outstanding student programming. This year, JLKD will award a minimum of one $1,000 grant to a teacher or teaching group for an impactful program or project that otherwise would not be provided for in the school budget.

To qualify, teachers must be employed full- or part-time at any public or private school serving students who are in pre-k through fifth grade, and the school or program serves 20 percent or more of children from a “low-income family/household*” within DuPage, Kane, Kendall, or Will Counties, Illinois.

JLKD is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Please contact grants@jlkd.org with any questions or to request additional information.

*Defined as having an annual income that does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty line

2016-2017 Winnerr

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017 the Junior League of Kane & DuPage Counties, Inc. (JLKD) proudly awarded a Grant for Impactful Teaching to Bethany Short of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (1900 Oxford Way; Joliet, IL 60431) for its Check In/Check Out and Check & Connect programs. JLKD selected these programs to receive the grant because they identify and attempt to resolve a need in several different areas, behavioral, social, academically, or at home, and encourage interaction between student and teacher. JLKD is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Check In/Check Out and Check & Connect are sister programs that impact more than 20 students, all of elementary school age. JLKD’s mission also focuses on education for this younger age group. Check In/Check Out targets students needing additional support to succeed behaviorally, while Check & Connect targets students struggling socially, academically, or with a tough home life. Bethany teaches Reading Intervention and excitedly testifies firsthand about the positive impact of the programs through projects, such as making mugs with a student.

Check In/Check Out is an intervention for students needing more support to succeed behaviorally. Each day the student checks in with a staff member who gives them a point sheet targeting a few behavior areas, and together they set a goal for the percentage of points the student should earn that day. Throughout the day the classroom teacher gives the students points. At the end of the day, the student checks out with the staff member. If the student reached their goal for number of points, they earn a prize. It might be a physical prize, like a Slinky, or a privilege, like getting to play with Legos for 5 minutes.

Check & Connect is an intervention for at-risk students struggling academically or socially, or students may also be in need of a mentor or “cheerleader” due their home situation. Each day the staff member and student meet for a few minutes just to talk. They might do activities, like drawing or painting, together as well. The goal is for the student to build a strong connection with a staff member who can be a support system for them.

For both programs, the ultimate goal is to help students’ social emotional growth, including behavior, by helping the student build a strong relationship with a staff member. Both programs are currently in place in the building. The goal is to create a library of resources staff members can access. Currently staff members buy prizes or supplies from their own personal funds, bring toys or books from home, or check them out from the local library.

The grant will fund expansion of both programs through the purchase of various supplies and materials to create an experience, a privilege, or award prizes. For example, Legos, paint boards, Uno card game, Jenga, Hungry Hungry Hippos, plush animal toys, assorted race cars, clipboards for students to track their progress, and books. By providing a central location for resources that can be accessed by all staff members in the program, teachers, administration and support staff will have the freedom to use whatever books or supplies will best help the student. Staff members will be able to provide students with more motivating prizes or privileges for their goals, and they will be able to target specific social emotional areas through the library of books.

JLKD is honored and excited to be able to assist Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in expanding these programs and building relationships between students and teachers, all through the use of common toys that create a safe space for children to grow and learn. JLKD is certain that the Check In/Check Out and Check & Connect programs will continue to improve the community through the effective action and leadership of teachers, staff, and students.