The Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) of Evanston Township High School announced its second round of Wildkit Grants, a program that provides classroom enhancing grants to ETHS teachers. With a maximum of $500 awarded for each grant, the program was created to encourage creativity in the classroom and to help teachers provide enrichment activities for ETHS students.
The total amount awarded for this round was $3,000, an increase from the first round in the 2011-12 school year, when awards totaling $2,600 were given to seven departments. Donations from parents and ETHS teachers make the grants possible.
Eight grants were awarded in November 2012, ranging from support for Freshman Humanities to special education and the College & Career Center:
Physics teacher Mark Vondracek received funding for video camcorders to be used both in and out of the classroom to document lab research that can be uploaded for viewing by other physics classes. Students can use the camcorders to analyze the biophysics of sports activities, for example and to record everyday examples of physics.
History teacher Dave Allen was awarded funding to cover fees associated with research at the Evanston History Center’s Dawes House. In conducting their own research on Evanston, Senior Studies students participate in an orientation tour and use the research room.
Special education teacher Kara Isaac received funding for a program at the Transition House, an off-campus, functional living skills program for special education students. The grant will be used for train and bus fare cards to help students learn to use the public transportation system.
AP Biology teachers Teresa Granito and Beth Christiansen were granted funds to purchase lab materials to update new lab units such as cell function and study of bacteria.
Freshman Humanities teacher Elizabeth Hartley received a grant to purchase a variety of high-interest texts for a pilot program in freshman reading. The goal of the program is to improve student academic performance by sharpening reading skills.
Visual arts teacher Pam Baumgartner of the Fine Arts Department was awarded funds to mat and mount student art works that will be hung in the ETHS Auditorium Gallery. The exhibit will run for five weeks following the January 2013 Visual Arts Open House that features original artwork by District 202 and District 65 students. This year’s works are based on a poem by local writer Esme Codell.
Resource librarian Nancy Figel received a grant to provide a presenter stipend for Poetry Week at ETHS, April 1-5, 2013. Adam Gottlieb, who was featured in the documentary film “Louder Than a Bomb,” will perform his poetry, teach writing workshops and meet with students in class to engage them in writing poetry.
College and career coordinator Beth Arey was awarded a grant to update Advanced Placement (AP) test prep materials. Students can study for AP tests during the school day in the ETHS College & Career Center or check out materials for short-term loan. With 26 AP classes offered at ETHS, multiple copies of test prep books are in demand to meet the need of increasing numbers of students enrolled in AP classes.
Wildkit Grants Committee members MaryJo Boyer, Kaquana King, Corky Siegfriedt and Jane Holt reviewed grant requests that were submitted electronically through an application form created by the ETHS Instructional and Informational Technology Department.
“The PTSA is happy to be able to provide teachers with resources they may not otherwise have available in the classroom,” stated MaryJo Boyer.