During the 2015-16 school year, Foundation 65 will provide more than $235,000 to support literacy and arts initiatives that will impact every school within District 65.  Foundation 65 works with District 65 and community organizations to bring innovative programming to all kids in all schools.

This year, Foundation 65 will continue to support key programs that have a real impact on student success, such as Advancing Literacy for ALL (PRC2), the Summer Reading Program, and Kinder-garten Literacy Education at Play.  

Foundation 65’s support of Advancing Literacy for All is an example of how private dollars have made a significant difference in education within District 65. The Foundation has supported this program since 2008, which has allowed more than 100 teachers the opportunity to learn and implement an innovative instructional technique that supports students as they grapple with non-fiction text in science and social studies.  

The program’s success has led to expansion from middle school to grades three to five. As a result, thousands of students have benefited across all schools and the district is now positioned to ensure that the program will be sustained in the years to come, without external funding.

In addition, Foundation 65 is innovative in linking arts and literacy with other content areas. For example, the project Building Digital Literacy: Summer Media Artists Studio allows teachers and students to expand literacy into the digital world, exploring 3D design and 3D printing.  The project was a collaboration between the D65 Media Arts Department, the Teen Loft at the Evanston Public Library and the Meta Media Studio at the McGaw YMCA.   

At Park School, through the project Art and Science: Park School’s Multi-sensory Garden, students will combine art with science concepts to create a multi-sensory garden and a permanent art display.

“Foundation 65 is a valued partner to our school district and their support has provided our students with amazing enrichment opportunities,” said Dr. Paul Goren, Superintendent of District 65. “We are so grateful for this generous support.”

Programs funded by Foundation 65 for 2015-2016 are:

Advancing Literacy for ALL (PRC2)
The purpose of this project is to increase content literacy through improved instruction and a greater array of materials related to science and social studies topics.  Ultimately, the goal is to increase students’ ability to read and understand complex nonfiction text and to better prepare students for the challenge of successful learning in high school.  

Child Parent Center Program
CPCs provide comprehensive and continuous education and family support services from pre-kindergarten to third grade for children at risk of underachievement. Under the direction of a leadership team at each site and in collaboration with the principal, the program enhances school readiness skills, increases early school achievement and performance, and promotes parent involvement and engagement.

Kindergarten Literacy Education at Play (Kindergarten LEAP)
This is an outreach early literacy program developed by the outreach librarians at Evanston Public Library.  Through innovative play scenarios, Kindergarten LEAP addresses early literacy skill building and social interaction.  The funds will be used to support this project at 12 District 65 elementary schools.

Kindergarten Library Tours
This partnership with the Evanston Public Library provides funding for all District 65 kindergarteners to visit the Evanston Public Library and get a library card.  This program gives emergent readers the opportunity to be introduced to the Library’s Children’s Room and includes a parent incentive piece to invite families to return to the library following the school visits.  

Project AIM
The goal of Project AIM is to support and enhance academic achievement through arts integration.  The arts engage and motivate students, represent a way for students to learn skills and concepts, and allow students to demonstrate their understandings in varied formats using a variety of media.  

Summer Reading Program
This grant supports summer reading growth by providing books to first grade students who have received supplementary reading support in first grade. By keeping these struggling readers engaged in reading, they are able to maintain the reading growth they attained during the school year.   The results have been impressive, with 90% of these students maintaining or improving their reading levels over the summer.

Responsive Grants
Foundation 65 provides up to $3,000 for each of the following one-year projects: Building Digital Literacy: Summer Media Artists Studio through District 65’s Media Arts Department; the Maker Project (Evanston Public Library in collaboration with District 65 libraries); Young Chicago Authors and Louder than a Bomb Artist Residency/ Poetry Slam (Chute PTA); Mudlark Theater Company’s Mudpie; Park Schools’ Multi-sensory Garden.