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District 113 Gets Almost $25,000 in Grants

Foreign language libraries, endangered plant gardens and special education performing arts club among grant recipients.

District 113 Gets Almost $25,000 in Grants

Grants for 12 programs at both Deerfield High School and Highland Park High School were announced by the District 113 Foundation Board at District 113's school board meeting Monday night.

The grants totaled $24,500 and will benefit programs and projects at the schools, including an anti-drug program, an afterschool homework club, mock trial and others.

“I’m very proud to tell you we’ve accomplished much up until now,” said Foundation Board President Dean Weinberg. “We’re working hard to make sure the foundation can strengthen and grow.” 

Weinberg said the board wishes to extend fundraising efforts and increase visibility in 2012.

The board was established in 2006, and goes through a careful selection process to choose programs to fund. Weinberg said the board encourages faculty to apply for programs that are “unique and innovative," and in areas where additional support is needed. 

Other ventures that will benefit from the board’s grants include an endangered species plant garden at DHS; an HPHS program that seeks to provide a safe forum to raise awareness for racism, prejudice, bullying and other related issues; Spanish and French libraries created for language classes; a software program called Biz Café, which allows students to run a simulated coffee shop and control all aspects of the business and funding for choreographers and costumes for a Latin dance club.

“The foundation has been able to support individuals who might not have been able to reach the goals they set out to achieve,” said Weinberg, adding that the board needs to continue building its endowment for future work. 

One club that was awarded a grant is a special education performing arts club called Giants Performing Arts Club. Three student participants presented at the meeting, showing some of their favorite animal puppets they were able to purchase due to the grant. They thanked both the foundation and the board of education for supporting them.

In other business, HPHS student representative talked about the school’s ongoing charity drive, the organizers of which recently held an event called “Taste of Highland Park” that Brint deemed a success. He said a favorite charity drive event so far involved the willingness of Principal Brad Swason to be duct-taped to a wall in the name of charitable giving. 

Board member Bonnie Shlensky gave an update on the district’s , which recently initiated 30 new students. This organization assists low-income or minority students prepare for college as first-generation college attendees.

“We have 30 new students in CBO, including 11 from DHS, 17 from HPHS and two from Lake Forest,” said Shlensky. “Our kids are really on track.”

In action items, the board approved the purchase of six 2013 school buses from Midwest Transit in Kankakee for $438,060.

The board also cancelled its Feb. 27 board meeting due to the HPHS vs. DHS boys’ basketball game the same night.

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Editor's note: This article originally misidentified the number of students receiving assistance from CBO in 2012. We apologize for the error.

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