Mega-Grant Project Winners

From the Harvard Education Foundation in Harvard, IL


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Pictured above are the 2019-20 Mega grant winners from Crosby Elementary School, with (left) Mimi Book, chair of the Mega grant committee & Andy McCauley, also a Mega grant committee member
Click here to see the happy faces of Crosby School kids using new musically instruments purchase with Mega grant funds awarded to music teachers Spencer Kibbler & Juan Osorio

Mega-Grant Winners for 2020-21

$25,410.00 total awarded to 5 winners

Focus/Motor Room-Washington; Cheryl Stasiek Ashburn-$4951-This grant will provide specifically designed space to facilitate restorative processes for very young students who need a break to refocus or are not meeting school expectations.  The space provides a range of stimuli to help students develop and engage senses to allow them to “reset” their nervous system which may have been overstimulated in the classroom environment.  This room will provide staff and students with a safe area where students can focus on themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others.  The equipment includes an autism swing stand (C-stand) with a linear motion bar swing and a “flying purple people eater” swing, a fold & go trampoline, and a kid garage.

Professional Grade 3D printer-Jr. High; Steve Darschewski-$5000-This grant will purchase a Fusion 3, 3D printer and supplies so Jr. High students can receive a hands-on approach to design thinking and which demonstrates to them the application of technology and engineering in the classroom through the use of a 3D printer.  Students can be taught about the use & development of prosthetics in medicine, can make textbook models of molecules, can create busts of historical & literary figures, make 3D printed snowflakes, etc.  Students can have their “eyes opened” by the 3D printing experience and the various practical applications for its use in many fields.

Go Zone/Sensory Room-Jr. High; Tom Cardamone & Nikki Pierce-$2365-This grant will provide equipment for a sensory room that provides direct therapeutic benefits to students with a variety of special needs and to some students who have sensory challenges but who may not be educationally identified as needing special educational services.  This room is for students who benefit from a “break” within their day, to use tools to regulate their sensory experience, which in turn will regulate their behavior/emotional experience.  It is used to facilitate self-organization, self-regulation, relaxation, and sensory awareness, in order to integrate a student back into the classroom.  The following equipment will be purchased:  wall-mounted kicking pad, soft sensory rocker chair, weighted blankets, a body sock, crash and general floor mats, small trampoline, and a “bubble” tube.

Heart Rate Monitors-High School; Sara Weaver-$8,094-This grant will pay for 90 Polar heart rate monitors, 50 replacement armbands, 3 charging docks, fitness-tracking software, and training for the high school PE teachers.  Via the use of these heart monitors, students will come to understand the overall importance of heart health, as well as learn the importance of being physically active at different levels of intensity.  It will give students the opportunity to develop lifelong health & fitness habits.  PE teachers will also have an objective method to assess student heart health and be able to individualize/personalize instruction based on each student’s cardio/respiratory fitness in PE courses.  Once implemented, PE teachers will utilize the heart rate monitors and fitness tracking software for years to come.

Funding for External Grant Matching-HCEF&Dist.50-Mimi Book & Mary Cooke-$5000-This money is set aside to be used as partial matching for an external grant application currently being written.  The grant total request is for approximately $20,000 of outside funding to be matched by the Foundation’s $5000 for a total of $25,000 to be used for expanding our STEM program offerings in the science curriculum for Jr. High on up.   Experiential hands-on robot building and programming are one of the goals.  STEM engages students and provides opportunity for critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills, and establishes connections between the school, work place and community.

The HCEF thanks all of you for taking the time to submit a grant application with the goal of enhancing and enriching learning opportunities for the kids in Harvard schools.

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2018-19 Mega Grant Awards

$45,640 Total awarded to 4 winners


The Harvard Community Education Foundation’s (HCEF) Mega grant committee is pleased to announce the following winners for the 2018-19 academic school year: