Innovation Grants

Innovation Grants offer District 211 educators the opportunity to develop ideas, programs, or practices that are not normally funded in the regular school budget. Grants are awarded to educators with proposals that have the potential to engage students and impact learning.

Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded more $250,000 to some 450 high school educators in Innovation Grant funding.

2018-2019 Grant Application


These exciting projects were the recipients of Innovation Grant for 2017-2018.

High SchoolProjectSponsorDescription
ConantCelebration of Diversity in Conant High School CommunityHeather DoanThe goal of this project is to create a visual representation of the diversity within Conant High School by hanging international flags in the school's world language hallway.
ConantMental Health Awareness FairFelicia MacfarlaneThe CHS Student Services Department would like to continue to bring awareness to the school community to "Stop the Stigma" of mental awareness through this informational and interactive fair.
ConantOperation Snowball: 2016–2017Richard BauerOperation Snowball is a one-day, 15-hour leadership event promoting positive decision-making in the areas of health and wellness, stress management, relationships, and communication.
ConantPrepare Program Leadership/Camp SunriseAsra SyedOffering support to teacher-recommended students, teambuilding and leadership activities help prepare students for the rigors of high school.
FremdSTEM Education through RoboticsPaul HardyThe components purchased with grant funds will be used to enhance multiple projects within the IED class and also utilized in the Project Lead the Way summer program. Students will incorporate existing manufacturing processes into designing specific task robots.
FremdLatinas Achieving SuccessCristina WilliamsonLatinas Achieving Success helps Latina students have as many opportunities during and after high school as possible. The group focuses on three core areas: academics, culture, and community.
FremdOperation SnowballTony Tosh and Erin MalinowskiOperation Snowball is a one-day, 15-hour leadership event promoting positive decision-making in the areas of health and wellness, stress management, relationships, and communication.
FremdViking Service WeekCourtney Billittier and Martin ZachariaThis is an opportunity for students to recognize the causes, impacts, and solutions to poverty, both locally and globally; the goal is to inspire students to recognize and alleviate the problem.
FremdWriters Week XXIII at FHSRuss AndersonBesides building a sense of community at Fremd High School, Writers Week promotes reading, literacy, and writing, including author visits and presentations.
G.A. McElroy Administration CenterNational Hispanic Institute (Transportation)Jerry TrevinoAlmost 30 Latino students from across District 211 have raised funds to participate in the Great Debate Camp, a five-day camp focusing on college readiness and application. This grant pays for the transportation.
Higgins Education CenterAdventure Learning ClubBrian Lazzaro, Derek Schmidt, and Kali ZanonaBuilding on the success from previous trips, Academy-South students with severe emotional disabilities will experience a campfire, set up a tent, and learn about geology and animal life, often for the first time.
Higgins Education CenterAfter School ClubDerek Schmidt, Kali Zanona, and Colleen LundellAs the only extracurricular activity available for Academy-South students, this club will offer an opportunity for students on the autism spectrum, as well as other students (serving as positive role models), to enjoy games, arts and crafts, and outings.
Higgins Education CenterNew Endeavors ClubLauren LombardoThis club focuses on students with social communication weaknesses by creating opportunities to socialize and interact with peers. The club provides a structured environment to reinforce the social skills taught through the STRIDES curriculum at New Endeavors (Social Thinking, Independence, Developing Everyday Skills).
Higgins Education CenterService Learning ProjectColleen LundellTo support the Positive Peer Culture model in the Academy-South program, students are given the opportunity to show care and concern by working as volunteers at various facilities, transferring their learning to the real-world environment.
Higgins Education CenterAcademy-South Music ClubColleen LundellThe Academy-South Music Club will provide a weekly opportunity for students to not only learn about and enjoy music, but also practice social skills and foster other interests.
Hoffman EstatesAmy Rudolph Basketball TournamentHope HazlettThe Hawk Club holds a basketball tournament to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. This tournament honors a student from the ELS program who died from kidney failure 35 years ago.
Hoffman EstatesBlessings in a BackpackAngela Rallidis and Debbie MillerBlessings in a Backpack assists schools in providing food to students in need for the weekend throughout the school year. Hoffman Estates High School would like to accommodate more students.
Hoffman EstatesBook ClubTerri BerkowitzThe goal of the Book Club is to promote literacy outside of school. By providing books, the cost to join the club is deferred for students.
Hoffman EstatesFreshman FoundationsBarbara NoculaNinety-five percent of incoming freshmen are involved in Freshman Foundations, which mentors, educates, and informs students by helping them set goals and realize their potential.
Hoffman EstatesFreshMentorsMaureen MannThis program provides freshman students with continual support and structure throughout their first year by selected and trained junior and senior students, which benefits both student groups.
Hoffman EstatesGANAS (Guiding & Nurturing Academic Success)Angelica Cordova-RajooThis program is in its forth year and has reached out to more than 100 Latino freshman students and provided them the opportunity to learn about the benefits and importance of a college education.
Hoffman EstatesHolocaust Museum TripDebbie Miller & Luke YanuleIn a co-taught U.S. history class, students will visit the Holocaust Museum during the World War II unit.
Hoffman EstatesLiteracy Connections VTerri BerkowitzIn order to encourage and promote reading literacy, any student who reads a book from one of the library's reading/genre lists and submits a review is eligible to win a bi-weekly prize.
Hoffman EstatesRead to Lead Summer Reading IVTerri BerkowitzThe “Read to Lead” summer reading program is voluntary, but highly encouraged and promoted. To ensure access to books for all students, this grant defrays most of the expense.
Hoffman EstatesSunrise Outdoor EducationDebbie MillerThe General Studies Program has been utilizing Sunrise Outdoor Education Center for years. It gives students opportunities to work on problem-solving skills, teamwork, and science in a natural setting.
Hoffman EstatesUNITY Peer Mentoring ProgramDr. Paulette Miller and Cherea SparkmanAs part of an outdoor field trip that encourages teambuilding, communication skills, and problem solving, students cook their own lunch over an open fire — a first for many.
Hoffman EstatesHEHS Engineering Competition Entry FeesWayne OrasTo support Project Lead the Way, students participate in engineering competitions throughout the school year.
Hoffman EstatesiCompete for Hoffman Estates High SchoolJohn UlrichThe Hoffman Estates High School I-Compete program provides extracurricular athletic and recreation activities to at-risk elementary students who will likely attend HEHS.
Hoffman EstatesMariachi at HoffmanTobin LangridgeThe Mariachi ensemble is an afterschool musical group that allows students to tap into music from different cultures.
Hoffman EstatesProject ExcelAndres AcostaTo encourage and nurture community building and leadership skills in often-marginalized students, chosen incoming freshmen are paired with a younger student. Freshmen then interview and work with the younger student to create a biography for the child to keep.
North CampusAfter School ClubJessica Martinez-QuinteroThis Academy-North club offers students with emotional disabilities opportunities to socialize and interact with peers, while exposing them to hobbies, service/learning opportunities, and a variety of activities.
North CampusPeace GamesBen DurchslagPeace Games is a schoolwide initiative to enhance mastery through increased opportunities to succeed in athletic outlets, artistic expression, and academic activities, while enhancing a sense of belonging.
North CampusPromoting Positive Growth: Positive Behavioral Interventions to Reduce TruancyAlexandra FliessThis grant seeks to utilize Positive Behavior Interventions to re-engage students in their educational programming by helping to motivate them to come to school and engage with schoolwide behavior systems.
PalatineBlessings in a BackpackDeana HavensBlessings in a Backpack assists schools in providing food to students in need for the weekends throughout the school year. PHS is expanding this program to include fresh food, as well as other items.
PalatineCommit to the PIRATE AcknowledgementsMichael Prentice and Sophie Foucault-LawlerThis is the seventh year of this positive behavior intervention program that acknowledges students for positive behavior.
PalatineDNA Hip Hop Dance Crew & Latin Dance CrewLiza SullivanMany students in this diverse performing group are low-income; the cost of costumes and shoes would prohibit many from being part of this club that teaches teamwork, respect, and achievement.
PalatineAlejandro Diaz Memorial Soccer GameJaison VargheseThis parent-student soccer game for ESL families at the start of the school year involves and welcomes parents of mostly Hispanic students, a group often underrepresented at the school.
PalatineHOSA – Future Healthcare ProfessionalsVictoria DeGuiaThis grant assists in obtaining necessary reference books for students to prepare for HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) events.
PalatinePalatine's PROMISE Lunchapalooza SpeakerSue Althoff DoranAs part of the Palatine's Promise social/emotional intervention program, Lunchapalooza is a three-day celebration of Palatine High School's student diversity, while raising money for a charitable cause.
PalatineProject ExcelAlonso RamirezThis program began 10 years ago with 18 students. Last year, more than 160 students were involved in Project Excel. Freshman students plan a trip to Chicago and sophomore, junior, and senior students take college visits, while all benefit from the planning, camaraderie, and the trips.
PalatineSummer Reading ProgramBrittany Tillander and Christy VictorTo increase summer reading, this grant funds incentives, prizes, and provides a pizza social for those who participate.
PalatinePalatine Activity ClubChristy Fredrick and Karie McGinnPalatine Activity Club is a social club for Educational Life Skills and Life and Learning Strategies students. Events include sports tournaments, dances, and activities throughout the year.
PalatineAdonit Pixel StylusNick HostertAs part of the art department's move towards digital creation, styluses enable students to have all of the pressure sensitivity and control benefits while using their iPads as they would using much more expensive art tablets.
PalatineAttendance Intervention Program (AIP)Miriam CastroThe Attendance Intervention Program (AIP) provides mentoring and support for students struggling with poor attendance.
PalatineBody Beat Metronome - 2Carlos EsquivelFunding provides the music department with two Body Beat Metronomes that allow multiple people to keep rhythm with the music.
PalatineComingled Recycling Program at Palatine High SchoolJennifer DahlThe Ecology Club is starting a recycling program and bins allow materials to be comingled.
PalatinePalatine Jr. Intervention GroupMike HernonThe group targets academically capable juniors who have not demonstrated the motivation or preparation to pursue post-secondary opportunities.
PalatinePalatine Orchesis Illinois High School Dance Festival GrantKrystal ColemanThis grant supports Orchesis, a dance group at PHS, participating in the Illinois High School Dance Festival, an exciting day of dance that includes four master classes, a professional company performance, and a student choreography showcase.
PalatinePirate OlympicsMike AltherPHS activities and athletics have developed an initiative and incentive program that promotes wellness in a competitive setting. Pirate Olympics promotes teambuilding and supports positive school culture through a series of competitive athletic events.
PalatineVirtual Reality Kit, HTC Vive and Titl Brush SoftwareNick HostertThe art department is seeking to provide students with the opportunity to use virtual reality in their projects. This allows students to create and explore virtual 3D environments and artworks.
PalatinePalatine High School Writer's DayErin LindstromWriters Day includes performances by Chicago Slam Works ("Poets With Class") during several periods in the auditorium. Presentations will be workshops that involve interaction between writers and students.
SchaumburgSaxon PRIDEErika WerleinSaxon Pride is a successful positive behavior reinforcement program, that is expanding its focus to create positive school connections for all students.
SchaumburgLeadership Training for studentsKelli CarletonFunding provides leadership training for student leaders from all leadership clubs to build student collaboration for schoolwide events. The training covers the importance of student leadership and how students can enhance school culture, bring all student groups together, and help drive school culture throughout the school year.
SchaumburgStudent-2-Student Freshman Outreach ProgramThomas LetzelFor six years, Student-2-Student has been hosting 8th grade students (future Saxons), to shadow current SHS students through their class schedule.



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