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D-99 Education Foundation enhances student opportunities

Serving as president of the District 99 Education Foundation for the past three years, I have had the pleasure of partnering with the people of District 99, which represents North and South high schools in Downers Grove.

I’ve witnessed first-hand the passion that our educators have for teaching, and their desire to give students a challenging, quality classroom environment. 

To equip teachers with the innovative tools they need, the foundation provides learning grants.

We receive numerous grants requests from teachers each year, and our committee reviews and carefully considers each one before deciding the final award recipients. We always are blown away by the creativity and thoughtfulness of each proposal, and proud to support those projects we believe will make a difference to students. 

This year, the foundation awarded more than $16,000 in grants to support our educational entrepreneurs.

The science department at North High will incorporate the use of robotics in the physics curriculum, addressing a fundamental component of the state’s new science standards.

The fine arts department at South High School is set to receive iPads and Apple TVs to enhance music education.

Special services departments will receive a garden walkway, funding for the startup of a Special Olympics basketball team and a therapeutic trip to Iron Oaks Adventure Center.

In addition to grants, the foundation also provides scholarships. On behalf of an anonymous donor, North High 2013 graduate Sarah Brzezinski will receive a $5,000 scholarship to study science in college.

The quality of our schools and the vitality of our community are intertwined.

Whether you’re a community member, parent or alumni, we’re all connected to our schools and have a vested interest in their continued success.

If you’d like to learn more about the foundation, please visit our tents at the homecoming football games in the fall: the North High game is Friday, Sept. 27 and the South High game is Friday, Oct. 18.

In addition to providing a warm, dry spot, the tent also will be a place to socialize and connect with others who care about our students. I hope you will join me at one (or both) of the homecoming tents!

Eric Olson is a Downers Grove resident, South High graduate and principal and architect at ARCON, an architectural and construction firm in Lombard. He currently serves as the president of the District 99 Education Foundation.

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