Each year, the D103 Parent Teacher Organization provides teachers in all three schools with grants to encourage and support creative and innovative learning methods that enhance the District 103 curriculum. The PTO provides upwards of $30,000 in grants annually. This year students received grants for:
Sensory processing and regulation materials
Accessories to upgrade live streaming events
Display boards for student work
Swivel robots for instructional coaching
Adjustable sitting to standing desks
Cricket Club materials
Links for Learning grants are supported by PTO membership fees, school supply orders, and spirit wear purchases.
“District staff members appreciate receiving these grants from the PTO as they provide the opportunity to pilot innovative curriculum, projects, and activities,” said Katie Reynolds, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.
Regarding the grant, IIP Teacher Ashvin Cherian said, “The SPED team's desire for new additions to the sensory room at Sprague is to provide each of our students with access to an array of preferred sensory tools provided in a quiet, calm space, as each student has a different "sensory profile."
“Half Day Music Teacher Ashley Smidt added, “Xylophones allow students to explore and play different melodic concepts. The bass xylophone/metallophone carts were added for mobility so students could move instruments and have easier access to playing by standing.”
Inspired by other teachers at Daniel Wright, seventh-grade math teacher Georgia Voutiritsas utilized the Links to Learning grant money to purchase flexible seating furniture. Based on research, flexible seating increases student focus. Mrs. Voutiritsas reported, “Now that we have the standing desks, stools, and ball chairs, students are eager to participate in math activities and are excited to learn.”