2011 News/Press

NEWS RELEASE  Monday, August 29, 2011   

For More Information  Diane Magerko, Performing and Fine Arts Chair, 
312 310-9156

The District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence and Target, West Dundee have partnered together to fund the second “Visiting Artist Grant.” 

CARPENTERSVILLE – The D300 Foundation is proud to announce the second “Visiting Artist Grant” for a select number of art students from each of the three D300 high schools, Dundee-Crown, Hampshire and Jacobs. On September 7th, 8th and 9th, fiber artist Susan Waldron will host a three-day workshop at her Elgin Alpaca Farm located at 39W856 McDonald Road in Elgin, Illinois. 

While visiting the Waldron Grove Alpaca Farm, students will have the unique opportunity to see more than 30 of these beautiful animals up close and personal.  Susan has prepared a special fiber art project for all the students allowing them to learn about the materials and create their own felt tapestry. 

Susan Waldron said, “We will be having a baby (alpaca) in September and it would be lovely if he or she would cooperate and be delivered during our high school workshop.” To learn more about Susan Waldron and her Alpaca Farm, please visit: 
www.susanwaldronart.com or call (847) 888-3934.  

The District 300 Foundation would like to thank Target, West Dundee for their support and for helping us fund this Fine Arts Grant.  We would also like to thank Laura LaRue, Hampshire High School, Carolyn Washow, Jacobs High School and Kim Fuller, Dundee-Crown High School for working with the Foundation to make this vision a reality.  

The D300 Foundation’s mission is to enhance and extend learning opportunities in all D300 schools. Since the D300 Foundation was founded in 2002, it has awarded nearly one half million dollars in local education grants – all made possible by private donations and special fundraisers.  

For information about how you can partner with the D300 Foundation and to view some of the project grants we have funded, please visit our website at: http://www.d300foundation.org.


CourierNews (July 2011): D300 students put education research to the test

HAMPSHIRE — What does tug-of-war have to do with raising test scores?

“It’s proven if you’re active, it gets your brain basically flowing,” said Dylan Meier, 17, of Algonquin.

“I don’t know the science of it.”

But Meier, a senior at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, and students in Community Unit School District 300’s high school Service-Learning Action Plan group do know the research.

That’s what inspired the students to organize the Healthy Living and Learning Camp this summer at district elementary schools. The camp is one of two this summer funded by grants from the District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence; this one, an $8,000 grant written by former Jacobs High School Assistant Principal Francesca DiMaggio.

“Once we stated learning about the achievement gap and summer learning and how it affects our district, we thought we’d figure out how to solve it here and help raise test scores,” said Laura Saldivar, 17, of Algonquin.

The Healthy Living and Learning Camp, offered by high school volunteers at three elementary schools as a pilot program this summer, focuses on tutoring first- and second-grade students in math and reading. But it also includes time for physical activity, and students are tested both before and after the activity.

That’s based on several pieces of research the students said they had learned at the National Youth Leadership Council last summer in St. Paul, Minn., like research showing that “peer-to-peer education is the best method,” according to Saldivar.

So, the senior at Jacobs High School in Algonquin said, “We thought it would be best for us to be teaching them because they look up to us.”

And, she added, “We read some research that the achievement gap really hits when they hit age 9, so we wanted to reach them before that.”

DiMaggio, now an education specialist in District 300’s reorganized special education program,, said the camp was offered free of charge to students who are from low-income families, need special help with reading or math, or were recommended by teachers.

Those students span “pretty much all the gaps,” she said. And Hampshire High School teacher Karen Bachta, also helping to run the camp, said that includes students with language barriers, low socio-economic status or who just are shy and don’t raise their hands in class.

“We’re hoping to see an improvement in their ISAT scores. It depends what they take from this,” DiMaggio said.

And, she noted, “They don’t have long — only eight days — so we’re not sure if we’ll see a huge jump.”

The first camp, held earlier this month at Westfield Community School in Algonquin, had 23 students.

Camps at Perry Elementary and Hampshire Elementary School started Monday and continue through Thursday. About 10 kids attended the morning camp at Perry early in the week, DiMaggio said, and that was despite the fact Monday’s storms took out the electricity at the school. About 13 came to Hampshire, including Bri Hernandez, 7, who lives in Hampshire and just finished first grade at the school.

“It’s fun because they let us do some fun stuff,” Bri said.

Like “playing in the gym,” said Gilberts Elementary School student Blake Kumor, 7, of Gilberts.

Bri said she thought the tests were fun.

“They’re sort of hard — and easy — but we try our best at it. They’re trying to test us and see what we know,” she said.

And that definitely met one of goals the students and teachers had for the Healthy Living and Learning Camp.

“That’s what we want — to get these kids exposed to summer learning so they love it even more when they come back,” DiMaggio said.

The D300 Foundation also awarded a grant this summer to Westfield Community School teacher Michelle Soland for a six-week program called Summer Brain Stimulus, according to the foundation. The program uses physical exercise, games and computer software to help third-, fourth- and fifth-graders improve their memories and make their brains more receptive to learning.

The nonprofit is committed to enhancing and extending learning opportunities in all District 300 schools through school, community and business partnerships. It has awarded nearly half a million dollars in grants, all funded by private donations and fundraisers, since it was founded in 2002.




The D300 Foundation for Educational Excellence has declared February "Love Your School Library Month" and is holding a book drive to celebrate.  Many D300 libraries need new or gently used books to replace old or worn copies.  Show a little love by donating books during the month of February.  Collection bins are located in each school's front office.  Call D300 Foundation Committee Chair Nancy Zettler at 847.844.7993 with any questions.



D300 Foundation and National Honor Society members volunteered their 
time over the Holiday Break to help with a HUGE mailing project
NHS Volunteers included (some pictured): (HDJ) Alyssa Menolascino, 
Tyler Cummings, Madison Hill, Scott Germanetti, Jarrett Wolske, Bradley Searle. 
(DCHS) Victor Barrera, Robert Medina, Erin Ulbert, Lizet Alba, Allison Griffith, Caitlin Emerson, 
Kelsey Hartland, Kelly Hof, Carrie Johnsen, Emma Gentile, Emily Wirkus, Julie Nemec


Additionally, the Foundation has renewed its call for volunteers!  Foundation leaders deeply appreciate the service of the talented volunteers who enthusiastically become involved in Foundation projects and events.  To create educational projects which directly impact the students of D300, the volunteers on Foundation committees work directly with educators in the areas of:  science and technology, performing and fine arts, literacy, and student leadership

If you would like information about volunteering to help on a Foundation committee or with a Foundation event, please contact Foundation Assistant Mary Gross at 847.551.8475.

Foundation grants are funded entirely through charitable contributions from businesses and community members, along with proceeds from the special events the Foundation hosts.  Please click on our Grants page to learn about the exciting projects the D300 Foundation has supported in all D300 schools!  You can also make a donation online or by mail.  Donations to the Foundation are tax deductable and directly benefit students throughout our school district.


Caroline Bayer, Riley Bernardi, and Isabel Bernardi help sort books at Westfield for the Book Drive
Trustees Cliff Berutti, Dennis Cleveland (top) and Debby Sosine (above) work with NHS Volunteers


District 300 website updated

Submitted by District 300 Foundation

When you visit the District 300 Foundation website, you may be surprised at all the changes. The marketing committee has been busy this past year with the foundation’s new look. The committee gave the Foundation a makeover, starting with the logo and brochure, then finishing with the website. The committee has retained the teal color that represents the District 300 Foundation, but has made some significant changes in its appearance.

“In 2010, the Foundation celebrated its eighth year and we wanted to provide a ‘makeover’ in its honor. The new look for the logo represents all the students in our district supported by a solid foundation of educational books while reaching for the stars. I believe the founding members of the District 300 Foundation had a wonderful vision and purpose for this organization and we honor that mission with respect and gratitude,” said Diane Magerko, marketing chairwoman.

Patti Douglas, a trustee and graphic artist, revamped the website to make it more user friendly and easier to navigate. Now you can visit the home page and download the Foundation brochure with just a click. The website has many new features, but one in particular makes it easier to donate to the Foundation. This new page allows the user to donate to the foundation directly with their Mastercard, Visa, Discover, Amex or Bank cards. You can also view the innovation and large project grants the foundation has funded since 2005.

“This has been a work in progress to create a new look, but the mission and vision remain the same for the D300 Foundation to enhance and extend learning opportunities in all District 300 schools,” Magerko said.

Since its founding in 2002, it has raised more than $400,000 for Community Unit District 300 schools and its students. The foundation focuses on four areas of impact: literacy, student leadership, science and technology and the performing and fine arts. Money for the Foundation is raised through corporate partnerships, private donations and foundation events.


Entries sought for D-300 juried art fair, festival

Date: December 28, 2010

Publication: Northwest Herald, The (Crystal Lake, IL) 

ALGONQUIN - The District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence and the Algonquin Commons Shopping Center are teaming up for the third annual Algonquin Commons Juried Art Fair and Fine Art and Fine Craft Festival.The event will take place Sept. 24 and 25 at the shopping center, 1900 S. Randall Road, Algonquin.

To download an application to be included in the show, visitwww.d300foundation.org/artistapplication.html.

The deadline for applications is June 30, 2011.