Dundee-Crown, Hampshire and Jacobs Students to Learn Ancient Art
of Alpaca Felting
With a grant from the School District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence, students from
each of the district’s three high schools will learn the ancient art of alpaca felting Sept. 20, 21 and 22, 2016, interacting
with these gentle animals on a local farm and using their silky soft wool to create one-of-a-kind art tapestries.
Fiber artist Susan Waldron will host a three-day
workshop at her alpaca farm located at 39W856 McDonald Road in Elgin, where the students will learn about raising alpacas,
harvesting their wool and processing it to make unique textiles and artwork. The farm will host 20 students from each
high school over the course of the three days.
Felting is a simple technique requiring very little equipment, said Hampshire High School art teacher
Laura LaRue, and it can produce a finished product in much less time than other painting and textile techniques. The tradition
of wool felting dates back to 6500 BC, she said, and most likely was discovered by accident as matted wool was noticed on
sheep or perhaps when stuffed in shoes for warmth eventually becoming stiff like fabric.
In Waldron’s studio,
students will utilize different felting techniques, including the traditional process in which layers of the wool are moistened
with water and pressed into a fabric-like material as well as needle-felting. They’ll also learn how the "painting"
process for felting parallels that of traditional painting techniques, using dyed alpaca fiber with colors that can be blended
and layered to create a balanced composition showing depth of color and space.
“The only machines used are your hands,”
Waldron said. “It is a wonderful way to teach all of the elements of painting--color, value, line and texture--with
the total freedom that all of these colored fibers give you.”
LaRue, who with art teachers Tisha Ellis at Jacobs and Kim Fuller at Dundee-Crown High School is administering the grant project,
said that introducing students to this time-honored technique will highlight a broad range of educational themes.
“The students will learn about Waldron’s sustainable production process,
as well as the link between farmers, farm communities, ancient production, and current art and studio practices,” LaRue
“We want to
drive home the idea that design thinking does not have to rely on expensive modern technology or supplies,” LaRue said,
“but rather can be born utilizing technology that has remained unchanged for centuries.”
The foundation funded a similar
visit to the alpaca farm for art students in 2011, when Waldron recalls students “fell in love” with the alpacas.
“For some of the students,
it was their first visit to a farm let alone an alpaca farm,” she said. “They were fascinated by the felting process
and were thrilled with their finished tapestries.”
To learn more about Susan Waldron and her Alpaca Farm, please visit:
www.susanwaldronart.com or call (847) 888-3934.
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.
District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence Announces Sixth Annual Otto Cultural Arts on the Fox
Algonquin, IL—The School District
300 Foundation for Educational Excellence will present the sixth annual Cultural Arts on the Fox April 22-23,
2016, showcasing outstanding student music and visual arts set against gorgeous views of the Fox River in historic Old Town
Arts on the Fox open house will take place on Friday, April 22, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm and Saturday, April 23, from
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm in the former Illinois Iron & Bolt Foundry building along the Fox River at 100 S. Lincoln Ave., which
was recently renovated by Otto Engineering. Admission to the event is $1, and all donations will benefit the Carpentersville
Boys and Girls Club.
musical performances, the event will feature:
Dundee-Crown High School Jazz Ensemble
Under the guidance of jazz director Mark Bettcher, who has performed professionally
with luminaries such as Tony Bennett, Ramsey Lewis, Gladys Knight and Phil Collins, the Dundee-Crown High School Jazz Ensemble
is one of the top student groups in the state. It performed at the ILMEA All-State Music Convention in 2014 and was selected
again to perform for the 2016 Convention. Bettcher started the Dundee-Crown Jazz Program in 1989 with a group of eager students
who rehearsed in the auto shop (the ultimate garage band) during their lunch hour. Twenty-six years later, after a continual
flow of wonderfully talented students and performances with numerous guest artists throughout the United States and Canada,
the program is swingin’ as hard as ever.
Jacobs HS Chamber Orchestra
The Jacobs High School Chamber Orchestra features 26 talented and dedicated students led by director Terry
Foster, who also serves as symphony conductor for the McHenry County Music Center. The Jacobs chamber orchestra has worked
with renowned clinicians including Robert Hasty of Northwestern University, Gary Lewis of the University of Colorado, and
Louis Bergonzi of the University of Illinois. In 2013 the JHS Orchestra Program commissioned a work from Michael Ippolito,
a music composition professor at Texas State University.
Hampshire HS Chamber Orchestra
The Hampshire High School Chamber Orchestra is an extracurricular, audition-based ensemble
consisting of nine talented and hard-working students who meet weekly to rehearse. While directed by Emma Leland, the Chamber
Orchestra is primarily a student-propelled ensemble, rehearsing together outside of class time to achieve a high level of
More than 1000
pieces of student artwork also will be on display, with college representatives on hand to offer guidance to those planning
to pursue art as a career and award scholarships to one student from each D300 high school. Students presented American Academy
of Art scholarships at last year’s Cultural Arts on the Fox include Dundee-Crown student Alexandria Escobedo,
Jacobs High School Student Isabella Friend and Juan Valladares from Hampshire High School.
“We are thrilled to be able to showcase the amazing talent of
District 300 students in such a beautiful setting for community members to come and soak it all in,” said D300 Foundation
volunteer trustee Mary Gross.
more information, please contact Diane Magerko, D300 Foundation Performing and Fine Arts Chair, at (312) 310-9156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view previous Cultural Arts on the Fox performances and artwork, visit the foundation’s website at www.d300foundation.org or our Facebook page.
About the School District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence
The mission of the School District 300 Foundation
for Educational Excellence is to enhance and extend learning opportunities for all students in in all D300, which serves more
than 20,000 students and is one of the largest districts in the state. Since its founding in 2002, the Foundation has raised
well over half a million dollars for District 300 schools and students. The Foundation focuses on four areas of impact: Literacy,
Performing and Fine Arts, Science and Technology, and Student Leadership.
Funding for the Foundation is raised through corporate partnerships, private donations,
and Foundation events. View some of the projects and grants the D300 Foundation has funded by visiting www.d300foundation.org.
About Otto Engineering
Tom Roeser, the owner of Otto Engineering, has changed the face of downtown Carpentersville
by restoring the buildings along the Fox River to a pristine level. Roeser recently was featured in CNNMoney: http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/02/real_estate/carpentersville-foreclosure/index.html. A large portion of the original Illinois Iron & Bolt Foundry building structure has been maintained in Otto’s
landmark buildings. To learn more about the site for our night of cultural arts, please visit: http://www.11westmain.com/Building_Pictures.html.
The D300 Foundation Musical Instrument Lending Library Receives a Special Gift from
The District 300 Foundation for Educational Excellence would like to thank the EFS Foundation for providing funding
to purchase new musical instruments for the D300 Foundation Instrument Lending Library. This grant award was the result of
a team effort by Craig Zieleniewski, Gilberts Elementary School Principal, Michael Kasper, Carpentersville Middle School Music
Teacher, and Diane Magerko, D300 Foundation Performing and Fine Arts Chair.
The money received from this grant
was used to purchase large, specialty instruments that are too expensive for students to purchase on their own. These
instruments include: a Bassoon to replace the one currently being used which dates back to the 1960s and is in disrepair and
a Euphonium and Marimba which will be new additions to the D300 Instrument Lending Library. Michael Kasper said, “Many
students that will be able to use the musical instruments being provided by this generous grant of the EFS Foundation, will
have their lives transformed. The educational and cultural benefits of playing a musical instrument are endless. Music stimulates
parts of the brain that are related to reading, mathematics and emotional development. Music helps improve learning ability
and memory by stimulating patterns of brain development.”
purchase of these new instruments for the D300 Foundation Instrument Lending Library will offer a wider variety of music to
D300 music students. Kasper continues, “Playing a musical instrument builds confidence in students. Through music,
with these instruments being provided by the EFS Foundation, more D300 music students will be able to express themselves in
their community in a positive way.”
If you have a musical instrument collecting dust on a shelf or in a closet, the D300 Foundation
asks that you please consider donating where it will find a new home in the Lending Library for D300 music students to access. This year, music students
from at least nine different schools borrowed instruments from the Lending Library. The students using these instruments
range from newly recruited fifth graders to accomplished high school seniors. If you wish to donate an instrument or
donate a monetary tax-deductible donation for the D300 Foundation Lending Library, please call Pat Ehmann at the D300 Foundation
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 through corporate partnerships, private donations and special
For information about how you can partner with the D300 Foundation and to
view all project grants the Foundation has funded, please visit: http://www.d300foundation.org