Kaneland staff and students strut their stuff

By on May 14, 2009

An evening of pride for academic innovation
by Lynn Meredith
In an evening of presentations at the School Board meeting on Monday, Kaneland let the public see the projects that won awards and gave the district pride during 2008-09.

First-place award winning students Ben Brown, Brenda Myers and Jessica Snow presented the community book drive project, “Reading is a Gift,” that was singled out by Student Celebration Skills USA. The students collected 500 books, double their original goal, to donate to Hesed House, Educare and Kindercare in an effort to help break the cycle of illiteracy. Half of their fellow students at Fox Valley Career Center and 10 percent of the high school brought in books to the drive. The group plans to continue this project for the national competition and because it felt good.

“It gave us a sense of happiness knowing that we gave to children,” the students said.

Emily Curran explained the impromptu lesson plan at the competition that won her first prize. Director Larry Imel added that Curran was named Fox Valley Career Center Student of the Year.

The Kaneland Middle School “Red Team” presented its conclusion of the two-year Response-To-Intervention (RTI) pilot program that it brought to a national convention. The team has partnered with Northern Illinois University to implement the federally-mandated program, conducting research and visiting schools. The program has been used extensively in the elementary schools, but Kaneland is one of the few who are bringing it into the middle school.

“We saw that we were way ahead of other schools-both locally and nationally,” team leader Barb Landis said.

Kaneland as a whole received the Bright Red Apple award for educational excellence in five categories.

“This award is a testament to how powerful and strong we are in collaboration, in teachers thinking outside the box, in student performance and of putting student learning first regardless of our financial capabilities,” Curriculum Director Sarah Mumm said.