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Community Foundation announces Blanche Martin grant recipients

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, on Wednesday, announced the recipients of the 2020 Blanche Martin Mini Grant Awards.

The program was established by the Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International whose members are women educators from Boone and Winnebago Counties.

Blanche Martin Mini Grants are awarded to qualified Early Childhood through Grade 12 educators currently teaching in Boone and Winnebago Counties. The grants are used to fund special classroom activities, purchase education materials, attend workshops, or implement other projects that enhance or improve the quality of education. 

The six recipients for the 2020 cycle are: 

  • Aaron Reinold, Belvidere High School, “Integrating a Portable and Digital Tabletop Scoreboard into Physical Education Classes”: The scoreboard will be used daily in PE classes to allow greater versatility of both indoor and outdoor activities, keeping score and time, and allowing multiple activities to occur simultaneously.
  • Caitlin Treece, Midway Village Museum, “HerStory: Women Who Dared Event”: Saturday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Midway Village will host activity stations focused on women who have contributed to the advancement of various career fields and presentations on topics related to women’s suffrage. Reenactors, hands-on activities, and displays will educate participants about and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19 th Amendment.
  • Jennifer Timmer, Winnebago High School, “Into the Digital Age”: Students will learn about the sport of curling and how to calculate the coefficient of friction. Students will learn the basics of curling and the role of friction in this sport, then take a field trip to the Alpine Curling Club in Monroe, Wisconsin, to experience the sport (and the science) firsthand. 
  • Emily Klonicki, Rockford Public Library, “Every Child Ready to Read Literacy and Learning Kits”: Rockford Public Library will purchase the materials for literacy and learning kits, assemble, and promote the kits to families. The kits will be focused on the five literacy practices outlined by the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read model: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. Kits will be premiered in conjunction with the Rockford Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge.
  • Cynthia Heckman, Stephen Mack Middle School (Rockton School District 140), “Graphic Novel Author’s Corner”: Purchase graphic novels for use in an English-Language Arts class project.
  • Wendy Breit, Riverview Elementary (South Beloit CUSD 320), “Building Our Brains with Math”: Creating kits to be used in 2 nd grade classrooms that engage students in math activities using VersaTiles.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has been a regional leader in philanthropy since 1953. It serves as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for the needs of the people of Northern Illinois.

More information is at

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