Ramarro Lamar named 2017 “Great Starts in District 61” honoree

April, 2017  The Darien District 61 Educational Foundation is proud to announce that Ramarro Lamar is this year’s recipient of its “Great Starts in District 61” award. Ramarro is currently a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, having been awarded a Marine Corps National Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship. He attended sixth, seventh and eighth grades at Eisenhower Junior High. Many teachers and staff members remain very special to Ramarro. “My memories at EJH are great and they really molded me into the person I am today.” Read more about Ramarro Lamar.

Foundation awards $9,500 to launch, expand reading programs

August, 2016  “That kid has his nose in a book every time I see him.” Those are words that would probably make a teacher or librarian swoon. And parents too! Mission accomplished, they might say–students who are proficient readers and truly love to read. That’s also the objective of two annual grants awarded this school year by the Darien District 61 Educational Foundation. The $9,500 in total funding to Mark DeLay and Eisenhower Junior High will purchase books for use in programs designed to foster reading as a community activity—as well as an independent endeavor. Read more about the grants.

Foundation awards two grants to promote the love of reading

August, 2015  In the collaborative world of education, it’s important for everyone to be “on the same page.” That means teachers, administrators, parents and students are part of one team, striving for the same goal. It also holds true for two literacy-oriented grants the Darien District 61 Educational Foundation has awarded to teachers at Eisenhower Junior High and Lace School. Both grants–a total of $9,000–are designed to nurture the love reading and build broader communities of readers. While everyone participating in the programs won’t literally be on the same page, they will be reading the same book at the same time.   Read more

Foundation teacher grants break the record

May, 2015  The Darien District 61 Educational Foundation set a record for teacher grants awarded during the 2014-2015 school year, with funding of nearly $14,000. This school year, the Foundation awarded its first mini-grants, approving 10 totaling $4,525. Two annual grants were given at the beginning of the school year, totaling $9,325. We couldn’t have done it without the community’s support. Learn more about the grants awarded

Foundation awards two grants targeting literacy

September, 2014  The family that reads together learns together–and grows together. That’s the principle behind one of two grants the Darien District 61 Educational Foundation has awarded for the 2014-15 school year to teachers at Lace School. The community-wide program focuses on learning through a shared reading experience. The second grant will fund a “listening literacy center” using iPods to offer students more tools and strategies to improve their reading skills. Together the two grants are worth more than $9,300… Read more

Thank you! It was another spectacular ‘spring’!

June, 2014 The Darien District 61 Educational Foundation board of directors would like to thank all of our friends and sponsors who helped make the foundation’s 3rd Annual “Spring for Education” raffle another success. This year’s raffle proceeds will help continue to advance the foundation’s mission: to provide supplemental funding for programs and initiatives to enhance the quality of education for students in Darien Public School District #61. The foundation has now awarded more than $20,000 in teacher grants and other student assistance since 2010.

Grant to expand use of iPads at Lace, Mark DeLay schools

August, 2013 Whether it’s the Internet, Smart Boards, tablet computers or other devices, technologies are leading to new advances in education. The Darien District 61 Educational Foundation is proud to be playing a critical role in expanding access to these tools in the classroom. For the 2013-14 school year, the Foundation has awarded a $3,500 grant to Mark DeLay and Lace schools for the purchase of 10 iPad Mini’s—five for each school—and specialized apps for the schools’ resource rooms. … Read more

Foundation teacher grants set record for number and amount

August, 2012 The Darien District 61 Educational Foundation has awarded four teacher grants for the new school year totaling more than $7,900, setting a record in the number of grants and the amount of funding.  In the past two years, the foundation has awarded a total of nearly $16,000 for teacher grants and student assistance. Read about this year’s grant recipients.

Foundation awards three teacher grants for 2011-12 school year

August, 2011 The Darien District 61 Educational Foundation has awarded three educational grants worth a total of more than $5,400 to teams of teachers at Mark DeLay School and Lace School, all designed to help students learn to read and love to read. Funds will be used to purchase books, educational toolkits and other resources to support the programs… Read more

Foundation establishes memorial fund to honor Miss Kelly

December, 2010  Maureen Kelly was a much beloved educator in Darien School District 61. She spent her entire career at Hinsbrook/Mark DeLay School, starting as a teacher’s aide, then teaching 4th and 6th grades for 19 years, and finally serving as principal for 14 years before retiring in 2009. Sadly, her much anticipated retirement was cut short when she passed away in November 2010 at the age of 59….Read more

Foundation awards first grants

September, 2010 It was an extra exciting start to the school year for three District 61 teachers. At the kickoff of the Teachers’ Institute held Aug. 26 at Eisenhower Junior High, the Darien District 61 Educational Foundation announced the recipients of its first educational grants–two $500 awards for the 2010-11 school year.

The first grant was awarded to Cheryl Halla, Reading Specialist at Mark DeLay School, for her Guided Reading Support project — a Leveled Library for Guided Reading in grades K-2.  The second grant went to Hollie Hickey and Ashley Burg, ELL (English Language Learner) teachers at Lace Elementary School, for their Enhanced Learning by iTouch project — Enhanced Instruction for English Language Learnersin grades 3-5.