MATTOON – The Community Foundation of Southeast Illinois is pleased to announce that it has awarded three Family Engagement Mini-Grants through the Mattoon Foundation Academic Excellence Fund.
Mattoon School District’s Birth to 3 program received $1,000 for its community thanksgiving meal project. A Thanksgiving Community Meal was held at the school on November 4 to build trusting relationships with families, school staff and community members.
Family board games have been included to promote family time and parent-child interactions, as well as an opportunity for children to visit the lending library and read a story with a Mattoon Public Library activity . Each child received a book to take home to continue with parent-child interaction time for reading and to support early literacy skills. Parents and/or adults received training on Celebrate Recovery while the children went to the library.
Dealership Diepholz donates to Rotary projects
Riddle and Williams Elementary Schools each received $1,000 to support the 7 Habits of Successful Families family engagement activity. This highly engaging opportunity for Riddle and Williams families features activities to introduce the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families through Stephen Covey’s book.
Three one-hour in-person sessions will be led by a certified social-emotional learning teacher. During the in-person sessions, families will participate in hands-on activities to demonstrate the “7 Habits” while learning to apply them to their own unique family units. To ease the burden on families, on-site childcare will be provided by MCUSD childcare supervisors.
Grand Prairie Friends adds a new nature reserve in the Villa Grove area
The Community Foundation has also awarded two community engagement grants through the Mattoon Foundation for Academic Excellence Fund.
Riddle Elementary School received $10,000 for the “Not All Classrooms Have Four Walls” program with the Douglas-Hart Foundation to improve the existing green space at the Riddle Arboretum and create a classroom exterior.
In 2003, teachers Nancy Brachbill and Ron Ghere created the Riddle Arboretum, which features many native trees, pollinator patches, and numbered poles. They worked alongside other Grade 5 teachers, allowing students to adopt a tree and learn about its characteristics and needs throughout the year.
To ensure Riddle teachers are comfortable with the Arboretum space, Douglas-Hart Nature Center staff will train all Riddle educators. These workshops will cover a range of topics, including the many benefits of outdoor education, how to successfully use an outdoor classroom space, and how to incorporate reading and math into the outdoor science curriculum.
Additionally, Douglas-Hart Nature Center educators will visit Riddle Elementary and deliver a comprehensive environmental education lesson with each K-5 class in the outdoor classroom, showing teachers real-life examples of how to use the outdoor space. .
Mattoon High School received $10,000 for Mattoon Community Reunion Week 2021 and Spring Careers Day. These projects will connect Mattoon High School students to the community in a variety of ways. Homecoming week activities gave students the opportunity to interact and learn about the many service organizations in the Mattoon area. It also exposed them to volunteer opportunities, which prepared them for service-learning activities later in the week.
In the spring of 2022, MHS hopes to add inspiration from a keynote speaker and hold a career/college day at Mattoon High School similar to what was held in 2019. MHS wants students to become more aware of career options and opportunities communities and begin building professional relationships with companies and alumni, which could turn into valuable internships and mentoring relationships.
The Mattoon Foundation for Academic Excellence was established in 1994 with funding from Consolidated Communications’ Earning for Learning Grant and became a fund of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation in 2005.
PHOTOS: A look back at Mattoon’s activities over the years