Teacher Mini-Grant Program


one-five Foundation Kathy Buesching Memorial Mini-Grant Application Guidelines

2021-2022 School Year

The one-five Foundation is once again offering an annual mini-grant program open to staff members of Community Consolidated School District 15. These grants can support a wide range of opportunities for the students of the District with a focus on programs or technology.

Mini-Grant Timeline

Monday, September 20, 2021-

Grant application materials are published on the one-five Foundation website: www.one-five.org.

Monday, October 18, 2021 

Deadline to submit grant applications

Friday, November 18, 2021 (updated)

Grant applicants are notified of the final application decision

November 18-December 10, 2021

Teacher Mini-Grant Fund A Need - online fundraiser

Click here to support these amazing projects and read more about them below!


A.C.E. Tool Box

These A.C.E. (Adverse Childhood Experiences) tool boxes will provide various tools for learners in acute stress due to adverse experiences. The devices can help students calm down, learn resilience, self-regulate, and return to learning.


Building a Foundation with Family Literacy Bags

This project supports literacy bags that will be sent home with children to enrich the classroom experience. Bags will include fiction and non-fiction books and enrichment activities that parents and students can read and complete together, thereby increasing reading comprehension.


Diversify the Music Library

This project will support the purchase of music from diverse cultures and written by diverse composers. While students learn these pieces, they will also learn about the composer’s background and listen to music in the same style. The goal is for students to better understand other cultures' musical traditions and to provide diverse representation in the band literature.


Early Childhood Special Education Core Curriculum Language Advancement and Support

This project aims to increase the availability of books that focus on core words utilized in developing language acquisition to help pre-verbal and minimally verbal communicators. Goals include improving student performance and developing carryover of skills from home to school.


Inclusivity in Classroom Literature

This project will provide inclusive books that positively represent a variety of cultures, abilities, and ethnicities to provide students with authentic texts that allow for engagement in positive learning experiences surrounding a variety of cultural identities through characters and storylines.


Interactive Projector for All

This projector and the specialized table will allow students who use wheelchairs and have limited mobility in their arms to interact with the curriculum in more meaningful and engaging ways. This project will allow them easier access to interact with their curriculum and increase their learning.


Keeping the Peace – Silent Band Practicing

Many students need to practice in a space that requires them to work quietly. These devices help the loudest of the band instruments, including trumpets and trombones, to be played without sound, using a mute technology with headphones so that only the player can hear the music being played. This will allow band students to bring what they have learned back to the classroom.


Mirrors and Windows in the J.H. Classroom

One of the concepts developed in the English Language Arts curriculum is the idea that a book can be a mirror for some students to see themselves as well as a window for some students so that they can better understand others. This grant would provide for new books that would allow students to see diversity in a variety of fiction genres.


Pathway to Successful Learning

The goal of this program is to offer a sensory pathway in a common hallway at our school that can be used by every student, providing a controlled and guided movement break that will allow students to return to their learning environment and be successful in their classroom and work.


Peace Place

Peace Place is a space where children can go to regulate feelings, help their brains think, and learn again. Students can visit Peace Place when their feelings are so big that they may not be safe or they have difficulty learning and this peace place can help calm their brain and body down.


Sensory Path

A sensory path includes decals that are fun and motivating, creating a path in the hallway that promotes movement such as jumping, pushing, marching, and balancing. Movement provides sensory input that allows children to organize their bodies, allowing their brains to focus.


Sensory Supports for All

Now, more than ever, we need to support students' social-emotional learning needs. This project would help create sensory bins for instructional rooms and sensory wall decals for the hallways to help students achieve success by providing them the support they need so they are ready to learn.


Social/Emotional Academic Learning (SEAL)

This grant will provide funding to equip gross motor and calming sensory rooms with the tools that students need to work on self-regulation skills. Equipment could include noise machines, tactile wall panels, special furniture, and fiber optic lighting to assist students with Social and Emotional Disabilities.


Friday, April 29, 2022: Deadline to submit all receipts for reimbursement


Thursday, June 30, 2022: Deadline to submit impact report for the project

The Application Period for 2021-2022 is closed. 


Questions regarding the mini-grant process can be directed to Joan Scovic, one-five Foundation Vice-Chair, and Mini-Grant Committee Chair, at jscovic@gmail.com or 224-400-8530.

Over its lifetime, the one-five Foundation has donated more than $2 million to District 15 to enhance classroom learning opportunities.
Part of this funding goes to teacher mini-grants each year. In 2019, grants were awarded in two categories: Program Awards and Technology Awards. These grants spanned 15 of our Junior High and Elementary Schools and named over 30 teachers. Conyers Learning Academy was awarded $12,000 for a multi-sensory room and tools.

In the technology category, the 2019 mini-grant winners were:

  • Megan Sanchez, Paul Behen, and Jeff Donatowicz of Carl Sandburg Junior High, John Conyers Learning Academy, and Winston Campus  for “A Healthy Heart and Body for All Students.” 

  • Carol Coutts-Siepka of Plum Grove Junior High for “G.E.A.R. (Get Excited About Robots)”.

  • Emily Strand of Pleasant Hill Elementary for “Qball Throwable Microphone.” 

  • Jen Buelow and Nicole Mogilinski of Walter Sundling Junior High for “Launching our Ideas with Rocketbooks!” 

  • Carol Coutts-Siepka of Plum Grove Junior High for “emerging technology.” 

  • Katie Ruiz of Winston Campus Junior High for “Vex Robotics Competition.” 

  • Amy Schmidt and Sandy Ramsland of Jane Addams Elementary for “Audio Books for all.” 

  • Jessica Hennelly and Colleen Tapling of Winston Campus Elementary for “Portable Maker Space Classroom.” 

  • Jessica Busse, Jenny Orth, Carrie Holt, Heather Klikas, Katie Nawrot, Sarah Das and Nicole Perso of John Conyer's Learning Academy for “Multi-Sensory Room and Sensory Tools.” 

In the programs category, the 2019 mini-grant winners were:

  • Michelle Scott of Frank C. Whiteley Elementary for “Learning Through Movement.” 

  • Meghan Sanchez of Marion Jordan Elementary for “Hallway to Motion.” 

  • Carla O'Connor of Stuart R. Paddock Elementary for “Boosting Reading Levels with Playaways.” 

  • Katie Burns-Wojalewicz of Carl Sanburg Jr. High for “Using Picture books in the Inquiry Model to Engage, Exlore and Extend in the Social Studies Workshop style classroom.” 

  • Jamie Schaeffer of Winston Campus Elementary School for “Making Multicultural Literature Accessible to all learners.” 

  • Sue Major, Irene Salman and Michelle Pashkow of Virginia Lake Elementary School for “Student Centered Seating for Wellness.”

  • Melissa Warder of Lake Louise Elementary School for “S.E.L. Student Choice Classrooms.” 

  • Katie Dengler of Virginia Lake Elementary School for “Leveling Up Classroom Libraries.”

  • Allison Judson of Virginia Lake Elementary School for “Walking Wednesdays.”

  • Joan Thomas of Willow Bend Elementary School for “Butterfly Garden.” 

  • Laura Robinson of Winston Campus Junior High School for “Book in My Hands: Novel Study Groups.” 


Thanks to support from the one-five Foundation, in 2018 Conyers Learning Academy students were able to plant and tend to their own vegetable garden last summer and fall. The hands-on experience was tied into core subjects like speech and reading. A garden for 2019 is already being planned!