The Naperville Education Foundation (NEF) is the philanthropic arm of Naperville 203. They work to create opportunities for the students in Naperville 203, going above and beyond with the district and tax dollars can do. They encourages creativity, innovation, and excellence in Naperville Community Unit School District 203 students by helping every student take advantage of opportunities to make the most of their education.
Naperville Education Foundation vision
The Naperville Education Foundation’s vision is to enhance and enrich the educational experience of Naperville School District 203 students. Through grants and with the generous support of foundations, businesses, educational professionals, and individual donors, The NEF is able to provide financial resources that increase learning opportunities by supplementing school district budgets.
NEF provides funds for great ideas
The NEF works diligently to create opportunities for the students of Naperville 203. The NEF has awarded almost 1,000 grants that stimulate student engagement and learning experiences since its founding in 1992. Grant committees are comprised of representatives from the Naperville Education Foundation, Naperville Community Unit School District 203 staff, and the surrounding community.
NEF Annual Grants are awarded in the following categories:
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Fine Arts and Physical Education
- Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
- Literacy, provided through the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund
All NEF grants must be:
- Initiated by a District 203 staff member or student and support at least one D203 school
- Approved by the school’s principal
- Aligned to the school’s Improvement Plan and/or to a curricular area or standard
Naperville Education Foundation supports D203 students & staff
The NEF supports great ideas through their many programs and resources. They work to bring new ideas to life by funding Annual Grant, Express Grants and Business INCubator programs. The NEF also removes barriers to learning through the Kid Booster Anonymous and newly formed RISE programs. NEF helps to support and enrich each schools unique community by providing Before & After school programs and School Appreciation Grants to each school within Naperville District 203.
What’s new for NEF?
Recently the NEF has partnered with Naperville District 203 to launch the RISE program in Naperville elementary schools. RISE addresses the unique needs that arise when a student has significant mental health and behavioral needs that impact the ability to access and participate in schools’ high quality education. The program was able to expand from 2 to 7 elementary schools thanks in part to a large grant from the Edward Elmhurst Community Investment Fund.
RISE is an acronym for:
R = Removing Barriers
I = Individual Support Plans
S = Services for Students
E = Empowering Families
RISE has two main components:
- Removing barriers to mental health services by providing onsite services to eligible students before, during, and after the school day.
- Developing a comprehensive community wraparound process that allows Naperville 203 to be responsive and flexible to the individual needs of students and families in crisis and the many barriers they can encounter when trying to access the services.
Spotlight welcomed Naperville Education Foundation (NEF) guests Julie Beehler, Vice Chair, NEF, and Jenny Tank, Secretary, NEF.