East St. Louis District 189 wins $600,000 national grant

News-DemocratApril 29, 2014 

East St. Louis School District 189 was awarded a $635,985 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to implement comprehensive physical activity programs.

The district is among 67 organizations that received grants totaling more than $33 million nationwide.

"We are extremely pleased to be a recipient of this grant, which will allow us to provide physical education supports that are needed throughout the entire district," District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver said.

"We recognize the important role that physical activity plays in helping our students achieve academically so we want to do all we can to provide them with resources that aid in their success."

The funding is intended to assist local education agencies and community-based organizations with initiating, expanding or enhancing physical education and nutrition education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

For more information on the grant program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/index.html.

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Highland High School and the Madison-Bond County Youth Council will host a career fair at Highland High School for ninth-through 12th-graders from 8-11 a.m. Thursday. During the career fair, students will hear firsthand from workforce experts about the knowledge, skills and education needed for specific career fields.

The career fair has more than 60 speakers scheduled to present. Students will attend four sessions during the event which will kick-off with a keynote from Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Robert Daiber and business owner/entrepreneur Dawn Mushill.

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Common Core is a controversial new set of standards by which educators are to assess the learning abilities of students and that's why State Sen. Kyle McCarter is hosting a Common Core Townhall meeting Thursday in Troy.

"I've heard from many people who are concerned about the Common Core standards and what it means for their children," said McCarter, R-Lebanon. "We will discuss the affects at the townhall meeting so bring your lawn chair, ask questions and get informed."

The Town Hall meeting on Common Core State Standards will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the gazebo in Tri-Township Park in Troy, located near the Wickliffe Street entrance.

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Approximately 50 East St. Louis High School students enrolled in the district's career and technical program visited the Metro-East Training Center in Belleville April 25 to learn about Ameren Illinois skilled craft trades and potential careers with the company. Students were able to interact with linemen, gas workers and substation electricians.

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These local students were honored recently with "Do The Right Thing" awards during an April 22 ceremony in St. Louis: Robert Luster from Union School, Jada Maggard from Jefferson School and Garrett Shanks from Westhaven School, all in Belleville District 118; Cloe Haas from Mascoutah Elementary School in Mascoutah District 19; and Helen Libby from Signal Hill School in Belleville.

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Belleville School District 118's "Drive Away Hunger" food drive collected 12,300 items this year, filling 10 school busses for four local pantries. District 118 partnered with Harmony-Emge School District 175, Belleville East High School, the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce and First Student Bus Company.

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Students from O'Fallon Township High School will compete against Fairfield in the fourth quarterfinal game of the 2013-14 season of Scholastic Hi-Q, WSIU Public Television's quiz show featuring regional high school scholar bowl teams. The half-hour episode will air on WSIU-TV 8 and WUSI-TV 16, the public television stations of Southern Illinois University Carbondale at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 4, with a repeat on at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 11.

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The Junior Optimist and Student Council groups at Central Junior High School in Belleville teamed up to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through the "Pennies for Patients" service-learning project. The students and staff raised $2,384, exceeding their goal of $2,200. In four years, the school has raised $7,414.

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Secretary of State Jesse White has awarded nearly $1.4 million in Fiscal Year 2014 School District Library Grants to 656 public school districts. Grants were awarded based on a formula of 75 cents per student, with a minimum grant award of $750.

The following local school districts were awarded $750: Belle Valley School District in Belleville, Harmony Emge School District in Belleville, Signal Hill School District in Belleville, Grant School District in Fairview Heights, Pontiac-William Holliday School District, Freeburg School District 70, Freeburg School District 77, Lebanon School District, Madison School District, Millstadt School District, Central School District in O'Fallon, Red Bud School District, Shiloh Village School District, High Mount School District in Swansea, Wolf Branch School District in Swansea and Wesclin School District in Trenton.

The other grant awards were as follows: Belleville School District 201, $3,553; Whiteside School District in Belleville, $985; Cahokia School District, $2,829; Columbia School District, $1,530; Dupo School District, $829; Granite City School District, $4,431; Highland School District, $2,211; Mascoutah School District, $2,605; O'Fallon School District 90, $2,541; O'Fallon School District 203, $1,874; Triad School District in Troy, $2,650; and Waterloo School District $2,023.

The School District Library Grant Program is used to acquire fiction and/or non-fiction books, educational CDs and DVDs, library subscriptions to electronic resources, and to improve technology by purchasing new computers or improving Wi-Fi connectivity.

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Mascoutah High School senior Taylor Damann was recently appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy class of 2018.

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An Althoff High School senior who seeks a career in occupational therapy in order to help others has been awarded the Rotary International District 6510 scholarship for a student enrolling in a four-year institution.

Rachel Kaltwasser will receive $5,000 to assist her in pursuing studies at McKendree University in 2014-15. She was presented the award during a celebration Sunday at Fischer's Restaurant in Belleville.

The Rotary district also awarded two $2,500 scholarships to Southern Illinois students intending to attend two-year institutions. Those recipients were Lebanon High School senior Parker Seeley and Meridian High School senior David Hileman.

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Four students studying vocational programs at the Career Center of Southern Illinois were awarded scholarships through the Jim Heil - Okaw Vocational System. The scholarship recipients are as follows: Victoria Trujillo, a senior at Red Bud High School; Brandon Maxeiner, a senior at Columbia High School; Kyle Steibel, a senior from Red Bud High; and Lucas Chandler, a senior from Valmeyer High School.

Do you have an item for Education Matters or an education-related story tip? We want to know about it. Send your ideas to Jamie Forsythe at education@bnd.com or call 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe.

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