[from the fall 2007 issue of OPEF’s newsletter, Take Note]
This year, the Oak Park Education is bringing more experts than ever into classrooms to work with students! Our programs are growing, which means more architects, artists, scientists and technology buffs are opening eyes and inspiring young minds.
For example, this year Global Village* will expand to bring scientists into all 6th grade classes for year-long, hands-on residencies, in addition to the scientists already working with 3rd-8th graders throughout the district. Global Village is nearly doubling with 1,140 students working closely with scientists in 2007-2008.
Architecture Adventure is also growing. Launched in 2006 in the middle schools to take advantage of our community’s wealth of architecture and professionals in the field, Architecture Adventure is now reaching into the K-5 classrooms as well. We’ll have after-school clubs and an architecture summer camp later this year.
Our VEX Robotics Teams have dramatically increased their supply of robot parts and equipment, and added programming capability and adult supervisors since last year. The after-school clubs began in October for 6th, 7th and 8th graders at both middle schools. One of last year’s participants said of the program, “My favorite part of robotics is learning mechanics. I always wondered how stuff works and I found out.”
The Foundation’s budget has also increased, in part thanks to major grants from Community Bank of OP-RF, the OP-RF Community Foundation, the Oak Park Area Arts Council and Target. But the vast majority of our funding comes from individuals in the community, responding to our requests with generous donations. You’ve asked us to keep the momentum growing: to provide innovative programs in our public schools, to keep the community connected to the schools and to continue developing, funding and implementing exciting programs.
Our programs exist only with your support! To make a donation to the Oak Park Education Foundation, click here. You can also reach us by mail at 970 Madison Street, Oak Park IL 60302, or by phone at (708) 524-3023.

* The program is now named “Science Alliance”