Announcing the 2018 Staszak Planning Committee

  We are two months away from our annual William C. Staszak Gala and things are starting to get exciting! This event is almost entirely planned and run by volunteers, and so our committee members are vital to the success of the gala. This year’s committee members are all current or past D97 parents. We […]

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kids in yoga pose

Holmes First Graders Go Zen with Weather & Yoga

It’s hard to cope with winter weather like this, but the first graders of Holmes may be able to help us all. Through our ArtStart program, the entire 1st grade class at Holmes Elementary has been working with Kim Vulinovic of YogaKids Oak Park to learn the benefits of yoga, while also studying weather and […]

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kids with rock and roll faces

Rock and Roll Grade School

Students in Ms. Cooper’s first grade class at Lincoln had an unusual subject for their history lesson this fall, rock and roll. Over five weeks teachers from Oak Park’s School of Rock came to Lincoln and taught the kids about the history of rock and roll and it’s place in our culture, as well as […]

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Last Year in Review

Curious about what we’ve been up to? The 2016-2017 annual report is now available for download. In this year’s report we share the voices of our donors, students, parents, and teachers, as well as our financials, and of course, some amazing photos of the year. If you’re looking for a more specific look at what […]

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cars made with legos

Simple Machines Change Lives

Third graders at Holmes finished their Geared Up study of simple machines by learning about a situation where a simple machine actually changed a girl’s life. The story from World Bicycle Relief is about 15-year-old Ethel walked more than two hours across hilly terrain each day to attend school in Kenya. With a bike, her […]

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poetry slam boy and audience

Brooks Seventh Grade Poetry Slam

Fresh off their one-week in-school Spoken Word residency with Spoken Word artist Christian Robinson, Brooks’ seventh graders were eager to perform their poems to audiences of parents and classes throughout the day the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Robinson started the proceedings by teaching the audience the rules of poetry slam audience behavior. After each introduction you […]

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Rain, Robots & Babies

Julian VEX Robotics’ competitive coach Kevin Berger shared his notes on a recent rainy Saturday morning practice. The rainy Saturday morning delayed the coaches’ arrival until 8:55, so we were delighted to be met by a crowd of eager engineers huddled under the overhang trying to protect themselves from the inclement weather that billeted their […]

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Irving 5th Graders Travel the World

After viewing over 40 images of famous architecture from around the world students at Irving had the chance to recreate their favorites, thanks to Architecture Adventure. Working in small groups, the 5th graders used recycled and found objects to create structures including the Taj Mahal (India), Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany) Falling Water (Pennsylvania), Petronas Towers (Malaysia) […]

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Drenched in Fun at the 2017 Open House

A rainstorm the morning of November 4 put a slight damper on the  attendance at our first Open House in two years, but everyone had a great time, and stayed fully engaged in the activities. Here are some highlights of what we did: Architecture Adventure encouraged kids to recreate architectural landmarks on a light table. […]

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Resource 1 Challenge Grant Announced

OPEF is thrilled to announce that Resource 1, a leading IT consulting firm in the Chicagoland area, kicked off a challenge grant campaign to expand exposure to our  VEX Robotics program. “We know that our financial support and commitment will help develop great scientific minds for our future,” said Anastasia Valentine, Executive Vice President and […]

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girl reading poem

Snaps for Spoken Word

  Our Spoken Word residencies are off to a great start. Our new spoken word artist, Christian Robinson, worked with more than 100 7th graders from Ms. Nefret Stringham’s Language Arts classes last week at Brooks Middle School. The 5-day residencies are planned to coincide with the students’ poetry unit and given them exposure to […]

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man at front of class

4th Graders Learn to Fall Fast

Dr. David Kupperman of Argonne National Labs gave Whittier 4th graders some hands-on experiences with gravity and its affects on objects in free-fall and on an inclined plane. He also showed them how to measure time without a clock, parents of 5th graders everywhere are hoping this proves to be a scientific breakthrough in getting […]

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