Programs & Initiatives

Thiems Grants

Named in memory of Dr. Russell Thiems, Superintendent of District 205 from 1983 to 1992. Dr. Thiems recognized the need to provide opportunities for students beyond what was possible through tax revenues. He then recruited community members to serve on the Board of Directors, and together they established the Elmhurst District 205 Foundation.

Thiems Grant Information

2019 Thiems Grants

Thiems Grant Highlights

  view complete $95,516 funding list
$55,357 in Elementary School Funding

  • $18,572 to pilot Logitech digital crayons for iPads in kindergarten & first grade at all eight schools
  • $10,935 to ensure that all elementary schools have a 3D printer

$15,288 in Middle School Funding

  • 360 degree multi-purpose goals for PE and bit-bots micro robots for Project Lead the Way awarded to all three middle schools
  • Google JamBoard digital display option pilot at Sandburg

$24,871 in High School Funding

  • House lights for York's Black Box Dance Studio to modernize the performance and classroom space
  • Thermal imaging camera and biotech toolkits for DNA discovery to boost science curriculum

2019 Grant Application Info


The deadline for 2019 grant applications was February 11.
Grants will be awarded in the Spring.
Click here for Application Guidelines to plan for future submissions.

2015-2017 Thiems Grant Lists

2018 Grant Awards


2017 Grant Awards


2016 Grant Awards


2015 Grant Awards


Annual Funding Amounts

Funding Amounts for Grants, Study Skills Programs & Resources


2018/2019 $193,238
2017/2018 $256,843
2016 $143,782
2015 $101,154
2014 $120,427
2013 $97,799
2012 $61,611
2011 $71,946
2010 $76,170


Study Skills Academy

Study Skills Academy

The additional assistance that students receive through the Study Skills Academies makes a difference and can be transformative.

Parents and teachers report increased homework completion, improved grades, better organization, increased confidence and ease with communication from students.

MAP data indicate that participants in the program have better than average academic growth compared to their peers. 

The District 205 Foundation's Study Skills Academy signature project began in the 2007-2008 academic school year with the goal of improving academic achievement by providing a structured environment outside of the classroom for students to get additional help. 

Every K-8 school is provided with funding and guidelines, but may structure the academy to best address the academic needs of their student populations.  Students are given instruction in specific curricular areas, assistance with homework completion and recovery, as well as help in developing effective time management, organizational and test-taking skills.  

Students are recommended for participation by staff, and attendance is governed by the individual schools' requirements.  The program is coordinated by one or more school certified teacher, and often utilizes volunteers from additional staff, the community or high school students from programs such as Invite to Teach or National Honor Society.

This year will mark the eigth year of the Study Skills Academy project, and we are receiving much positive feedback from teachers, principals, students and parents alike. 

Schools are asked to provide data utilizing various assessment tools (ie.MAP  scores) to measure the progress of students in this program. We are pleased to have data that reflects additional growth in participating students beyond the national average as well as the average of their peers in D205. We are also thrilled to witness less tangible achievements that are more difficult to capture on paper, such as an increase in student confidence, motivation and pride.

If you are interested in making a donation for or sponsoring this program call  630-617-2328 for more information. 

Quotes from Parents & Staff

"...I really need to tell you what a FANTASTIC-God-Send-Wonderful program that was for my son.  It made all the difference for him and he loved going to it. I think the one-on-one attention was great for him...It even built up his confidence. I am extremely grateful to whomever is responsible for the program and want to say thanks!"
Edison Elementary School Parent 

"The program provides a place for students who wanted to do well in school but were missing some of the tools to be successful"
Sandburg Middle School Program Coordinator

"Prior to ISAT testing,4th and 5th graders went through extended response instruction and expository writing instruction. Afterwards, Wendi (co-coordinator)and I received two teddy bears in a basket from one student. She stated that her writing had improved and she had done really well on the ISAT test as a result of the program."
Field Elementary Program Coordinator

"The growth and response from some students was amazing!"
Churchville Teacher 

"This program benefits the school community as a whole because those students that might need an additional boost are getting it through the academy."
Hawthorne Elementary School Prinipal

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Click here to see how we make a difference. Learn about our initiatives & this year's funding.