CUSF Mission: We invest in educators and students by supporting creativity, innovation, and excellence in Champaign and Urban public schools.

On October 10 and 11, the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation (CUSF) Board of Directors delivered souvenir checks totaling more than $92,000 in Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana School District #116 schools. A record 232 teachers applied for CUSF grants this fall. The grant awards, supporting 130 new projects are part of CUSF’s ongoing efforts to invest in educators and motivate students for success in our local public schools. Every first-year teacher, across both districts (82 total), received a $100 grant from CUSF for use in setting up their new classrooms.

Londa Neely’s pre-kindergarten students at Urbana Early Childhood Center will be learning about aquatic life when they get their new aquarium through a CUSF grant. Ms. Neely says,” the aquarium will help students learn about what it means to care for a living thing, make scientific observations, and develop a sense of responsibility. We will also explore ecology, water quality, and tank care topics.”

Molly Hooper, International Prep Academy Middle School, and Amy Lozar, South Side Elementary will be partnering to introduce 300 students to various sewing techniques, ranging from hand sewing/embroidering to machine sewing to adding accents to their creations. Students will utilize mathematical thinking through the pattern-making and creation process as measurement and spatial reasoning are continually used in a good sewing project, as are geometry and multiplication.

Approximately 180 UMS eighth grade visual art students will have an opportunity to explore careers in the department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana thanks to a grant by Janice Knight and Rusty Clevenger, visual arts teachers at Urbana Middle School. In collaboration with Krannert Art Museum, Siebel Center for Design, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, students will attend one of three day-long field trips to University of Illinois campus to meet various experts who work and teach in Art and Design careers.

Each month throughout the year, Bottenfield 5th grade students meet with kindergarten students to work on different skills such as literacy, math, and science. CUSF grant funds will help the Bottenfield Buddies take the MTD bus to the Staerkel Planetarium on the Parkland campus to celebrate their success at the end of the year.

2023-24 Photo gallery