Service Spotlight

Students & Staff Doing Great Things in D158

Throughout the school year, District 158 students and staff participate in a wide variety of service projects to benefit organizations and individuals in our community and around the world. These projects not only make a big difference for those who are the recipients of these good works, they also cultivate a spirit of giving, civic responsibility, generosity and compassion in the next generation of leaders.

We hope you enjoy reading about the hard work of our students and staff in service to the community and beyond.

“Huskies at Your Service” Conducts Book Drive

Martin Elementary School’s student group, “Huskies at Your Service”, headed up by fifth graders from the school, worked together to coordinate a Book Drive as an all school service project. Held for just under three weeks, the book collection drive yielded over 2,000 books and filled nearly 40 boxes! The new and gently used books were then donated to two local organizations, Sherman Hospital Pediatrics and SCARCE (School and Community Assistance for Recycling & Composting Education). 

Thanks to the students, families, and community members for your generous book donations!  For more information about SCARCE or to make a donation, visit

Staff Impacts the Environment in a Positive Way
at Chesak Elementary School

In an effort to bring recycling efforts to the forefront of the minds of staff members at Chesak Elementary, kindergarten teacher, Kristina Hodge, challenged the staff to bring in disposable plastic grocery bags for collection and recycling.

Seven additional school participated in the recycling drive and collected a total of 1,488.75 pounds of plastic bags. Chesak was clearly the ‘heavy-weight’ champions by collecting over 331.5 pounds of plastic bags!

Congratulations Chesak staff members for impacting our environment in a positive way.

‘Penny War’ Assists Children with Brain Tumors and Trauma
Marlowe Middle School

When students at Marlowe Middle School are given a challenge, they come through in a big way! For one week, teams challenged each other in a ‘Penny War’ in which pennies were brought in to be donated to “Opening Doors for Teagan”, a non-profit organization established to help children with brain tumors and other trauma.

A little competition created an amazing atmosphere for the students to be a part of and learn how to help a worthy cause. Day 1 brought in $78.26 and the donations increased each day with $1,601.84 being donated on Day 5. At the end of the five day event, a grand total of $3,094.63 was donated to “Opening Doors for Teagan”.

This year’s community service project will conclude at the end of the school year when over 300 students and teachers will “stay on track” and participate in a 24-hour walk-a-thon. All proceeds from pledges will be donated to “Opening Doors for Teagan”.

Team Makes Big Score for Grafton Food Pantry
Huntley High School

Members of the Huntley High School football team came up with a game plan to make the holidays brighter for area children in need. Under the leadership of Head Coach John Hart, Coach Matt Zimolzak, and several parents, team members purchased, wrapped, and labeled gifts to donate to the Grafton Food Pantry. This effort resulted in a delivery of over 200 gifts for boys and girls within the community. The team’s motto, ‘The Promise’ states that the team will not only give their all to each other, but also promises to give back to their community.


Sentiments for Seniors
Chesak Elementary School

For the past 22 years, Chesak Elementary art teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Weichle, has been collecting handmade holiday greeting cards to cheer those community members who are confined to area nursing homes. This year, Mrs. Weichle enlisted the help of fellow teachers and their students at Chesak, Martin, Leggee, Conley, and Mackeben Elementary Schools from District 158, as well as Westfield Elementary and Jacobs High School in Algonquin, and Briargate Elementary in Cary to make the collection and distribution of cards a success. “This year we sent 1,705 cards and wishes to residents of 13 nursing homes: Rosewood Care Center, Asta, Maplewood, Sherman West Court, Manor Care, and Little Angels, all in the Elgin area; Crystal Pines, Fair Oaks, The Fountains, Sunrise, and Bickford, all in Crystal Lake; Eastgate Manor in Algonquin, and Three Oaks Assisted Living in Cary.

Staff volunteers from Chesak Elementary who delivered the cards this year included: Mrs. Katryce Lanspa, Ms. Jen Shamrylo, Ms. Jen Roser, Mrs. Kelly Williams, Mrs. Marina Allen, Ms. Crystal Evans, Ms. Sharon Davis, and Ms. Darcy Karouzos. Those who deliver the cards are as touched as those who receive them. “It is a wonderful thing to be remembered during the holidays, and to be remembered by children is just the best thing ever!” 

Donations to Toys for Tots
Leggee Elementary School

Kindergarteners from Mrs. Hernandez’s class each made a generous donation to the Toys for Tots program held at the K-5 grade building. Thanks to all families and students for their generosity!


Holiday Mail for Heroes – American Red Cross
Martin Elementary School

Fifth graders at Martin Elementary took to heart and put into action what they had been learning through the new Reading Street curriculum. Weekly themes asking big questions such as “Why do people make sacrifices for others?” and “What are the rewards in helping others?” motivated students to participate in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Students created cards which included notes of gratitude for the sacrifices the heroes have made on our behalf. As one teacher told her students, “I don’t know who will receive your card, but I know that the effort and kind words written inside will warm their hearts and lift their spirits.”


Staff Supports Yellow Ribbons
Marlowe Middle School

In cooperation with the Yellow Ribbon Support Group, students and staff from Marlowe Middle School collected small items such as socks, peanuts, toiletries, beef jerky, eye drops and candy that were placed in care packages. The Yellow Ribbon Organization picked up the items and delivered them to the soldiers overseas.


Students Walk to Honor Soldiers
Marlowe Middle School

In early November, seventh grade students from Marlowe Middle School honored soldiers by walking a 6-mile section of the bike path. Teams also collected donations of small items to be sent to the troops working in conjunction with the Yellow Ribbon Support Group whose mission is to support the men and women of active military forces deployed to foreign shores. The teams felt honored to make a small difference in a soldier’s life.


“It’s Hip to Hop” – Jump Rope for Heart
Mackeben Elementary School

Each year, students at Mackeben Elementary participate in the Jump Rope for Heart (JRFH) program sponsored by the American Heart Association. The JRFH program isn’t just good exercise and great fun – it’s educational too. Students learn about the lifelong health benefits of physical activity and the importance of a healthy heart. One of the benefits of the program is that it funds lifesaving research and education programs to fight heart and blood vessel diseases. According to the American Heart Association, these diseases are America’s No. 1 killer, claiming about 930,000 lives a year — a life every 34 seconds. This year, Mackeben students and families pledged nearly $10,000 for the American Heart Association.