SPRING VALLEY — Project Lead The Way, a national nonprofit organization that provides transformative educational experiences for K-12 students and teachers, has announced that 26 rural Illinois middle and high schools will begin new computer science, engineering and biomedical science-focused programs this school year, thanks to $1 million in multiyear grant funding made possible by Astellas USA Foundation.
John F. Kennedy School in Spring Valley was one of these recipients and won a $20,000 multiyear grant to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum to its classrooms this year.
The grant will provide training to help teachers prepare students for STEM-focused careers, where job growth is expected to be twice that of any other field.
The grants are part of Astellas USA Foundation’s Rural Spark Project, which seeks to change STEM education in targeted rural areas for middle and high school students by supporting teacher training and exciting hands-on learning opportunities in the classroom and the community.
“Project Lead The Way is proud to partner with Astellas USA Foundation to ensure that students and teachers in Illinois’ rural communities have the same access to high-quality STEM education as their urban and suburban peers,” said Vince Bertram, the project’s president and CEO.
Grant funds will cover program fees, classroom equipment and supplies, as well as teacher professional development. Each school sent teachers to training this summer to prepare to implement Project Lead The Way this school year.