A+ Foundation for West Aurora Schools


Through the A+ Foundation for West Aurora Schools, Dunham Fund is supporting three projects that will enhance the STEM learning environment and the theatre curriculum at West Aurora High School and reading instruction in the West Aurora School District elementary schools.

STEM Learning Center at West Aurora High School / $1,000,000

The physical science teachers at West Aurora High School see the need to enhance student learning by offering advanced analytical equipment and class room space that encourage group learning. As students from the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School matriculate to high school, WAHS faculty and staff would like to embrace STEM School teaching and learn best practices to encourage student participation through hands-on learning opportunities.

Through partnership with the STEM School staff the high school can align its curriculum offering a smooth transition to high school with the desire to accelerate student performance. This $1M capital project has three main components including an update of the learning environment through classroom redesign and improved ventilation and electrical, the replenishment of existing scientific lab equipment and the addition of cutting-edge equipment and technology.

Literacy Through the Arts Elementary School Program / $347,856

This Dunham Fund grant will support the instructional staff, high school student mentors, instructional materials, IPads and purchased services and subscriptions for a three year “Literacy Through the Arts” twelve week after-school program in eight targeted elementary schools in West Aurora School District.

The objective of the program is to increase first and second grade student’s reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension as measured by the Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy (ISEL) and Performance Series, a nationally normed assessment. 720 students who are below reading benchmark on district assessments will be helped over the three year period.

West Aurora High School IHSTA Theatre Fest / $10,000

The $10,000 grant will cover the fees, hotel accommodations and transportation for West Aurora High School’s Drama Troupe 2013 to attend the IHSTA Theatre Fest which offers theatre and stage crew students the opportunity to attend workshops, explore college options, and experience other high school theatre programs. Three West High students out of 40 performers chosen from thousands of Illinois high school applicants will be performing in the Fest’s main stage show, “Sweeney Todd."