"Spreading Warmth" Project Engages High School Students with Elders

A purposeful Illinois place-based project provides service to elders.

November 16, 2015 |

Central High School's Sandy Wilken and her students receive their Grants in Place award poster from Dave Ardrey, on the left, and Dr. Andrea Evans, back row on the far right. The quilts on display are examples of what the students will produce this coming spring.

Sandy Wilken and her Family and Consumer Science students were recently recognized for a place-based education project that merges a traditional craft with purposeful community service. Wilken, a teacher at Central High School in Clifton, Illinois, received a $1,000 Grants in Place award to support her students' Spreading Warmth program. In this program students work with community members to design and sew quilts for nursing home residents. The project will take place during the spring semester.

Rural School Collaborative board members David Ardrey, board chairman and executive director of the Illinois Association of Rural and Small Schools, and Dr. Andrea Evans, dean of the College of Education at Governors State University, presented the Grants in Place poster award to Wilken and her students.

Wilken's effort is one of 35 projects funded through the inaugural Grants in Place effort by the Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC). Launched in the spring of 2015, RSC supports place-based education, school-centered philanthropy, and purposeful partnerships, including the emerging Rural Teacher Corps initiative.

Currently working in eight states, RSC has a small administrative office in Cambridge, Wisconsin.

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