Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club awards 26 teacher grants totaling $10,000

dgjwc teacher grants 2023

The Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club (DGJWC) proudly awarded 26 teacher grants totaling $10,000 to District 58 and District 99 educators. The Club’s teacher grant initiative has more than doubled since 2020, both in number of teacher recipients and amount of funding. This increase is credited to the generosity of the Club’s members and sponsors. 

"On behalf of District 58, I want to thank the DGJWC for supporting our staff and students through their Teacher Grants program. We appreciate the many new learning opportunities these grants will provide!" said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell.

The grants will support supplies to benefit students, or will support an educator's enrollment in a specific program, course or workshop to benefit their students. 

“The Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club is thrilled to provide funds to the incredible teachers in our community who are so invested in our kids’ education,” said Becky Bettinger, Education Committee chair for DGJWC.  “We are honored to have an opportunity to help teachers and benefit the kids of our community.” 

The grant recipients are: 

  • Christina Gamboa (El Sierra) K-6 - Professional Development- Dyslexia Specialist Cert $250
  • Ana Guihan-Islas (El Sierra) 4-5 -Bilingual Books $500
  • Meg Rohlfing (El Sierra) 5th- Biography Reading Materials $250
  • Julie Batkiewicz (Henry Puffer) 6th - Diverse Reading Materials $500
  • Heidi Carlson (Henry Puffer) Preschool-6 - Spotify Membership $70
  • Cailtin Choinski (Henry Puffer) PreK-6 - Emotional Coping Kits $500
  • Amber Schweigert (Henry Puffer) 5-6 - Professional Development- The Gifted Program $399
  • Zac Craft (Highland) K-6 - Zones of Regulation Tools- SEL $475
  • Sandi Hudecek (Highland) K-4 - White Board Film and Standing Desk $467
  • Cathleen Relias (Highland) K-2 - Reading Materials- Fundation Books $420
  • Michele Crowley (Highland/Lester) K-6 Professional Development- SEL $500
  • Janice Conboy (Indian Trail) PreK-6th - SEL Cooperative Play Activities $498
  • Kristin Fuchs & Matt Dennis (Kingsley) 5th - Guided Reading Novels $500
  • Nichole Szlembarski (Kingsley) Kindergarten- Personal Space Rug $370
  • Jen Conyac (Lester) 5th - Generation Genius Subscription $175
  • Lauren Snyder (Lester) 5th Flexible Seating- Bench/Table Combination $200
  • Christine Torres (Lester) 2nd - Sensory Processing Learning Tools $500
  • Catherine Boyce (Pierce Downer) 1st - Bridges Math Tools $255
  • Sabrina Breault (Pierce Downer) 1st- Multi-Sensory Reading tTols $354
  • Monica Eilers (Pierce Downer) 5th - Generation Genius Subscription $175
  • Beth Kamano (Pierce Downer) K-6 - Decodable Phonics Books for Beginners $267
  • Genevieve Hahn (Herrick) 8th - Discovery Learning Hands-on Kits $500
  • Katie Gorvett (O’Neill) 7-8 - Movable Art Display $500
  • Nicole Ferroli & Stephanie Potter (O’Neill) 7-8 - Library Books $500
  • Barry Kincaid, Kelsee Gilleylen & Charlie Caton (O’Neill) 7-8 - Emotional Calming Kits $500

The DGJWC also awarded Cristina Krein from Downers Grove North (District 99) a grant that will support an Advanced Self-Defense Instructor Course ($375).

During this year of unprecedented giving for the woman’s organization, the Club made the largest single donation in its history on Giving Tuesday in November. DGJWC presented three local charities with grant funding totaling $35,000: The Kids Equipment Network ($20,000), NAMI DuPage ($7,500), and Family Shelter Service Metropolitan Family Services DuPage ($7,500). 

DGJWC’s approximately 150 active members have also donated hundreds of volunteer hours to dozens of local charities throughout 2022.   

DGJWC’s giving efforts are made possible by the generosity of the organization’s members, sponsors and fundraising events. DGJWC’s Black & White Gala, its largest annual fundraising event, will take place on March 4, 2023. The public is welcome; tickets are available at