Helping Children Grow
Although the Grove Foundation is known mostly for its ability to support and sustain others, it has one unique program of its own that has greatly impacted dozens of young recipients. In 1998, The Grove Foundation started a recognition program called Helping Children Grow for fifth grade students in two District 58 schools. Since that time, it has expanded to include all 11 grade schools, plus St. Mary of Gostyn School.
"Helping Children Grow" is an award given to one fifth grade student in each classroom to recognize unique qualities not always present in traditional school awards such as work ethic, positive attitude, friendliness, and other character attributes. As one 5th grade teacher wrote: "The award comes at a perfect time when students are still figuring out things about themselves. It helps them learn about who they are and their impact on others of all ages. The award gives direction and motivation to boys and girls who may never experience the opportunity to realize their uniqueness."
Students are nominated by their teachers. Recipients receive a framed Award Certificate and book selected to fit their interest and reading level, which is purchased along with a gift card from Anderson's Bookshop in Downers Grove. Members of The Grove Foundation visit the schools to present the award, with the student often being surprised at a school assembly in front of peers, teachers and parents. The Foundation has received many letters of gratitude from both the winners and their parents.