CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation (CUSF) Board of Directors “Prize Patrol” handed out souvenir checks to 182 teachers in Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana School District on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Executive Director Kelly Hill said the checks help funding 113 new school projects for over 10,000 students.

Teachers Bradley Benner and Megan Tipton submitted a grant proposal for Drums Alive for PE and Music program and received a check from CUSF on Wednesday. With the grant, Drums Alive for PE and Music program will be able to provide brain and whole-body activities integrating physical, social and emotional health with rhythm and movement-based activities. 500 K-5 students in Urbana will participate in this, according to officials.

“We are excited to merge rhythms and physical activity providing opportunities for students to use their brains and bodies to express their emotions,” said Tipton.

Funds were given to many other places. For instance, a fish tank with live jellyfish for Centennial biology students will be purchased. In addition, K-5 students at Dr. Williams Elementary will have an opportunity to research monarch butterflies. At Franklin middle school, 8th graders will be reading new books with young protagonists who come from different backgrounds and experience unique challenges. 6th graders at International Prep Academy will have a chance to participate in sculpting and printmaking with new supplies.  At Urbana high school, 76 high school music students will participate in an in-depth study of composer Aaron Copeland. Funds will be used to purchase music and invite guest artists to support students as they study, learn and perform the works of Copeland. 

CUSF expects to award around $150,000 in teacher grants and student scholarships during the 2021-22 school year. The mission of the Foundation is to invest in educators and students by supporting creativity, innovation and excellence in Champaign and Urbana public schools. For more information, or to donate and support these grants, contact Executive Director Kelly Hill at or 217-398-2873.

A full list of the 2021-22 funded projects and photos can be found here.