NEWS BRIEFS: Author Duo Engage Kids in the Love of Reading

September 19, 2017

On September 17, Glenview residents of all ages gathered in Jackman Park to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Bear statue, which has symbolized the great sense of community and strength that emanates throughout the village. 

Willowbrook School's first through fifth grade choir (with music teacher Kurt Barker) performed Mr. Barker's song about the Bear titled,

On September 17, Glenview residents of all ages gathered in Jackman Park to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Bear statue, which has symbolized the great sense of community and strength that emanates throughout the village. Willowbrook School's first through fifth grade choir (with music teacher Kurt Barker) performed Mr. Barker's song about the Bear titled, "Hug the Bear." We are proud!



Keep Up With Principal Scott Carlson - Read His Weekly Blog!

Click on the link to be connected to Mr.
Carlson's insightful blogs all year long at

Mr. Carlson's most recent blog was a reflection on the Patriots Day assembly that was held on September 11.

"The spirit of service and community exists at Willowbrook School and in District 30 all of the time.  On September 11, we were reminded of our responsibility to help others in need.  I am sure the recent natural disasters in Houston and Florida are on all of our minds."

Read the rest of his blog at

Author Duo Engage Kids in the Love of Reading

On September 19, two was better than one, when it came to the author duo that visited third through fifth graders at Willowbrook School. Librarian April Eichmiller welcomed authors Steven Bramucci and Varian Johnson.

The writers talked about their passion for reading, travel and education. They engaged students with questions like, "What is your favorite book?" and "What is your favorite holiday?"

Mr. Johnson said that he has always been interested in fiction, but that he also enjoys math and science. He spent years as an engineer designing bridges before receiving an MFA, and writing his books.

Some of Mr. Johnson's books include "The Great Greene Heist", "To Catch a Cheat", "Faculty at VCFA MFA". Coming in 2018 is "The Parker Inheritance." His website:

Mr. Bramucci is an editor, self-described "vagabond-at-large" for Uproxx Life. He told the kids to think about who is their inspiration, and build on their interests from there.

His books include "The Danger Gang and the Spirit of Adventure" and "The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo." His website:

To guarantee a personalized copy of their books, click on this link:


Popsicles Bring out the Friendship in Everyone

On September 18, Wescott and Willowbrook School first graders convened for the annual Popsicles in the Park at Willowbrook's playground. This activity is sponsored by the Willowbrook PTO!

Everyone enjoyed meeting up with old friends, seeing former teachers and staff. Principals Scott Carlson and Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley visited with excited students and their parents.

Willowbrook's Choir Performs at Jackman Bear's 100th Birthday Celebration

On September 17, Glenview residents of all ages gathered in Jackman Park to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Bear statue, which has symbolized the great sense of community and strength that emanates throughout the village. Read all about Jackman Park and the history of the bear statue and more at

Northbrook/Glenview School District 30's Willowbrook School choir (with music teacher Kurt Barker) and Maple School's symphonic band (with band director Mike Vecchio) performed uplifting songs honoring the statue. It is interesting to note that there is a photo in Glenview's archives, of the Maple band at the Bear fountain's dedication on September 15, 1917.

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian Wegley (with his wife Kathy) commended the students on their performances. Willowbrook School Principal Scott Carlson and his family attended; and he expressed pride in the groups. Also attending the celebration were Maple School Principal Dr. Nate Carter and Assistant Principal Betty Holzkopf. They heartily congratulated the band and choir for their performances.

Bernie's Book Drive is Underway

The PTO is currently running a gently used book drive for Bernie’s Book Bank  through October 2. The school book drive goal is 1,500 books. Collection bins are lined up in Willowbrook's front hallway.

PTO Book Fair Runs from September 26-28

The Willowbrook School Book Fair takes place from September 26-28. This year Anderson’s Bookfair Company will host the Book Fair.

"We hope everyone will be able to attend and help support our PTO by purchasing books. Please stop by and see all the new books we will have! Each class will have an opportunity to visit the book fair. This will give the kids time to look at the books and fill out their wish list. We will have a special table featuring the Battle of the Books and will be located in the library," echoed Book Fair committee chairs Adriana Webb, Christine Langfield, and Melissa Dore.

The Online Book Fair runs all year, 365 days. Just log onto:

Simply enter school name (Willowbrook) and city (Glenview) during checkout to get benefits for the school. All items purchased online ship directly home.

Book Fair Dates and Times:

Tuesday, September 26

9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 27

9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 28

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley Presents Update on New Maple School at Willowbrook PTO Meeting

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian Wegley spoke to the Willowbrook School PTO, during a meeting held on September 15. He discussed the progress on the plans for the new Maple School; adding that Summer School would take place at Willowbrook in 2018, due to construction on Maple's grounds. He thanked the PTO and Willowbrook families for their support and dedication to all of the children at District 30 schools.

Willowbrook Walks!

Willowbrook's first Walk to School Day took place on September 15 with Principal Scott Carlson, physical education teachers David Goss and Carrie Bargowski, the Glenview Police and many staff members!

 This Week’s Storify from Technology Integration Specialist, Stacy Rich

What’s happening at Willowbrook? Collaboration, cooperation, innovation and engagement and play can all be seen in our Storify! This week at Willowbrook you will find students participating in many new and exciting experiences.

Who was walking the Walking School Bus? Who's learning about phishing in DigitalCitizenship? What is Zero the Hero? Which class is partner reading? Who is working with math manipulatives? Check out the tweets here and to find out! Follow us @ #d30learns #WBplays or

Walking School Bus Fall Dates:

 Teachers are encouraged to join the walking school bus.  The sign-up is on the white board across from Principal Scott Carlson's office. Participants will meet at 7:50 a.m. in the teacher's lounge before heading out to the streets!

• Wednesday, October 4 - National Walk to School Day

• Thursday, November 2

For those that are new to Willowbrook, the Walking School Bus is a program where teachers and staff from Willowbrook Elementary School will walk throughout the surrounding neighborhood, picking up students and parents, starting at 8 a.m., and taking them to school.

If you or your children are interested in joining us, please make sure to be ready and on your driveway at 8:00 a.m. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Mr. Goss by email ( or phone (847-400-8813).

October is National Principals' Month

Tweet from Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley, "Proud of Willowbrook Principal Scott Carlson @willowbrook30 & State Representative Laura Fine IPA as they advertise the importance of Principal for a Day with local legislators!" #d30learns

On-Line Parent/Teacher Conference Sign-Up Runs through September 22

School District 30’s on-line parent-teacher conference sign up for elementary grades opened on Wednesday, September 13 and runs until 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 22.

 Third Grade Intramural Sports Club Begins October 3

Willowbrook School will be offering an Intramural Sports Club to third graders beginning on October 3. The Intramural Club will be a chance for the students to gain a deeper understanding of several sports through various small sided games and formal competition!

This is for children with a serious interest in playing sports, so if you sign up, be sure your child is willing and ready to put in 100 percent. Intramural Club will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:10 p.m.-4:10 p.m., October 3 through October 26. Mrs. Bargowski and Mrs. Netzly will run the Intramural Club. Please use the link to complete the google form:

**All physicals must be less than a year old, and competed prior to the first day of the Intramural club.

**There will be an Intramural Club for fourth and fifth graders starting in late fall.


Willowbrook Remembers 9/11 on Patriot Day

On September 11, Willowbroook School Principal Scott Carlson welcomed students and staff to the the September Patriots Day assembly. Everyone sang the "National Anthem" and recited the "Pledge of Allegiance."

"Today is a special day in America. The flag is flying at half-mast. Schools, buildings and businesses all over the country are flying their flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset in honor and remembrance of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001," he said.
Mr. Carlson introduced honorary first responders from the North Shore and thanked them for their dedication and service to the communities at large: Battalion Chief David Schweihs of the Northbrook Fire Department; Firefighter Paramedic Peter Goss of the Highland Park Fire Department;  John Madden of the Chicago Police Department; Officer Dan Marsh of the Glenview Police Department; Office Dustin Kauth of the Des Plaines Police Department; and Landon Girard of the Wilmette Police Department.
John Madden of the Chicago Police Department and Battalion Chief David Schweihs of the Northbrook Fire Department were two of six first responders honored at Willowbrook School’s Patriots Day assembly that was held on September 11.

"First responders are fine examples of people in the community who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Their service to the community can inspire us all. They deserve our respect and gratitude. Gentlemen, thank you for your service," stated Mr. Carlson.

He reminded everyone that the spirit of service and community exists at Willowbrook all of the time; and that at present, many people are reminded of the responsibility to help others. 

The recent hurricanes and earthquakes have affected so many people in the world. More information will be shared soon, on how the District 30 community can pitch in and help others who are victims of these natural disasters.

Accompanied by music teacher Kurt Barker on the piano, the assembly concluded with everyone singing the song, "My Country Tis of Thee."

KidStuff Coupon Books On Sale Now!

At the PTO Welcome Meeting held on September 7, Maple School PTO Co-Presidents Dianne Larsen and Tara Wesselink were enthusiastic, as they talked about this year's activities, fundraisers, and environmental activities.

"Currently, we are selling the KidStuff Coupons Savings Book to raise money for our school! Books are $25.00 and we earn 50 percent profit! Residents can save a lot of money with hundreds of coupons for shopping, activities and food!" said Ms. Larsen. 

Those who choose to take advantage of this savings, can send in $25.00.  Checks should be made payable to "Maple PTO," in an envelope marked "PTO Coupon Book", with a resident's name and child's name. Additional coupon books may be purchased!

Questions? Contact Lisa Buchanan, Maple PTO Treasurer at

For more information --

Willowbrook Spiritwear Now Available through September 22!

Willowbrook Spiritwear is now available for purchase! Please click on the link below to order Spiritwear and show that Willowbrook pride!

The online store will close on September 22, 2017.


Author Julia Durango Shares Her Love of Language with Students

On August 31, Illinois-based author Julia Durango came to Willowbrook, and shared her love of languages and her new book with kindergarten through second graders.

The new book is titled "The One Day House," and it focuses on community and togetherness, showing that by helping others we help ourselves. It was Inspired by a friend's volunteerism. Further information about Labor of Love, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity is included at the end of the book.

As a mother of two sons and a former school librarian, Ms. Durango drew upon her experience with a variety of literacy strategies throughout the presentation. She incorporated book-based activities, by displaying single words with accompanying illustrations in different languages. Everyone repeated them in unison. One of the words was "Hurray", translated into Italian, Vietnamese, then English.

"You just learned words in 30 different languages," she told the children.

She then introduced her sister Sherry to help her create a bit of impromptu theatrics with 10 kids from the audience. They were encouraged to act as "dancing monkeys," based on her book "Cha-Cha Chimps", with teacher Ann Angel.

This author visit was coordinated by new librarian April Eichmiller. There will be another author visit for older students in late September.

For information about author Julia Durango go to

2017 Character Counts! Entries Due September 25

In conjunction with CHARACTER COUNTS! in Glenview’s annual fall poster contest, the organization is launching the fifth year of the video contest. Instead of posters, they are asking students in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades to create videos of between one and two minutes. New this year is the addition of the fifth grade to the video component. Kindergarten through fourth grades will continue to create posters.

Last year there were more than 100 uplifting and imaginative entries. 

Students in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades are being asked to create a one-to-two minute video that illustrates:  one or more of the Six Pillars of Character: trusworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship; or show how the 100-year old Jackman Park Bear contributes to the character of Glenview.

All this information can also be found on the Character Counts website at Also on the website is a 1-minute instructional video about the contest, which can be viewed here: And view the first four years of winning videos here:

The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 25. First-, second- and third-place winners in two categories – 5th-6th and 7th-8th – will be recognized and awarded cash gift cards generously donated by the Kiwanis Club of Glenview-Northbrook at the Tuesday, October 17 Village Board of Trustees meeting.

"Work Hard - Play Hard"

This year’s schoolwide theme is “Work hard, play hard”. Willowbrook will use #wbplays on social media.

"We know that play is the 'work of the child' and is an important vehicle for social learning, motivation and academic engagement. I encourage the staff to think about what play, structured and unstructured, looks like with students at your grade level. Our Play Committee will be working to incorporate this theme into the school year," stated Mr. Carlson.

Willowbrook and Wescott Schools are listed as two of the top ten elementary schools for real estate in Northbrook in