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Reading and Running

Spring brings in much activity at Plainfield School as students participate in the Reading and Running Progam.

Third, Fourth and Fifth graders read and run for miles. Each class has picked a place to travel. Their goal is to get enough miles as a class to reach their destination. Students rack up miles by running quarter mile loops everyday on the playground and by logging reading hours each night (each hour counts as a mile). Books are taken home from a Battle of the Books box. Everyday a question is asked about one of the books. If the class can come up with the right answer in five minutes they get 10 miles toward their goal. The school year may be coming to an end but we're still practicing good reading and excercise habits at Plainfield!

Volunteers Honored

On Wednesday, May 21st Plainfield School honored more than 80 volunteers who have served in various capacities at the school. An intergenerational choir, with students and Oakton Arms residents, entertained the attendees. Refreshments were served and Student Council members presented certificates to the volunteers. Every year, the number of community members that volunteer their time grows. Plainfield thanks you!

Parent Workshop Prepares Students for First Grade

A recent parent workshop offered to all kindergarten parents at Plainfield Elementary School in helping parents boost their children's academic achievement was a huge success. Parents actively participated in five learning centers with their children. The morning was offered in English and the afternoon was provided in Spanish. The centers were literacy based and designed to improve comprehension. The workshops were designed to give parents reading strategies that are used in the classroom that can be completed at home. The morning group featured a center about math problem solving. The parent-student activities are important at the end of the school year and are essential in first grade. Stories such as the Tiny, Tiny Woman, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No good, Very Bad Day, and No David were some of the stories that parents read with their children. Parents were also given materials to take home. Parents were asked to fill out a survey at the end letting Fuentes know what they liked about the workshop, and what other information and strategies they would like offered at the next workshop. " We had a great turnout," said Fuentes. "It was a great way for our families to get to know each other and see how the classroom works."

Oratorical Contest


Saturday April 12, the Optimist Club Regional Oratorical contest was held in Sterling IL with competitors from the Chicagoland area and the Northern counties of Illinois. Plainfield’s Miguel Hernandez, who won the boys section, represented Des Plaines. His speech was entitled, “Why me, Why not?” Hernandez now advances to the Illinois District Contest in Peoria on May 3, 2008. Well done, Miguel! We wish you continued success at the next level.


On Wednesday April 9th the Pre K through 2nd grade students at Plainfield performed Lemonade, a musical version of nursery rhymes. Two performances delighted students and parents. Mrs. Robinson, Plainfield music teacher directed.

Cubs Outing

The Plainfield Service Club went for their reward outing to see the Cubs play the Houston Astros on Friday April 4th.

Franklin Ignites Students’ Imaginations

It's electrifying when elementary students learn from a man in a wig, tights, a frilly shirt and black triangle hat. Recently, students at Plainfield Elementary School clapped, cheered, and listened during the performance by one of our founding fathers. They raised their hands eagerly and often to answer questions posed by Terry Lynch of Histories for Kids, in his role as the great printer and inventor Benjamin Franklin. Franklin ignited the students' imaginations about colonial life and science. He reminisced about his past, interacted with the students (some had a chance to play his wife and son), and explained how his political life, writings, and scientific inventions have influenced their lives.  

The Plainfield Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) underwrote the Ben Franklin Cultural Assembly.  

King Performance Inspires Students to Achieve

The increased need for students to experience educational activities outside the realm of the classroom is an important factor for Plainfield Elementary School.  That is why bringing outside educators to come into the school and present live hands on activities is vitally important.  Plainfield students experienced that type  of learning this week, when “Martin Luther King, Jr.” was performed for all K-5 students.

"Martin Luther King, Jr." is a one man show played by Roosevelt Johnson and is based upon the controversial character Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement of the 50"s and 60’s.  The program explored the life of the man from childhood, to the peak of his career and lastly to his death.  The program traveled through time with characters surrounding his life, which were expressed through songs, dance, monologues, and poetry.  Students had the opportunity to learn how Martin Luther King, Jr. made many transformations in his life from ignorance to insight through reading books and seeking honesty and truth.

This program, presented by Mobile Ed Productions, Inc. of Redford, Michigan also showed how Martin Luther King, Jr. came from a middle class family and how Martin made his transformation through education and reading in a Boston University for integration and non-violence.  Martin's father participated in the Garvienite movement and was a Baptist preacher and who, at one period in his life, had a hatred for white America yet through education discovered love for human life and fought for the rights of human beings.  Finally, Martin meets his untimely death at the young age of 39 by gunfire.

In an increasingly global and technical world, where violence abounds, the belief that we can be transformed through self–understanding, pride, and education is essential for young people.  The audience identified with Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who rose up through the power of education and insight, and they were inspired to heal their world as Martin tried to heal his.

In just a brief 45 period of time the life, times, and the influence Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had on America and the world became more relevant to the Plainfield students.

Plainfield Nano Nacres Advance to State

Lego Team

Tournament season is beginning in Illinois, and Plainfield students prepared and practiced so well for the Waukegan FLL Regional Tournament, which was Saturday, December 15, 2007, that they qualified for the State tournament and won the Judges Award.

Monday night, student competitors shared the results of an energy audit they had conducted at their school and demonstrated the robotic action that garnered gold medals with the Board of Education. The following students are members of the award-winning team:

Lucas Bednarski
Jose Espinoza
Alfredo Lopez-Leon
Brooke Winiecki
Miguel Hernandez
Victor Delgado
Luis Contreras
Kyle Sturgeon
Patryk Maka

Last year, Plainfield qualified for State, but they did not place as well as they would have liked. This year, with the help of their coaches, Carlos Rojas and Martha Pearl, students used their previous experience to refine their entry. The experience of three Algonquin Middle School students, who participated on the team last year, also contributed to the success of the Plainfield team.

Nano Nacres is one of the after-school activities offered as a part of Plainfield’s After School Academy.

Junior Achievement In a Day

Plainfield students engaged in a day long interaction with volunteers from a number of local companies in a Junior Achievement In a Day program. The companies represented by volunteers are GE Finance, International, UPS, Kraft and Chase Bank. UPS in particular provided 5 volunteers. This program is available over a period of several weeks or in a concentrated form like we had today. The lessons were in the following topics: Ourselves, Our Families, Our Community, Our City, Our Region and Our Nation. One of Mrs. Morrison's former students, George Eliopoulos who now works for Chase Bank, visited her class.

Rebecca Caudill Book Club

Fifty plus fourth and fifth graders meet at Plainfield one Monday every month for 5 months. They eat lunch together and then break up into small groups to discuss one of the books they have read. Those books are on the current Rebecca Caudill reading list for 2008, consisting of 20 titles for this year. The books are current, having been published within the last 5 years. Students from 4th to 8th grade are eligible to vote for their favorite book, providing they read at least 3 of the titles.

Mrs. Pearl, media specialist at Plainfield, booktalks all the titles to the 4th and 5th graders. The titles are divided by topics into 5 groups and the children choose one that interests them the most from each group. Club attendance is open to any 4th or 5th grader, but they must commit to attending each monthly meeting and reading at least one book a month. At the end of February, they meet for a pizza party in celebration of their reading, and vote on their favorite title. The votes are then sent to the state committee who tabulates them and one title is awarded the Rebecca Caudill Book Award for that year.

We have a wonderful relationship with the Des Plaines Public Library who purchases multiple copies of each title for the students to read. Mrs. Kelly Phillips, one of the public librarians, comes each month to lead one of the discussions. She brings the new books and returns those just read. Mrs. Yvonne Morrison, a 5th grade teacher at Plainfield, not only leads another discussion group, but also purchases supplemental copies of the Caudill titles. Those books are then added to Plainfield’s collection. Mrs. Kathy Matthews, a Project Prevent tutor at Plainfield, also leads a book discussion.

This club has been going on for 7 years. It encourages reading as a lifelong skill. The children are not only challenged to stretch their reading skills, but are exposed to current literature written for young people today. The book discussions also encourage higher level thinking skills as they are presented with questions that look beyond the story and apply what they’ve read to life situations.

First Grade Field Trip

field trip

All first grade students visited the Dupage Children's Museum this October 10. They participated in a hands-on Energy Laboratory. The children produced power with a stream of water to raise weights. Our students used light to power solarcars. Everyone created their own 'Nergy pets to harness the potential energy of rubber bands and turn it into potential energy to make the pets move. The students also explored the most efficient way of directing wind power to move pinwheels. They experimented with chemical energy in the form of batteries. They toured the museum and learned about art, light, sound, water, and tools. All expenses were paid for by the A+ for Energy Grant by BP.

field trip

Fall 2007 Construction Update

We are still working on making as efficient use of space as possible. The roof was also completed and a number of the air-conditioning units were replaces. Some work on the boilers remains to be completed.



Plainfield Construction Update

As part of the district’s Ten-Year Operations and Maintenance Plan, the Board of Education approved roof work and office renovation at Plainfield Elementary School. FGM Architect Planners, Inc. was retained to design and oversee this work. This project, which is currently under construction, should be completed by the first day of school. Renovations include a new roof and ventilation system, replacing two boilers with one, and a reconfigured office and reception area that requires visitors to enter the building through the office once they have been “buzzed” in.

Plainfield Teacher wins BP Grant


"Harness Your Horsepower: Hay Energia" will teach Plainfield Elementary School students to produce and measure wind energy, and predict and measure solar industry. This project is being funded by a $5,000 BP A+ for Energy grant from BP.

Teacher Virginia Haase applied for the grant after witnessing the positive effects on students who participated in Plainfield’s After School Academy, which was funded this past school year by a grant from BP. This grant will allow students to explore "wind, energy, and conservation concepts," Haase said. "Our first grade Science curriculum dedicates one trimester to studying energy in air, water, and the sun."



Plainfield Studies the Constitution

On Friday September 28, Plainfield students and staff concluded a month of study of the United States Constitution. The culminating activity was an all school assembly where students and staff honored America with songs, readings and oratorical deliveries. All students sang the Allegiance Rap, the National Anthem. and This Land is Your Land. The 4th Graders sang The thing that Holds us Together and with the 5th graders performed Sing a Song for Peace. Numerous students then delivered oratorical renditions on the themes of Why we Came to America, the 27 Amendments to the Constitution, Citizenship and the Symbols of America. Many parents were present.


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Plainfield Elementary School
1850 Plainfield Drive
Des Plaines, IL 60018
847-824-1547 Fax

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