Naperville Education Foundation       |       Naperville, IL       |       |       (630) 420-3086

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"Painting with Light" at Highlands School --
An NEF Annual Grant Story

By Bruce Dixon

Art meets science at Highlands Elementary School, where an NEF grant is helping third grade students create "light paintings" using familiar tools: digital cameras and flashlights.

For the past three years, Art teacher Kyle Wood has been working with District 203 on a project incorporating iPads and technology into the elementary art curriculum. The District gave him 15 iPads -- enough for 30 students to work in pairs. With an $800 NEF grant, he purchased 15 each of iPad mounts, tripods and flashlights.

Wood said students apply software that allows for long exposure photography using iPad cameras. Working in a darkened classroom, they shine small flashlights on moving or stationary objects. "For example," Wood said, "they took a stuffed dragon and used a flashlight to mimic fire coming out of the dragon's mouth."

Age is not a factor! Third grade students are learning how a digital camera works (general photography); fourth graders are learning stop-motion animation (think Frankenweenie, Scary Movie 2, and Mr. Bill); and fifth grade students are working with digital video.

Dragon fire!

Forced perspective

Abstract art

Wood, who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, said the young students remain quiet and attentive when he explains scientific concepts, and parents are responding positively. "I've gotten some good feedback from parents who see that this is another medium their kids can excel at, whether it's drawing, animation, video or sculpture."

Click here for the full "Painting With Light" story

NEF Annual Spring Breakfast:
Building a Passion for Literacy!

Please join us for our
22nd Annual Spring Breakfast
Building a Passion for Literacy
celebrating NEF funded programs
and their direct influence on
the students, teachers and parents
of Naperville School District 203.

Thursday, May 7, 2015
7:00 a.m. Coffee and Networking
7:30-9:00 a.m. Breakfast and Program

Guest Emcee: Alan Krashesky
Veteran ABC7 Anchor/Reporter


Keynote Speech: Lane Smith
Award Winning Children's Book Author
and Illustrator

Celebrating Inspiration Award
Distinguished Service Award
Scholarship Awards

Art and entertainment
by District 203 students

More information

Purchase tickets now!

The Naperville Education Foundation (NEF) raises and grants funds for programs that enhance and enrich the educational experience of Naperville School District 203 students.

With the generous support of foundations, businesses, educational professionals and individual donors, NEF is able to provide financial resources that increase learning opportunities by supplementing the school district's budget. NEF encourages creativity, innovation and excellence in our students by helping to insure that every student can take advantage of opportunities to make the most of their education.

If you would like to donate online please click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Ann E. Spehar,
Executive Director, at (630) 420-3086 or

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