FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: December 19, 2002

Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716


UIS Lincoln Presidential Center awards grants to 13 high schools

SPRINGFIELD The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center for Governmental Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield has awarded the first Public Policy Initiative Research Grants for the 2002-2003 school year to 13 high schools across the state.

Under this program, students and their teacher teams receive awards of up $5,500 to determine and research a public policy issue that affects their own community. During the course of these projects, students gain hands-on experience in civics and government as they study how Illinois is governed and how local and state governments operate, as well as lobbying skills and community solutions to public policy issues. Scheduled activities include a field trip to Springfield to observe the legislature in action.

The groups will present the results of their research during a two-day conference on the UIS campus in May. During the conference, students will have the opportunity to share their findings with other schools from across the state, enhance skills in public policy and technology, and lobby state agencies and legislators about their findings. All projects will be showcased on the public policy initiative website at the conclusion of the grant.

High schools selected as grant recipients this year and the teachers who will lead grant activities are:

Anna-Jonesboro (Dongola) -- John Murray, social studies

Benton -- Larry Hancock, social studies

Carterville -- Don Smith, principal


Decatur Eisenhower -- Michael Rusk, government

Heyworth -- Donna Knapp, business

Morris Community -- Gregory Eaton, principal

Ottawa Township -- Craig Mueller, social science

Pleasant Plains -- Michael Ward, American history

Riverton -- Kevin Robbins, social studies

Salem Community -- Diane Eller, U.S. history

Southeast (Springfield) -- Andrea Usinger, English and history

Vienna -- Marleis Trover, administrator

Webber Township (Bluford) -- Sandy Wilson, history

All secondary schools in Illinois are eligible to apply for a Public Policy Initiative Research Grant for 2003-2004. More information can be found at, or by contacting project coordinator Peggy Dunn at (217) 206-7399.