Illinois American Water and American Water Charitable Foundation Announce $25,000 in STEAM Grants

Recipients will draw on art to help educate about the science of water service


Last updated 12/12/2022 at 10:35pm

Pictured left to right are: Anna Kubas, Kevin Hillen, Tara Neff, Jennifer Hammer, Brook McDonald, and Abby Beck

Woodridge, Ill. – (Dec. 8, 2022) – The American Water Charitable Foundation (AWCF), a 501(c)(3) organization established by American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, partnered with Illinois American Water to provide five State Strategic Impact Grants focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) initiatives. Five organizations within Illinois American Water's service area will receive a $5,000 grant.

"We are delighted to partner with the American Water Charitable Foundation in selecting organizations which draw on art to help raise awareness about watershed protection, conservation and more. While art and water service are essential ingredients for a thriving community, both are often taken for granted. We are excited to see what our young customers, our future environmentalists, create," said Rebecca Losli, Illinois American Water president.

The State Strategic Impact grant program is part of the 2022 AWCF Keep Communities Flowing grant program, focusing on three pillars of giving: Water, People and Communities. State Strategic Impact grants support high-impact projects and initiatives throughout American Water's regulated and regulated-like footprint. The five Illinois State Strategic Impact grants focused on STEAM initiatives were awarded as follows:

• ART, Inc. in Peoria will repurpose 10 retired fire hydrants donated by Illinois American Water to create art. Young student artists of various ages and skill will paint the hydrants while also learning about fire protection and water service. A key partner in this project is the Peoria Fire Department which will help provide programming and auction off the hydrants to donors to raise additional funding for ART, Inc., further raising public awareness about the importance of water, art and public safety for a thriving community.

• The Alton Boys and Girls Club will host an art camp including activities centered around repurposing materials into art. They plan to place a recycle bin at their location to collect materials. Participants will also paint rain barrels to help water plants which stock their community pantry.

• The Conservation Foundation in the Chicago Metro service area will distribute rain barrels to partners so they can be painted and displayed in Bolingbrook to raise awareness and engagement about water conservation. Additional rain barrels will be made available at a reduced rate to Bolingbrook residents with opportunities to help residents paint their own barrels.

• The Don Moyers Boys and Girls Club of Champaign will work with students to create canvas artwork to highlight water and the environment. Students will reuse water and repurpose items founds in nature to create unique art. The student artwork will illustrate the importance of reusing water and repurposing materials. They will incorporate plants, the water cycle and other lessons into the program.

• The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will offer "It's Your Planet- Love It!" programming with a focus on water conservation, water management, water quality testing, watersheds and hydroelectric power. The programming will occur during the Summer 2023 Outreach Day Camp and will include a focus on art.

"The American Water Charitable Foundation is pleased to partner with Illinois American Water and local organizations focused on incorporating art into science, technology, engineering and math learning," said Carrie Williams, president, American Water Charitable Foundation. "Each thoughtful and creative project will help bring awareness to the water cycle, fire protection, conservation and more through art."


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