Annual program awards grants of up to $1,000 to K-12 educators
(SPRINGFIELD, Ore.) — SELCO Community Credit Union announced that it has awarded more than $54,000 to 60 educators at 55 schools across Oregon through its annual SPARK! Creative Learning Grants program. The program, which has long supported teachers who have creative classroom ideas but lack the funds to get those projects off the ground, provides grants of as much as $1,000 to K-12 educators across the 27 Oregon counties that SELCO serves.
“This program was started nearly 30 years ago, and the idea hasn’t changed: Make a difference for educators committed to sparking a thirst for learning in their students,” said Craig Carpenter, SELCO’s senior vice president of lending and business banking. “As a credit union founded by educators nearly 90 years ago, SELCO remains dedicated to supporting the many innovative educators throughout Oregon who want to find new and meaningful ways to reach students.”
Among the many notable projects that earned a 2022 SPARK! Grant is an “Electrathon” race team that will build single-passenger electric vehicles, a multicultural, multilingual school library, and a program that explores the wonders of chemistry through art. A complete list of statewide recipients and project descriptions can be found HERE.
The committee’s goal is to fund innovative projects that will have the largest possible impact on students and the greatest opportunity to leave a lasting impression.
For example, Judy Tacchini, a teacher at Cascade Middle School in Eugene, used a SPARK! Grant in 2021 to help fund her “Preserving the Narrative” program — which tasked students with writing, designing, curating, and publishing a paperback anthology of stories reflecting the lived, or imagined, experiences of students, for students. See a video spotlight of the program HERE.
Natalie Richards, a teacher at Tom McCall Elementary School in Redmond and a 2021 SPARK! Grant recipient, was awarded a SPARK! Grant for her fourth-grade classroom’s “Sphero National Parks Project.”
“It was a hit with my fourth graders,” said Richards. “They couldn’t have been more excited to construct and paint their park models, and then code their Sphero robot ‘park rangers’ to show their classmates around. Without the SPARK! Grant, this learning experience would not have been possible.”
For more information on SELCO Community Credit Union’s SPARK! Creative Learning Grants or to follow the progress of some of the grant recipients, visit www.selco.org/spark.
About SELCO Community Credit Union:
Founded 86 years ago by a group of fiscally minded teachers, Springfield-based SELCO Community Credit Union today serves more than 150,000 members as one of the largest and longstanding Oregon-based credit unions. A not-for-profit, federally insured, member-driven financial cooperative with more than $2.6 billion in assets, SELCO provides its member-owners with exceptional rates and low fees on a full range of financial products and services, including banking, mortgages, personal and business loans, investments, and insurance. Membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of the 27 Oregon or eight Washington counties SELCO serves. For more information or to become a member today, stop by one of SELCO’s 15 branches, visit selco.org, or call 800-445-4483.