December 18, 2020—SELCO Community Credit Union Awards 47 SPARK! Creative Learning Grants Worth $42,000 to 38 Oregon Schools
Annual program awards grants as much as $1,000 to K-12 educators in SELCO communities across the state
(EUGENE, Ore.) — SELCO Community Credit Union, through its annual SPARK! Creative Learning Grants program has awarded more than $42,000 to 47 educators across Oregon. The program, which provides funding for innovative educational and extracurricular projects, provides grants of as much as $1,000 to K-12 educators across the 27 Oregon counties that SELCO serves.
The SPARK! program has long supported teachers who have creative classroom ideas but lack the funds to get those projects off the ground. This year’s program was specifically aimed at helping educators meet the unexpected and evolving challenges of the 2020-21 school year. In all, 38 Oregon schools are represented among 47 diverse programs.
The 2020-21 grant projects include a philanthropy project in Gold Hill, a virtual reality art program in Culver, an interactive learning space to explore the lifecycle of salmon and trout in Gervais, a STEAM makerspace in Troutdale and a fitness room in North Powder. The SELCO selection committee identified the grant recipients from among 118 applicants.
“The selection committee was heartened by all the unique and creative projects that educators designed to help their students meet the challenges of this year like no other,” said Craig Carpenter, SELCO’s senior vice president of lending and business solutions. “SELCO remains committed, through SPARK! and other programs, to ensure those educators can overcome a lack of funding for a great idea. It’s never been more imperative to find fresh ways of reaching students, and we’re eager to support educators’ efforts.”
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.
“Adapting to distance learning has been challenging, but I know it has made me a better teacher,” said Nikki Baird, a teacher at Bend High School who was awarded SPARK! funding to help facilitate her ongoing book clubs. “The biggest challenge, for valid reasons, is student engagement. Some students' stories are really tragic, and simply accessing school is difficult right now. My goal is to teach novels with themes relevant to teens in order to foster student interest and participation. I'm so grateful to be able to use this grant money to purchase new titles for book clubs and am looking forward to creating curriculum that students will enjoy and that will hopefully make them feel invested in my class.”
For more information on SELCO Community Credit Union’s SPARK! Creative Learning Grants or to follow the progress of some of the grant winners, visit selco.org/why-selco/spark-creative-learning-grants/.
Founded nearly 85 years ago by a group of fiscally minded teachers, Eugene-based SELCO Community Credit Union now serves more than 140,000 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 billion in assets, SELCO is able to provide 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 open to anyone who lives or works in the 27 Oregon counties SELCO serves. For more information, or to become a member today, stop by one of SELCO’s 14 branches, visit selco.org, or call 800-445-4483.
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