SELCO Community Credit Union, through its annual SPARK! Creative Learning Grants program, has awarded a program-best $47,238 to 56 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.
SPARK! Creative Learning Grants support teachers who have creative classroom ideas but lack the funds to get those projects off the ground. In all, 48 Oregon schools are represented among 56 diverse programs, up from 54 in 2018. The 2019-20 grant projects include a Revolutionary War reenactment day for fifth-graders in Culver, an underwater robotics class in Portland and a stop-motion animation STEAM class in Dallas.
Twenty educators from 15 Central Oregon schools were among this year’s grant recipients. The 2019-20 Central Oregon recipients are:
- Get Outdoors AND Come Back — Kerick Adams, Big Muddy School, Antelope
- Veterinary Medicine Module — Heather Johnson, Bend Tech Academy at Marshall High School, Bend
- Proof in the Picture — Heather Korman, Elk Meadow Elementary, Bend
- It’s in the Bag! Music Literacy Library — Kathy Woodford, Elk Meadow Elementary, Bend
- Khan Math — Bill Ruiter, Ponderosa Elementary, Bend
- Loving Learning in a Longhouse — Charlotte Roe, Silver Rail Elementary, Bend
- Book Club Eighth Grade — Brian Seguin, Sky View Middle School, Bend
- Play with Your Math! — Jeannie Wenndorf, Sky View Middle School, Bend
- Graphing Calculator — Heather Bussmann, Summit High School, Bend
- The Art and Craft of Chemistry — Maureen Carolin, Waldorf School of Bend, Bend
- Wooden Play Structures — Laura Elmore, Waldorf School of Bend, Bend
- Fifth-Grade Day in the Revolutionary War Event — Becky Brouillard, Culver Elementary, Culver
- Read Naturally Live — Keri Rahi, Culver Elementary, Culver
- STEM Skills with Robotics — Kim Bezdek, Culver High School, Culver
- Constructing Balsa Wood Sheds — Cynthia Lofts, Culver High School, Culver
- Middle School Broadcasting Class — Rhian Silbernagel, Culver Middle School, Culver
- Cooking to Learn — Cari Fike, La Pine High School, La Pine
- Art and Language Arts Through Caldecott Award Books — Lynn Fleenor, St. Thomas Academy, Redmond
- Inspiring Learners Through Sphero — Bryan Bahns, Vern Patrick Elementary, Redmond
- Musical Instruments for Music Education — Sara Miller, Sisters Elementary, Sisters
The SELCO selection committee identified the grant recipients from among 183 applicants. 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.
The SPARK! program has a long history of advancing unique academic programs. Daniel Asay, who teaches Digital Media Studies at Santiam Junior/Senior High School in Mill City, used a grant in 2018-19 to purchase lighting, sound and recording equipment for a Digital Media Studies elective. To see a video of his students in action, visit selco.org/spark.
“Every year, the SPARK! selection committee is amazed by the innovative ways Oregon’s educators spur their students’ love of learning,” said Laura Illig, SELCO’s vice president of marketing. “When financial barriers are removed, we have seen time and again that educators can accomplish big things. We’re proud to continue growing the SPARK! program, helping educators reach an ever-increasing number of students.”
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/spark.