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Bend-La Pine, Redmond teachers get mini-grants


Northwest Community Credit Union kicked off annual Project Community mini-grant award program deliveries to 66 Oregon educators on Monday, including several Central Oregon teachers.

Schools located in Deschutes, Jackson, Josephine and Lane counties were the first to receive surprise awards in the form of giant checks, with Clackamas, Douglas, Linn-Benton, Marion, Multnomah and Washington county schools to be awarded in the second week of December.

Redmond and Bend-La Pine schools’ surprise awards were presented on Monday. Educators received a cumulative total of $5,400 for instructional support in the following areas:

Bend-La Pine Schools

— Amity Creek Magnet School. Wendy Pierce is using her grant to invest in school garden kits to create vertical, edible plants for an outdoor classroom.

— Pilot Butte Middle School. Ryan Goldstein is using his grant to purchase cameras for seventh and eighth graders to use in film and journalism classes.

Redmond School District

— M.A. Lynch Elementary School. Natalie Richards will be buying Lego robotics kits for students from second to fifth grades.

— Redmond High School. Rachel Sarrett is investing in writing instruction books, interactive notebooks, and writing utensils to develop writing skills for high school students.

— Vern Patrick Elementary School. Chersti Thomack was granted funds to create a STEM station for first graders that includes kits to encourage problem-solving and engineering skills.

“Every school year, teachers are taking money out of their own pockets to supplement their teaching tools, or meet other instructional needs – and that seemed to us like a perfect opportunity to serve,” said Northwest Community Credit Union President and CEO John Iglesias.

“Project Community was designed to boost the work of educators who create meaningful learning experiences for kids. We want to help inspire learning, by supporting the innovative ideas of teachers who just need a little assistance to implement a great lesson plan,” Iglesias said.

Educators submitted requests in the fall for classroom supplies, technology, books, special classroom projects, programs, or field trips. The credit union grants, awarded throughout December, will be used in the academic year 2019 to support creative curriculum and classroom experiences varying among elementary, middle, and high school levels.

A total of $60,000 will be presented to schools throughout Oregon in December. A schedule for awards by county may be found at .

This is the fourth year of the Project Community mini-grant program. By Dec. 31, a new grand total of 253 educators will have been awarded over $224,000 in funding. The next application period for grants will begin in the fall of 2019.

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