EUGENE, Ore. - Applications are being accepted through Sept. 30 for the annual SELCO Community Credit Union SPARK! Creative Learning Grants, which award up to $1,000 to K–12 educators across the 26 Oregon counties that SELCO serves. SPARK! was created with the understanding that a lack of funding should never get in the way of students coming together on projects that excite curiosity, deepen understanding, and encourage new ways of seeing.
Formerly known as the SELCO Mini-Grants for Educators, the program most recently awarded $32,650 to 73 educators in 50 Oregon schools for initiatives ranging from yoga club and Lego robotics to habitat restoration and virtual reality.
“SPARK! is based on a core SELCO belief that nothing, particularly a lack of funding, should get in the way of a wonderful classroom idea or learning experience,” said Laura Illig, SELCO’s vice president of marketing. “When teachers bring passion to the classroom, magic happens, and when given enough support these educators can fuel a lifelong passion for learning in students.”
SPARK! Creative Learning Grants support educators with creative classroom ideas and a need to purchase materials to get those projects off the ground. Award recipients have used the funds for an almost unending variety of purposes, from purchasing dozens of copies of a book so a whole school can read it together to adopting a bearded dragon named Rex to inspire learning in kindergartners.