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News Release
Maps' grants help Marion and Polk teachers innovate - 02/14/19

SALEM, OR (Feb. 4, 2019) — Maps Credit Union’s Community Foundation awarded $10,000 in grants this year to help ten public school teachers bring their ideas and innovations to life. 

The winners, who each received $1,000, were selected based on the number of online votes they received for the video submission that answered the question “How will this grant make a difference to your students?” 

The funds were awarded as part of the Foundation’s annual education grant program, which has given more than $54,000 to local teachers. This year the Foundation invited public school teachers in Marion and Polk counties to apply for funds. 

“We’re honored to help these talented teachers implement their ideas in the classroom,” said Mitzi Smith, the Credit Union’s Community Development Officer, “These projects will enrich the lives of thousands of students today, and, in many cases, thousands more in years to come.”

The video applications reflect the teachers’ creativity and dedication to students. We heard from nearly 5,000 people who voted for their favorite project, teacher, or school. More than 6,700 students will benefit from the implementation of the winning projects and programs.

Here are the names of the grant recipients and descriptions of what they plan to do with their winnings:

First place winner, Courtney Karns of Gervais Elementary School will buy new Orff instruments for kindergarten through 5th-grade students. The new instruments will allow the entire class to create music at the same time. 

Jennifer Wiken of Mark Twain Elementary School will use grant funds to upgrade classroom furniture including new tables and flexible seating.

Michael Ross of Battle Creek Elementary School and his students will venture to OMSI to explore science, exhibits, and participate in the planetarium show.

Stephen Ackerman of West Salem High School, needed additional pro-panels to display student artwork. The purchase of the pro panels will be used at the 2ndAnnual West Salem Student Art Exhibition.

Alison Stolfus of Silverton High School is committed to developing a passion for natural resources and teaching environmental stewardship to her students. The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment to restore specific sites along Silver Creek.

Aleisha Douthitt and Krysia Wakefield of Monmouth Elementary School will use their teacher grant to purchase read aloud books for the classroom. At least 30 new hardback books and 80 softcover books will be used by students for years to come.

Mary Hayden of Silverton Middle School is creating a bark trail around the school campus for students and the community to run and walk on. This idea will promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle. 

Michele Finicle of Bethany Charter School will purchase a Diversified Mobile Demo Table, a hands-on science lab. The table includes a sink so experiments can be moved around the classroom. 

Emily Allen, of Butte Creek Elementary School, and her students are taking on Oregon History Day. Students will benefit from this grant by having new presentation boards to display their work at the event. 

Brad Lomax of McNary High School, will launch a coffee stand program that allows students to apply business concepts and learn the process for launching a new business. 

The grants are funded by Maps’ Free Community Checking accounts, which invests a penny in the community each time a member uses a Maps Community Checking debit card. Last year, debit card use brought in more than $94,000 for teacher grants, community grants, scholarships, financial education, and non-profit support.

About Maps Credit Union

Maps Credit Union’s roots reach back to 1935 when 17 volunteers ran the co-op out of kitchens and classrooms in Marion County. Today, Maps serves more than 64,000 members from mapscu.com and ten branches throughout the mid-Willamette Valley.