Local schools recently received a helping hand through a new grant program from the Scott Credit Union Community Foundation.
Totaling more than $25,000, the “With You” education grants were awarded to six area schools in support of educator efforts to feed students in need, to teach remotely during the pandemic, and more.
“At a time when schools may be struggling to fund projects that will benefit their students, we wanted them to know that we are ‘With You,’” said Frank Padak, Scott Credit Union president and CEO. “We established the With You education grant program last fall to support initiatives that positively impact the young people of our community.”
A volunteer committee reviewed the 61 applications received, and all submissions remained anonymous until after the winners were selected. Winners were chosen based on need, the percentage of student enrollment impacted by the project, and the direct benefit the projects will offer to students. The six winning schools were:
East Alton-Wood River High School – Due to the pandemic, many students’ parents lost their jobs and have struggled to make ends meet. A grant awarded for $8,000 helps these students in two ways. First, the money allows the school to join the area TWIGS program for three months, providing free meals for interested students on the weekends. Second, the grant helps the school’s New to You donation room, which not only gives students the opportunity for free clothes, coats, bedding, and more, but also provides a place for special-needs students to work on job skills. Previously, a staff member took home all donated clothing to be washed, but New to You’s new washer and dryer will allow these items to be washed immediately at the school, with the added benefit of teaching an essential life skill to special-needs students.
McCluer High School (Florissant, Mo.) – MHS’s Restorative Justice Program Initiative provides relief, resources, and encouragement to students in need. With its $5,000 grant, the school plans to provide need-based lunches for students, need-based sweatshirts for students, and masks for students to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Triad Middle School (Troy, Ill.) – To aid the education of students who are learning from home with no access to public library books, the district librarian has been working to provide students with access to an e-books app. The $5,000 grant awarded will support the purchase of e-books that students can read anytime, anywhere.
Our Lady Queen of Peace (Belleville) – With three fundraisers having been canceled due to the pandemic, this school greatly needed funding to replace its classroom computers, which are used daily by both students and teachers. The Foundation awarded $3,900 for the purchase of 17 new computers.
Doris Intermediate School (Collinsville) – With its 68 staff members using blended learning (remote and in person) to instruct students, this school was awarded $2,379.32 to purchase new webcams.
Holy Trinity Catholic School (Fairview Heights) – To help students cope with the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, HTCS’s teachers have been incorporating Social Emotional Learning into their curriculum. A $750 grant will help teachers purchase supplemental texts to enhance their lessons.
The Scott Credit Union Community Foundation was founded in 2018 to expand the reach of SCU’s community involvement. Funds are primarily raised via an annual golf fundraiser and a donation program connected with certain SCU checking accounts — a program which is conducted at no cost to the credit union’s members.
“We empower our members to contribute just by going about their daily business,” said Frank Padak, Scott Credit Union president and CEO. “In fact, each debit transaction tied to SCU’s Blues or EPIC Checking account results in a donation to the foundation.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds raised by the foundation are donated back into the local community in support of local education and community initiatives. Through the With You program, the foundation can connect with educators who are committed to making a positive change in the lives of our local youth.
“We want to extend a big thank you to these schools for their incredible efforts and to all of our supporters who share our passion for our local communities,” said Padak. “We’ve been inspired by these stories to continue growing the SCU Community Foundation and to continue supporting those who make a tangible difference within the communities we call home.”
Scott Credit Union currently has 20 area location in Illinois and Missouri.
Scott Credit Union Community Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. For more information regarding the Foundation and its With You grant program, visit https://community.scu.org.
Adam Koishor, chief marketing officer of Scott Credit Union, left, presents a With You education grant to Michelle Tidwell, principal of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic School in Belleville, for the purchase of 17 new computers.
Scott Seidl, executive vice president of Scott Credit Union, right, presents a With You education grant to Sara Soehlke, assistant principal of Dorris Intermediate School, for the purchase of webcams for remote learning.