Kent schools benefit from BECU award grants

Jenkins Creek, East Hill and Martin Sortun Elementary School received grants from BECU's Tukwila branch.

Jenkins Creek, East Hill and Martin Sortun Elementary School received grants from BECU’s Tukwila branch.

In support of education in Western Washington, BECU has awarded community grants to 48 local schools. This year marks the 10th year that BECU has awarded over $100,000 in community grants to support education projects that help local students excel.

“BECU School Grants allow us to support programs that can have a positive impact on the lives of students, but lack funding needed to make them a reality,” said Tom Berquist, senior vice president of member strategies. “It means a lot to BECU to be able to support schools in providing tools, experiences and resources to help give kids the best education possible.”

BECU School Grants are given out each year to local schools to help fund educational materials, programs and events, environmental learning trips, and technology tools such as calculators, microscopes, electronic dictionaries and more. Grants are awarded in three categories: Financial Literacy, Environmental Sustainability, and Technology Tools. The grants are given for up to $2,500 and are awarded based on each applicant’s requested dollar amount.

BECU received approximately 600 applications and narrowed it down to 48 based on eligibility of the request, impact on student learning,number of students reached with grant funds, and potential on-going use of the item or program.

Jenkins Creek Elementary won two BECU school grants. They plan to use one of the BECU grants to purchase headphones for the students.

Most of the computer programs that the students engage in for reading, writing, or math are interactive and are heavily reliant upon listening and learning phonics. Students need headphones to be able to effectively learn with these programs.

With their second BECU grant, Jenkins Creek Elementary plans to use the grant money to purchase CD players and books on CDs for the students. During independent reading time, students will be given an opportunity to be read to, and improve their reading comprehension.

East Hill Elementary plans to use the BECU grant money to add the Hot Dots Program into the school curriculum. Hot Dots provides an engaging opportunity for students to build and reinforce important skills independently. The goal is for students to increase reading, math, and science skills.

Martin Sortun Elementary School plans to use their BECU grant money to help fund half scholarships for one-third of their students attending the Outdoor Environment Education Program at YMCA Camp Seymour. They also plan to invest in outdoor environmental education supplies that

students from low income families can utilize while attending camp.


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