She thought it was a long shot, but Liz Moore, 1st grade teacher at Altoona Elementary tried for a special grant for her classroom anyway. It was worth it!  Imagine her surprise when Greater Iowa Credit Union’s (GICU) Project Classroom informed her that the selection committee carefully reviewed over 40 applications and that her application had been selected as one of eight Project Classroom $1,000 grant winners! 

Mrs. Moore, who has taught kindergarten and 1st grade at Southeast Polk for 19 years, submitted an application to receive grant money to purchase additional “decodable” books from PhonicsBooks. A “decodable” book is one where every word can be sounded out, helping new readers build confidence as they succeed in independent reading. These books will be shared with all of Altoona’s 1st grade classrooms. 

Moore shared, “I would like to thank Greater Iowa Credit Union for investing in and enriching students by providing monies to purchase engaging text! The books purchased through the grant will provide students with another opportunity to strengthen their foundational reading skills and gain confidence to be successful readers! Thank you! 

As a teacher, I  cannot wait to use the books to help students uncover the power to READ! Teaching reading is one of my favorite parts of the day and these books will help fuel that excitement!”

Talk about excitement, even the check presentation was a fun-filled event with a couple of special guests: GICU’s CEO Scott Zahnle, and Cy from Iowa State University! Not only did they come with a $1,000 check, but the students also received snacks and ISU posters! 

Greater Iowa Credit Union (GICU) proudly supports teachers in local communities and developed a unique classroom innovation grant program to help teachers access additional financial resources needed to fund creative educational experiences or innovative hands-on programs to promote dynamic and fun learning.

Project Classroom grant funds can be used for classroom supplies, technology, equipment, and field trips. Criteria used to determine the application winners: 

  • Does the project enhance the academic environment in the classroom and contribute toward academic achievement among the teacher’s students?
  • Does the project have compelling, creative, or unique features that make it stand out from traditional approaches to classroom teaching?
  • Are the project costs adequately detailed in the essay/proposal?
  • If funded with a grant, would the project have the support of the school’s administration?

Thanks again to GICU for supporting our young readers! Thanks to ISU and Cy for helping make this celebration even more exciting!

Congratulations Mrs. Moore! Your extra efforts to help our students succeed are a prime example of what makes SEP great!