Local education programs take flight with $7,000

From Blue Eagle Credit Union

ROANOKE, VA (November 6, 2019) — Blue Eagle Credit Union employees are giving more than $7,000 this year to fund local classroom projects. Research shows that teachers, on average, spend about $500 out of their own pockets each year for classroom supplies. In response, staff at Blue Eagle Credit Union created an employee-funded Teacher Grant program to support local teachers. Each week, credit union staff voluntarily donate a minimum of $2 in exchange for the privilege of wearing jeans on Friday.

Each fall, teachers in the greater Roanoke and Lynchburg areas that Blue Eagle Credit Union serves are able to apply for a Teacher Grant up to $500 to fund classroom projects. Jeff Thompson, Blue Eagle Credit Union CEO, shares, “As funds become more limited for schools, programs like Blue Eagle Credit Union’s Teacher Grant, Report Card Rewards, and Alexander Scholarship become more important. Teachers play a critical role in the development of children and our community. These kids are our future leaders. I’m proud to be a part of such a passionate team of people who genuinely care for others and live out the credit union philosophy of people helping people.”

This year, Blue Eagle CU had 59 applications submitted. Applications represented elementary, middle, and high schools in both public and private school systems. As the credit union continues to grow, they are able to increase the funds awarded to deserving teachers! This year, a total of $7,050 will be given to 15 area teachers listed below. The projects are diverse and designed to meet the unique needs of their students.

In addition to the Teacher Grants, this year Blue Eagle CU also handed out $10,000 in scholarships and $5,400 in report card rewards. Please call 800.342.3429 or visit for more information on the various Blue Eagle Credit Union education programs.

Amanda House, Westside Eagles – Westside Elementary School, Roanoke City, VA
Funds will be used to purchase all classroom supplies needed for special education students such as crayons, markers, scissors, white boards, folders, books, pencils, bulletin board materials, and other essential educational materials. The funds will also help purchase personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, baby wipes, and deodorant for this large concentration of low-income students so that they have both proper and personal hygiene items for the remainder of the school year.

Breanne Metz, Speech Sound Library – Buchanan Elementary School, Botetourt County, VA
Funds will be used to help create a speech sound library for students who have been identified as having speech and/or language impairment. This will help target student Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals while simultaneously encouraging and increasing literacy development.

Karen Weaver, Sphero Robots – Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Franklin County, VA
Funds will be used to purchase a class set of Sphero Robots that students will use to practice coding and computer science skills. These robots will provide tangible, hands-on learning experiences to help apply advanced math concepts. Students will have the ability to demonstrate mastery knowledge of secondary math skills such as slope of a line and other geometric topics, such as area, perimeter, circumference, and radius.

Katherine Helm, Hands on Learning – Liberty Middle School, Bedford County, VA
Funds will help purchase a math program, Math Stackers, which is a tool to help students develop their mathematical thinking with a hands-on approach. Math Stackers are blocks divided into sections with numbers for addition, subtraction, and counting, which allow students to play as they learn. Funds will also be used to purchase a color printer to help students learn more effectively by having their printed manipulatives in color.

Kathryn Howe, Flight Simulator – New London Academy, Bedford, VA
Funds will be used to build a miniature flight simulator for generating interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, such as aviation. This will present educators with a great opportunity to introduce students to aviation careers as young as the elementary level.

Kelsey Huffman, Breakout of the Boring – Northside High School, Roanoke County, VA
Funds will be used to purchase two additional Breakout Boxes from Breakout EDU. Breakout boxes will help students experience and exhibit the 4 “C’s” – collaborate, communicate, creativity and thinking critically.

Kirsten Rezac, Language Acquisition for Motor Planning – Roanoke Academy for Math & Science, Roanoke City, VA
Funds will be used to obtain a Speech Generation Device in order to implement a special program for nonverbal and minimally verbal students. The Speech Generation Device will give these students a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves and communicating effectively with their educational environment.

Lauren Reynolds, Building Life-Long Readers – Leesville Road Elementary School, Campbell County, VA
Funds will be used to help build a book library for third grade students to utilize. This project will help support those students reading below a third grade level to reach the goal of reading on grade level by the end of the school year.

Maria McKeown, Adventure Fitness Club – Clearbrook Elementary School, Roanoke County, VA
Funds will be used to help implement a free afterschool Fitness Club for students at Clearbrook Elementary. Funds would be used to pay for services from the community, as well as purchase proper fitting bicycle helmets for many students.

Maylin Rodriguez, Life Skills Training – Patrick Henry High School, Roanoke City, VA
Funds will be used to purchase an educational electronic ATM to help teach special education students basic operation. Funds will also be used to help purchase supplies needed to teach cooking, baking, and other skills needed in daily living.

Melissa Broadstreet, Carnival of Chemistry – The Gereau Center, Franklin County, VA
Funds will be used for eighth grade students to create a “Carnival of Chemistry” for approximately 120 visiting fifth grade elementary students. Students will design hands-on activities including 13 stations and a 4 ft. x 8 ft. interactive periodic table to help them experience the magic of chemistry.

Ruby Voss, Alternative Work Area – Northside Middle School, Roanoke County, VA
Funds will be used to purchase a second Lifespan Unity Pedal Desk, which will assist students with significant need for movement by allowing motion during instruction and task completion.

Sandy Overstreet, Teacher Wish List – Montvale Elementary School, Bedford, VA
Funds will be used for the Community Connections Team to get supplies, rewards, and other items needed in the classroom. This will help provide the best resources for the students to learn effectively.

Tina Van Buren, Lego Mind Storm – McCleary Elementary School, Craig County, VA
Funds will be used to purchase two Lego Mind Storm We Do 2.0 Core Sets, which help teach programming and promote a higher level of thinking, problem-solving skills, and real-world scenarios that involve programming, designing, building, and creating. The hope is for students to work through the online software and complete all lessons and lesson challenges, and then compete at the local level in Lego competitions.

Wanda Flora, Life Skills Shopping & Cooking – Northside High School, Roanoke County, VA
Funds will be used to help teach students with intellectual disabilities and autism life skills, such as money management, shopping, cooking, and leisure activities in the community. Money management and social skills will be further reinforced through trips to restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, and financial institutions.

About Blue Eagle Credit Union

Blue Eagle® Credit Union, a local not-for-profit financial cooperative, is committed to Enriching Lives and finding ways to help members Pay Less. Earn More. Have Fun. ® How? By Delivering Solutions customized for each member and their specific situation, offering relevant services at affordable rates, and holding tight to their core values of Quality Service, Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Education. Blue Eagle® Credit Union has been serving the greaterRoanoke and Lynchburg, VA areas since 1948. Blue Eagle® Credit Union's Google review rating averages 4.9 out of 5 stars, a direct result of their commitment to improving the financial picture of their members and the communities they serve. It’s time to See Banking Differently with Blue Eagle® Credit Union! Insured by NCUA.


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Phone: 540.855.3639

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