At Directions Credit Union, we are dedicated to improving our members’ lives and everyone who helps make our communities strong through education. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the school systems in our community. Our educators have been forced to be innovative as they struggle with creating a safe and conducive learning environment for their students. Schools have had to adjust to socially distanced in-person learning and deal with the financial challenges of remote and hybrid learning.
To provide financial support to local educators with the resources they need to get thru this difficult time, we created the Directions Cares for Classrooms Contest. Educators were provided with an online entry form that asked them to describe a problem caused by the pandemic and then give their proposed solution to that problem. The prize they competed for was a $10k grant to help bring their project to life. Directions awarded three $10K grants to the top three winners of the contest. The winners were selected based on three criteria: innovation, impact, and implementation.
Directions Cares for Classrooms Contest Winners
Taryn Miley is the preschool through grade five director of curriculum for Springfield Local Schools. Mrs. Miley plans to use the $10K grant to help alleviate the adverse effects of indoor and virtual classrooms by installing nature-inspired outdoor learning spaces at Crissey Elementary, Dorr Elementary, and Holloway Elementary.
Jim Fritz is the superintendent for Anthony Wayne Local Schools. Mr. Fritz co-authored the application on behalf of Waterville Primary School with Principal Jamie Hollinger and two other administrators. Waterville Primary School will be using their $10k grant to fund Responsive Classroom training for their staff members. Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based, student-centered, social, and emotional learning approach to teaching.
Andrea Murphy is a third-grade teacher at Springmill STEM Elementary, located in the Mansfield City School District. Springmill STEM Elementary will use their $10K grant to help fund an outdoor classroom observatory. The observatory will include a treehouse, an outdoor sink, scientific materials and will serve students in preschool through fourth grade.
Directions Credit Union is proud to support our teachers, students, and school systems as they navigate new ways of working, learning, and embracing the day-to-day challenges that come with the coronavirus pandemic. If you’d like to read more about the winning educators and their projects, check out these great articles featured in The Blade and WMFD!