DOWNEY - Downey Federal Credit Union on Dec. 9 handed out $300 student enrichment grants to 25 selected Downey educators, continuing an 8-year ritual of providing funds as a means of further enhancing the "learning experience" of their students.Eligibility rules were revised this year to include grant applicants from private schools. Past practice saw 35 recipients receiving $200 each; this year the number of grant winners totaled 25, but each received $300. Winning applications were judged by a panel from DFCU, based on possible impacts of the proposals to enrich students' learning processes and benefit the classrooms. Winning projects included several in the science and technology area, including: the purchase of monarch butterflies for life cycle lessons to Ward Elementary's second graders (Adriana Perez) and field trips to the Columbia Memorial Space Center (Jennifer Hartl of Kirkwood Christian Schools and West Middle School's Michelle Derkum); Warren High's purchase of a mini metal lathe to "learn machinery" for its Project Lead the Way engineering program (Glenn Yamasaki); the purchase of a digital microscope for science projects under Gallatin Elementary's David Tanaka and the purchase of a picture communication software to assist students with developmental delays (Maude Price's Shelly Keele); the purchase of school supplies to send to the school's Native American friends at the Mission School in Red Cloud, South Dakota (Our Lady of Perpetual Help's Irene Segura); AVID field trip under West Middle School's Deborah Eduad to university campuses; a field trip to Biola University for educational and leadership purposes (Sussman Middle School's Jennifer Angulo); the formation of a chess club at Gallatin Elementary (Regina Donahue); and the installation of a huge mural outside Robert Petersen's room (Warren music department). Downey superintendent Wendy Doty commended and thanked DFCU for its continued involvement with the education of students in the district and now citywide. In welcoming the grant recipients, DFCU president and CEO Barbara Lamberth briefly traced the credit union's humble beginnings and its dynamic growth today as it enjoys healthy loan ($75 million) and earnings numbers resulting from membership fees (2 percent of total), earnings from outside investments (27 percent of total), and interest on its loans (71 percent of total). Program emcee was community education and development representative Kari Johnson.
********** Published: December 16, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 35