DULUTH, Ga. – The Georgia United Foundation, in partnership with Georgia United Credit Union, is excited to announce five grant recipients for the 2022 Georgia United Foundation School Crashers program. School Crashers is one of the foundation’s largest community service programs that offers schools across the state an opportunity to apply for a school facility makeover. The program strengthens communities by supporting local school systems with the end goal of improving the learning environment for the students, faculty, and staff.
The School Crashers nomination period opened in February to all accredited K-12 schools in Georgia. Interested schools were asked to include a photograph along with a 250-word essay describing why their school should receive a makeover. Nominations were received from 29 school systems and after a rigorous judging process, five schools have been slated to receive school improvements over the summer.
“We are looking forward to serving our communities and strengthening our school systems through the eighth annual School Crashers program,” shared Debbie Smith, president and CEO of Georgia United Credit Union. “The Georgia United Foundation, credit union team members, generous donors, community partners, and volunteers make this a fun community service event, where we provide inspiring learning spaces for the students, faculty, and staff. We want the students to be proud of their school and motivated to learn when they return in the fall.”
|Colham Ferry Elementary||Watkinsville||100||Sensory room|
|Heritage High School||Conyers||1,800||Mental health/sensory room; Mohawk carpet grant|
|Radloff Middle School||Duluth||500||Sensory room; Mohawk carpet grant|
|Westside Middle School||Rocky Face||400||Counseling and media center projects; Mohawk carpet grant|
|Towers High School||Decatur||700||Career and counseling center; Outdoor classroom and gardens, Mohawk carpet grant|
Congratulations to the 2022 School Crashers grant recipients:
- Colham Ferry Elementary is a Title I school serving Pre-K to fifth-grade students inspiring them to excel in academics, build strong character and promote citizenship. The School Crashers grant will be used to create a sensory room built on the principles and strategies of Zones of Regulation that will help make the school more inclusive to those students with sensory regulation. Often students who have self-regulating challenges stemming from behavior changes, anxiety, and/or a specified disorder have difficulty performing well in school. The grant will give the students a dedicated safe environment with trained professionals who have the skills and tools to help the students improve on regulating their sensory integration and emotions.
- Heritage High School in Conyers is a Title I school that serves over 1,800 students each year. The School Crashers and Mohawk Flooring grants will turn a modular classroom into a safe mental health space where students can go to recharge and meet with the school-based therapist. With an increase in suicidal thoughts, aggression, depression, and other mental health concerns, the team at Heritage High School hopes to use these grants to reimagine an old modular classroom into a space where the students feel safe, calm, and welcome, and can focus on fostering self-care.
- Radloff Middle School in Duluth is a Title I school that serves over 500 students each year and of those students, 16% receive special education services. Their existing sensory room space is worn out, has inadequate or broken equipment and the space is not functioning as needed for the students. The School Crashers and Mohawk Flooring grants will focus on creating a space that will accommodate the students’ developmental and social-emotional needs for them to be successful in academics. In addition, an innovative piece of this project will incorporate the peer buddy/student ambassadors from the general education population with the students in the special education program. This initiative will forge life-changing relationships filled with empathy amongst both the special education and general education students creating an inclusive environment.
- Westside Middle School is located in the northwest corner of Whitfield County in Rocky Face. The site was originally home to Westside High School before being converted in the 1990s into the home of Westside Middle School serving students in sixth through eighth grade. The middle school years can be daunting due to the number of changes students go through between sixth and eighth grade. The School Crashers and Mohawk Flooring grants will help improve the media center space with updated flooring, paint, and comfortable, flexible seating. This media center will become the hub of the school as it is transformed into a warm, colorful, and inviting space for the students to grow their love of reading. Additionally, updates to the counseling office area will create a welcoming and safe space for the students and parents to meet with the counselors to support their mental health and well-being.
- Towers High School in Decatur is a Title I school that serves over 700 students with many living in non-traditional households. The School Crashers grant and a generous grant from Mohawk Flooring will transform an old space into a vibrant space for students to utilize to address their academic needs, personal and social issues, and post-secondary options, including assistance with college and/or career planning. Additionally, the grant for Towers will help provide additions to the school’s outdoor classroom, garden, and courtyard area including the creation of a pollinator garden that will help attract bees and butterflies that will aid the 4-H Club and Air Force Junior ROTC’s fruit and vegetable gardens.
Now in its ninth year, the Georgia United Foundation School Crashers program has positively impacted 38,530 children across 58 schools by creating inspiring learning spaces and facility improvements valued at over $1,600,000. Funding for the program is provided by the Georgia United Foundation and generous donations made by community partners. Selected schools will receive project improvements over the summer before the start of the new school year. All events will follow current CDC guidelines.
To learn more about the School Crashers program and view photos of past School Crashers recipients, visit gucufoundation.org/schoolcrashers.
About Georgia United Foundation
Georgia United Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in the communities they serve through impactful programs funded and delivered through volunteerism by way of corporate contributions, team members, and community efforts. The Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is the philanthropic arm of Georgia United Credit Union. For details on volunteering, participating, or donating, visit gucufoundation.org.
About Georgia United Credit Union
Georgia United Credit Union is an award-winning financial leader and partner in education. Headquartered in Duluth, Georgia United is ranked as one of the state’s largest credit unions with $1.8 billion in assets and 170,000 members. As a full-service financial institution, they offer competitive products and services for every stage of life. Visit gucu.org to learn more.