Pocket Change Grants
The primary grant program of the ECU Foundation is the Pocket Change Grant, which is geared to support worthy classroom projects that impact the learning environments in school districts across the Texas Panhandle. We provide grants across a wide spectrum of categories, including:
- Arts programs
- Physical necessities
- Basic school supplies
- Learning environment
- Special needs students
- Specialized equipment/supplies
- STEM program
- And more
- Applications for 2023 Pocket Change Grants can be submitted beginning July 1, 2023.
2022 – 2023 Pocket Change Grant Winners.
Each year, Texas Panhandle teachers dream of new ideas, initiatives and programs that will challenge, enlighten, and encourage their students. We proudly support those dreams and love contributing to making them a reality! Here are just a few stories from our awarded teachers!
Highland Park’s band teacher takes great pride in the achievements of his kids! Sixth grade Band is a required elective on his campus, so he used his Pocket Change funds to purchase one Yamaha Advantage workbook for each student.
These lucky kids at Highland Park Elementary get to learn how to keep a steady beat with recently purchased scarves, rhythm sticks, bean bags and tennis balls!
A Houston Middle School teacher is able to get robotics supplies and take her students to competitions where they excel!
This elementary teacher, who explained that art education is just as valuable as core content, secured art supplies for all the first graders at Western Plateau. The art supplies will help these kiddoes develop their fine motor, language, and social skills!
A Randall Junior High Science teacher purchased consumables she needs for her students’ lab experiences. She explained that this was the first time in a really long time that her 7th graders had the chance to dissect frogs!
A West Plains High School Construction, Milling and Cabinet Making teacher is using his funds for various carpentry tools and wood, allowing his studentsto construct work tables like the outfeed table pictured here.
A science teacher at Will Rogers Elementary in AISD was able to purchase additional Ozobots for her STEM labs. Her second and third grade students have fun while learning to code the mini robots using paper and markers!
This Highland Park Elementary teacher purchased flex seating for her students to use this year and for others to use in years to come! She told us the grant award was an “amazing surprise that has helped impact the environment in my classroom in a positive way.”
This 18+ Transition Program Teacher in Canyon ISD purchased a grill, picnic tables and accessories to teach life and social skills to her class. She strives to provide authentic experiences and lessons to assure that her students have the greatest opportunities to become meaningful and contributing members of the community!
Pocket Change Grant gave this Friona classroom a sensory facelift! The teacher was able to purchase items for her classrooms of regular ed and special ed students–spinners, gears, rainbow liquid sensory viewers, moveable spears, crazy shapes, magnetic builders, color-changing light-up items, and many more manipulatives that help educate our students. Not only did education rise, but also her discipline problems went down! Her students will continue to use the items not only this year but also in the following years.
At Highland Park Elementary, we have added books that represent the different cultures in our classroom, books that help us understand and meet our different social-emotional needs, books that will be used as mentor texts, and books that are just plain fun to read! To say my students and I are excited to add all of these wonderful books to our classroom library is an understatement.
A Middle School Science teacher at Highland Park was able to purchase materials to teach atoms, elements, compounds, chemical change, weather, energy conservation, landforms, topographic maps, lunar cycles, and so much more! Without a teacher who cared and Pocket Change Grant money, his students would have missed out!
Students at Highland Park Middle School were thrilled to see the Lego League Robotics program added this year. Pocket Change Grant funds helped buy Spike Prime Robots for students entering the WONDERFUL WORLD OF ROBOTS. This STEM learning curriculum and sport is one where every child can succeed and everyone can become a Pro. Students are allowed to put their creative and problem solving skills to work, where the level of engagement by students from every walk of life is amazing!
Lakeview Elementary Pre-K teacher used PCG funds to purchase a Light Sandbox All in One. Her students can use their hands and imaginations to learn their letters, shapes, colors, and numbers at the activity table. Students will have the added benefit of strengthening their gross and fine motor skills.
A Math teacher at North Heights Alternative High School used his funds to purchase three acoustic guitars. He offers free guitar lessons during lunch. Students pack into the classroom for the lessons that are a powerful tool to build positive teacher/student relationships. This teacher has seen huge improvement in work completion and academic progress in Math among these high-risk students since offering the music lessons.
Puckett Elementary’s Music Specialists purchased additional metal xylophones to allow her budding musicians more time per instrument and more rotations so they can create songs, improvise on tunes they already know or just to explore the cool sounds these instruments make!
The Pocket Change Grant allowed Bushland High School’s speech & debate team to boost the travel budget to cover entry fees at tournaments, gas, vehicle rentals, hotels, and meals for students. Speech & debate allows students to work on their communication, research, and organizational skills while also learning time management, responsibility, ethics, and professionalism. It teaches students that they are allowed to have a voice and an opinion, and provides them the skills to execute those.
A caring Pre-K teacher at Rogers Elementary explained that young children must develop physically in order to learn. With her PCG funds, she purchased tools to help her little learners’ develop their motor skills!
The students of this innovative technology teacher at Canyon Junior High are able to create designs without the use of a mouse! Pocket Change Grant funds were used to purchase industry-standard tools that are staples for graphic designers and other digital media creators.
A caring bilingual counselor at Forest Hill Elementary purchased a bubble wall to help her kids self-regulate when they become fretful. Anxious students set a timer and stand facing the bubble wall, and in minutes they are ready to return to class to learn!
A fabulous Kindergarten teacher at Arden Road Elementary purchased STEM based activity materials for her kids who learn as they play!
The Ridgecrest Elementary Librarian was able to purchase books from the Texas Awards Lists for her kids who LOVE to read. She says it feels like Christmas when new books come in!
2021 – 2022 Pocket Change Grant Winners.
PCG money allowed the teacher of River Road High School agricultural welding students to purchase metal so students could practice/get welding certifications to enter the workforce
A teacher at Caprock High School was able to recreate a sensory room for her Special Needs students after her storage unit was vandalized and robbed. Funds allowed her to replace the materials for her to recreate a sensory room for her special needs children.
Teacher at Forest Hill Elementary purchased materials to teach life skills to her first graders who “work” at a grocery store, bank, farmer’s market, doctor’s office, and florist.
Will Rogers Elementary Early Childhood Special Education students needed weighted vests and flex seating to help them cope with sensory processing difficulties
Western Plateau Elementary teacher was able to purchase a light table and transparent materials to teach Math skills to her Pre-K students
Randall High School Robotics Program – Materials allowd students to prepare for and compete in Robotics Competition. One student won the Promote Award and another won the Judge’s Award.
Richard Milburn Alternative High School replenished their resource closet for students and their families suffering from food insecurity and other physical needs
Travis 6th grade teacher was able to purchase flex seating (wobble chairs and yoga balls) for her Special Education students
Will Rogers Elementary music program -Devices called Bo Peps help music students hold their flutes with their little hands and the teacher was also able to purchase a coronet holder for her student who only has one arm
North Heights Alternative School – Portable dance barres the teacher can easily put up and then put away allow at-risk students to take dance classes in a traditional classroom
Teacher at Glenwood Elementary was able to purchase books in Spanish and English for her bilingual classroom
The generous work of the Education Credit Union is truly remarkable. The Pocket Change Grant program began in 2009 and has exceeded $750,000 in awards for teachers. These funds enhance classroom resources in support of student learning. For all of the classrooms and districts who have benefitted from this program, we are extremely grateful for the Education Credit Union for helping our teachers and students.
When I think of the generosity of the Education Credit Union and its employees, I am overcome with gratitude. We can make no better investment in our future than one which supports students and teachers. I can tell you the impact of three-quarters of a million dollars awarded through Pocket Change Grants is felt in our schools, and it has and is making a difference in the lives of students.
The Pocket Change Grant is an amazing program offered by Education Credit Union. ECU annually puts money back into the classrooms and programs by awarding these grants. For River Road ISD, this program has helped many of our teachers do extra things for students. Thank You, Education Credit Union, and keep up this much-needed program!