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School Crashers

School Crashers is our school makeover program that unites communities, media partners, donors and volunteers to complete improvement projects for deserving schools.

Congratulations 2024 School Crashers Recipients

Your nominations have been heard and it's time to announce the lucky schools who will receive a School Crashers makeover this summer. For the 11th year in a row, Georgia United Foundation is teaming up with Georgia United Credit Union to transform accredited K-12 schools in our state. With over $2.1 million invested and 70 schools impacted over the last decade, it's safe to say that learning environments have been greatly enhanced for students, educators and communities. And the best part? We're just getting started.

Every year, School Crashers accepts nominations and chooses schools in the early spring to undergo summer transformations. To learn more, please review the Official Rules.

Atlanta Area School for the Deaf

Clarkston, GA

The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD) is a dynamic day school in metro Atlanta, that serves over 130 deaf and hard-of-hearing children, aged three to twenty-one from more than 27 surrounding school districts. This school integrates American Sign Language and English in an inclusive and nurturing educational space, promoting effective communication, self-expression and meaningful engagement within the deaf community and beyond. AASD has requested a media center makeover to provide more collaborative seating and new flooring, but most importantly, to incorporate the addition of a deaf history museum and resource center. This resource center will include archival materials from AASD's history; space for donated historical artifacts showing progression in deaf technology; a timeline of deaf history and De'Via art (Deaf View/Image Art) displays and exhibits. Thanks to our longtime partners at Mohawk Flooring, this space will receive brand new flooring. 

Barksdale Elementary School

Conyers, GA

Kristi Roop, the newly appointed principal of Barksdale Elementary, has been actively involved in supporting teachers in catering to the needs of students with complex requirements. The school has three self-contained autism rooms serving students from K-5, along with a Ready PreK room. Their School Crashers grant will be utilized to construct a sensory classroom to enhance the learning experience and behavior management of all students. This specially equipped room will feature calming corners, unique seating arrangements and sensory elements such as lighting and textures to create a safe and accepting environment where students can deescalate, refocus and improve their interactions with each other. By providing this space, the school will cater to a diverse range of social and physical needs, allowing teachers to redirect students to the sensory classroom when in need of a calm environment to refocus, thereby improving their academic performance.

Miller Grove Middle School

Decatur, GA

With a student population of roughly 700 ranging from sixth through eighth grade, Miller Grove Middle School would like to use their School Crashers grant to revamp their media center to cultivate a passion for reading amongst their students. This summer, we'll be working with Miller Grove to update this space to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for students to study or relax with a captivating book. This refurbished space will feature new and comfortable furniture and a revamped layout, and Mohawk Flooring has generously contributed brand new carpeting to enhance the experience.

Pooler Elementary School

Pooler, GA

Pooler Elementary is the one of the oldest schools in the Savannah-Chatham County School System and prides itself on being "the little school that could." Special Ed Teacher Sarah Clarke shared in her grant request that the entire school is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive learning environment for all students. "We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to learn and grow in a space that meets their unique needs." Their School Crashers grant will be used to create a sensory classroom that will provide a safe and calming space for students with sensory processing challenges. This classroom will be equipped with a range of sensory tools and equipment, including weighted blankets, noise-cancelling headphones and sensory bins. Our goal is to create a space where students can feel comfortable and supported, and where they can develop the skills they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Eastside Elementary School

Dalton, GA

Eastside Elementary is a Title 1 school that serves over 650 students in a low-income area of Dalton, GA. Special Ed teacher Tollis Bond presented multiple areas of need within the school that could benefit from School Crashers funding and volunteers and two areas were selected for projects: 1) A total sensory room makeover to include both active and calming areas, incorporating paint, flooring and appropriate sensory equipment; and 2) New flooring for their well-loved media center to replace their old, stained carpet. (Did you know that carpeting helps libraries stay "quiet" by providing sound absorption? Just a little fact from our friends at Mohawk who are providing the new flooring!)

By investing in these two areas, we will reinforce the RCA (Ron Clark Academy) house system of core values practiced at Eastside that promotes a positive and inclusive school culture where students can thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

Cornelia Elementary School

Cornelia, GA

Cornelia Elementary School was nominated by Assistant Principal Carrie Trotter who shared that their Title 1 school is constantly looking for ways to introduce students to new concepts and ways of learning. They are part of the "Leader in Me" model based on the Stephen Covey book about building highly successful habits and character as a foundation for lifelong learning. Cornelia Elementary teachers have long dreamed of having a special STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Room to introduce the concepts of these fields of study - to be used as part of all students' weekly "Specials" exploration rotation. Their STEM room will allow for "hands on" interactive learning in all four STEM areas and feature a "maker space" with a 3-D printer, flexible, collaborative seating, a Smart Touch Screen for presentations and even robotics.

Our Impact So Far

Words could never express how amazing it feels to enter our renovated spaces. The difference between the before and afters is like night and day. The faculty, staff and students were totally shocked by the upgrades provided through the School Crashers Grant from Georgia United Foundation and program sponsors. I am a 23 year educator in the Dekalb County School District. This by far is the best thing that has ever happened to me as an employee. We cannot thank you enough for choosing us for this unique opportunity. The Salem Middle School family is eternally grateful.
- Tiffanie B., Head Counselor, Salem Middle School
What an amazing program! Thank you to all the School Crashers contributors for making our newly created faculty recharge room a reality for the staff at Windsor Forest Elementary School. The staff looks forward to recharging here to focus on increasing student motivation and achievement.
- Dr. Trikia G., Principal, Windsor Forest Elementary
WOWSA! What a remarkable transformation! Thank you for bringing our vision to fruition! Beyond all expectations! We can’t wait to restore and recharge with our new space. With heartfelt gratitude.
- Barbara S., First Grade Teacher DLI, Windsor Forest Elementary School
Thank you! I do not have enough words to express my gratitude to Georgia United Foundation's School Crashers. I am overwhelmed with joy and indeed grateful for the total transformation of the teachers’ lounge at Salem Middle School. The lounge is inviting and relaxing, and it provides the teachers a space to RECHARGE! Thank you for selecting our proposal and making some much-needed improvements for our teachers at Salem Middle School.
- Dr. Lisa M., Executive Administrator, DeKalb County School District
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer a sensory room for students of all ages and abilities. Students who need a break to regroup and refocus will have a dedicated and private space to work through their feelings and emotions. The sensory room created by Georgia United Foundation offers students multiple methods of re-centering and regulating their minds and bodies. Calm minds and bodies are necessities for academic and social learning to occur. The sensory room gives students a place to go to get regulated so they can get back to class and move on with their learning.
- Jennifer W., Principal, High Shoals Elementary School
Our students with sensory needs now have a space where their needs can be met. Previously when our students needed a "brain break" we would go for walks or spend time in an empty space, this often left our students coming back into class with a lot of energy. This room will provide them with the tools they need to be successful for the rest of their day and this room will serve as another resource that teachers can utilize when they see a student struggling in the classroom. This program is super important because it immediately serves a specific need in the community. We were able to start our project at the end of May and were able to complete it by the end of July.
- Megan S., Special Education Interrelated Teacher, High Shoals Elementary School
Our staff will be positively affected by having a truly comfortable space where they can take a mindful break. School Crashers has truly been a blessing to our school. As educators, we often put ourselves 2nd and forget that we also must take care of ourselves or we're not providing the best services to our students. School Crashers has provided us with a space that we otherwise would not be able to have. We cannot thank Georgia United Foundation and their volunteers enough.
- Lindsay K., School Counselor, Cass Middle School
Having the students primed and ready for learning makes the job of every teacher more successful. The sensory room offers teachers an effective intervention for their students. In addition, sometimes adults need a space to calm and recharge. We already find ourselves fully utilizing this amazing space!
- Melissa D., Assistant Principal, Burnette Elementary School
Words are never enough to express appreciation, but your team's hard work truly was a blessing for us. We couldn't be happier with the end result. Many, many thanks to you and all the partners connected to this project in addition to the volunteers that gave their time to help us get it all together. You are all so very appreciated.
- Amy S., Media Center Specialist, Westside Middle School, Rocky Face, GA
Since our school was crashed, there have been SO many classes using the courtyard! We love it!!! And we're trying to get each grade level to take "ownership" of a space in the courtyard so they are going to help maintain it. It's so perfect for our school!!! Fits perfectly with our STEM focus.
- Julie F., Teacher, Brookwood Elementary School, Dalton, GA
We are beyond excited for our students at New Hope Middle School to experience the new sensory room provided to us through the Georgia United Credit Union School Crashers grant. This unique classroom environment will enable a special population of our students to have their sensory needs met in various ways allowing for optimal success in the academic classrooms and fostering positive relationships with their peers. We are on the countdown to the first day of school and can not wait to let our students see our new sensory room!
- Belinda S., Principal, New Hope Middle School, Dalton, GA
Georgia United School Crashers makeover was very impactful in transforming our building! This school-wide transformation was the catalyst that increased our positive school climate and culture, increased our CCPRI scores by 22.2 points and becoming a Title I Rewards school. Thank you Georgia United! You are our ROCK!
- Lisa G., Principal, Rock Chapel Elementary School, Lithonia, GA

Georgia United Foundation Launches 2024 Scholarship Competitions

Jan 5, 2024

(DULUTH, GA) – Georgia United Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Georgia United Credit Union, announces the organization’s 30th annual scholarship competition for high school seniors along with new scholarship opportunities for Georgia public school educators seeking advanced degrees and for undergraduate upperclassmen.

A total of $32,000 will be awarded via various scholarships honoring the credit union’s founder and notable board members and promoting diversity.

“Whether the applicants are entering college, currently enrolled in college, or pursuing additional studies, these scholarships offer a chance to alleviate financial burdens and propel their academic pursuits further,” said Georgia United Director of Community Development Kim Wall. “Education is a Georgia United Foundation cornerstone and providing academic scholarships in the communities we serve is one of the ways we fulfil our purpose of enriching lives.”

College, university and technical school-bound high school seniors are invited to compete for 12 scholarship slots that will be awarded, including two recipients of the $5,000 Vernon E. Carne Scholarship named after the credit union’s founder.

The competition requires a one-minute video submission by the applicants explaining how they plan to use their education to contribute to their community, with all entries due by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 31, 2024. Find the online application here.


The new Frank Thach Scholarship, honoring Georgia United’s board vice chair, will provide financial assistance ($500 each) to 10 Georgia public school teachers that are currently pursuing advanced education degrees at an accredited college or university.

Teacher applicants must submit an online application and write a 250-word essay answer the question: “Why is an advanced degree important to you, and what meaningful impact do you hope to make on students and in your classroom?”

Entries are also due by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 31, 2024. Find the educator application here.

              Also New for 2024:

  • Dr. James Williams Scholarship ($5,000), in honor of Georgia United’s first Black board member, will be awarded to a sophomore or junior enrolled full-time at an accredited Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Applications will only be accepted through Georgia United corporate partner, the African-American Credit Union Coalition.
  • Named after current Georgia United board chair, who also served as a teacher, principal and superintendent of Whitfield County Schools, the Tom Dickson Scholarship will award $5,000 to multiple students enrolled at Dalton State College in Spring 2024. Applications will only be accepted via the Wright School of Business.
  • More details about these two new scholarships will be announced soon.

For more information about Georgia United Foundation’s scholarship programs, including official rules and regulations and related resources, go to:


About Georgia United Foundation 

Georgia United Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for children and families in the communities it serves through impactful programs funded through corporate contributions and delivered via volunteer efforts from team members and community partners. The foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is the philanthropic arm of Georgia United Credit Union. For details on volunteering or donating, visit  

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 more than $2 billion in assets and more than 150,000 members. As a full-service financial institution, Georgia United offers competitive products and services for every stage of life. Visit to learn more.