Krista Firkus, Cousins Middle School choral director, applied for the grant.
According to Leigh Gant, Georgia United business development officer, Cousins Middle School’s application stood out among the more than 300 entries from across the state. The school was selected to receive a music room “mini-crash,” which included new carpet — courtesy of Mohawk — a Guitar Center brand sound system, Wenger risers, posture chairs, 40 new music stands, five electronic keyboards and three boomboxes.
The makeover grant totaled more than $19,000.
“It was an honor to help improve the school’s music room,” Gant said. “We know it’s imperative for students to have an outlet that encourages self-expression and we hope the new musical instruments and equipment inspires their creativity and supports their social development.”
“I am so grateful for the School Crashers Grant from Georgia United Credit Union,” Firkus said. “We have a whole new classroom thanks to their investment. I think the students feel more respected when they see the equipment that has been provided for us. As a result, they are behaving more maturely and singing better than ever! They are also taking more ownership over the choral program.
"They are taking care of the risers and chairs and are volunteering to pick up after class. Even the students who aren’t in the chorus have noticed! When they pass my room, I hear comments like, ‘Woah, you have a whole new room!’ or ‘Wow, your room is cool!’ I’m excited to see how many more students want to be a part of the Cousins Chorus simply because we now look the part. Even more, I’m excited to work with these kids and facilitate the beautiful music that they are capable of making!”
School Crashers is Georgia United Foundation’s largest community service program that offers schools across the state the opportunity to apply for a school facility makeover. The nomination period is typically open in March, and anyone can nominate a deserving school by submitting a 250-word statement explaining why their school should receive a makeover along with supporting photos of the areas in need.
Over the last five years, the program has provided 33 makeovers, totaling more than $1 million in improvements.