ROY -- It has been 17 years since America First Credit Union has been helping students at Lakeview Elementary get a leg up in society, so they thought it was a cause for celebration.
Employees of the credit union came to the school recently with music, treats, games and party favors, plus a check for $500.
Every year the credit union throws the party and adds the $500 check to help the school with any improvements it may need. For the past couple of years principal Cami Alexander has been using the money to enhance technology at the school. Last year it was used for smart boards in classrooms and this year it will also help buy more smart boards but will also be used to enhance the school's sound system.
"We have some really talented kids here and we want them to be able to use their talents," Alexander said.
She cannot measure all the help the credit union has given students over the years, but it has been wonderful, she said.
Nicole Cypers, who oversees community relations for the credit union, said they started the partnership with Lakeview 17 years ago through the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce's Partners in Education program. The employees at the Roy branches, as well as their home office, which is located in Riverdale have loved helping the students in many ways, so the Partners in Education program has soared for the school.
"We have volunteers that come in and Krypto and chess, but we also do other things like the Warm the Soles program where we provide shoes for the kids at Christmas," Cypers said. Volunteers meet regularly from the branches with Alexander to decide what things they can do to help in the school, Cypers said.
But every January a big party is held on the anniversary of the beginning of the partnership and a check is presented.
"We try to make it a party atmosphere," Cypers said. And this year didn't disappoint. Students danced the limbo, did the hokey-pokey and cheered loudly when the check was presented, Alexander said.
Cypers isn't surprised by the number of volunteers always eager to help at the school.
"I think it's because of our motto of people helping people. We just like to be there to help out," she said.
Alexander has seen that community partnerships are vital to help her school be successful. "We are always looking for volunteers and they do things with our kids that they wouldn't be able to do otherwise," Alexander said.
The credit union has also come in and taught the students about financial literacy which has been invaluable, Alexander said.
Cypers hopes that the credit union will partner with the school for as long as there is a need, and Alexander agrees.
"They benefit us in so many ways," Alexander said.