Langley Awards $15,000 in Grants for Innovative Classroom Projects

Media Inquiries Kelli Ragland, Vice President of Marketing

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – (Nov. 27, 2023) – Thirty Hampton Roads teachers each will receive a $500 grant from Langley Federal Credit Union to bring innovative projects to their classrooms during the 2023-24 academic year.

Through the grants, totaling $15,000, Langley is championing diverse educational initiatives with a focus on cutting-edge subjects. Among the selected projects are initiatives related to cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, agricultural sustainability and environmental consciousness, robotics activities that inspire STEM learning, reading comprehension and access to dual language books, and sensory spaces to improve emotional health.

Portsmouth Public School teachers Brandi Blount of Cradock Elementary School and Benjamin Brown of Churchland Middle School each received a grant to introduce Sphero products into their classrooms. Sphero is a leading STEM learning company known for their interactive robotics and STEM education kits that teach kids to code at home and in the classroom.

“The students I work with are resilient and love school. It warms my heart to be able to provide them with quality, engaging instruction,” Blount said. “In class, materials for hands-on learning are limited. The Sphero Indi bots will be a great extension to previously learned skills. They will expose students to a form of technology that aligns with 21st century learning.”

Langley established the annual mini grant program in 2006 to assist local elementary, middle and high school teachers.

“Teachers give so much of themselves to ensure each and every one of their students has the opportunity to succeed,” said Jerome Fowlkes, Langley’s chief human resources officer and member of the Langley for Families Foundation Board. “The teacher mini grant program helps ensure our community’s educators have the resources needed to enhance their classroom experience and provide creative learning opportunities for their students.”

The recipients of the 2023 mini grants are:

View Recipients
First Name Last Name School Location
Courtney Balingit Palmer Elementary School Newport News
Brandi Blount Cradock Elementary School Portsmouth
Madeline Brewer Kecoughtan High School Hampton
Benjamin Brown Churchland Middle School Portsmouth
Marlana Chamblee Carver Elementary Newport News
Cindy Connell Gildersleeve Middle Newport News
Baseemah Cumberbatch-Smith Arrowhead Elementary School Virginia Beach
Qua Cummings John F. Kennedy Middle School Suffolk
Gretchen DeWall Point Option Virtual Learning Academy Newport News
William Huberdeau Warwick High School Newport News
Brittany Hutchison Gildersleeve Middle School Newport News
Karen Inniss Southside STEM – Campostella Norfolk
Bernita Johnson Cradock Elementary Portsmouth
Andrea Jones Blair Middle School Norfolk
Angel Jones Churchland Academy Portsmouth
Brooke Kampney Menchville High Newport News
Amber LaMonte York High School York County
McKenzie LeVan Birdneck Elementary Virginia Beach
Jennifer Marques da Silva Grassfield High School Chesapeake
Autumn Mathis Langley Elementary School Hampton
Alisa Smith Jamestown High School Williamsburg/JCC
Krysten Stallard Gildersleeve Middle School Newport News
Rebecca Stauffer Coventry Elementary School York County
Bonnie Stewart Hampton Christian Academy Hampton
Lauren Taggart Rosemont Forest Elementary Virginia Beach
Catherine Taylor Plaza Middle School Virginia Beach
Lindsay Thompson Princess Anne Middle School Virginia Beach
Jennifer Walker James River Elementary School Williamsburg/JCC
Charisse Warren Shelton Park Elementary Virginia Beach
Minnie Woodbury Southwestern Elementary School Chesapeake

Langley Federal Credit Union has a long history of community involvement and charitable giving dating back to the founding of the credit union in the 1930's. With a commitment to making a difference in the communities it serves, Langley for Families Foundation was launched in 2014 to support causes and charities benefiting children and families.

Langley Federal Credit Union is a federally-chartered credit union, regulated and insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Langley Federal Credit Union serves more than 370,000 members and has nearly $5.3 billion in assets, ranking the financial cooperative as one of the 100 largest credit unions in the country. Langley is a full-service financial institution where everyone can save, borrow, and spend wisely. Located in Hampton Roads, Langley has over 700 employees, 23 branches and more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the region. For more information, visit