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September 28, 2017


Corporate Communications
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
(214) 441-8445

Louisiana Tutoring Program Receives $46K in Grants Since 2015PR_Sept_2.jpg

Partnership Grants from First National Bank of Louisiana, FHLB Dallas, to Offset Expenses

CROWLEY, LOUISIANA, September 28, 2017 — Crowley, Louisiana-based nonprofit Empowering the Community for Excellence (ETCFE) received a $14,350 Partnership Grant Program (PGP) award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and First National Bank of Louisiana. The funds will be used for operating expenses and instructional materials.

This is the third PGP award ETCFE has received from FHLB Dallas and First National Bank of Louisiana, bringing the organization's total PGP awards to $46,350. Louisiana State Representative John Stefanski representing Louisiana's 42nd district and Jay Vicknair, deputy state director for U.S. Senator John Kennedy's (R-LA) office joined representatives from the banks and ETCFE for a check presentation yesterday at the organization's offices.

"A child's education serves as the foundation for future successes in life," said Representative Stefanski. "The PGP funds will help ensure the children in our community have essential resources available to them and I commend the banks for their partnership and commitment to the community."

ETCFE founder Audry Spencer said the grant allows the organization to operate another year. Having spent 38 years in the classroom, the retired educator has dedicated her life to helping children. Upon retirement, Mrs. Spencer was distressed to see the rate at which Crowley children were failing to advance to the next grade level. Her solution was establishing ETCFE, a free community-based after school tutoring program providing academic assistance to students in grades 1-5. The program has now expanded to serve students in kindergarten, middle school and high school.

The tutoring program will continue to grow thanks, in part, to the PGP award. In addition to using the grant for operating expenses and instructional materials, the organization will expand its reach from 99 students to 115 students in the 2017-18 school year.   

"First National Bank has worked with ETCFE for several years and we are glad to partner with FHLB Dallas to support Mrs. Spencer's vision through the PGP," said First National Bank of Louisiana President and CEO Randy Prather.

The structure of the PGP enables FHLB Dallas member institutions like First National Bank of Louisiana to make a contribution of $500 to $4,000 to a community-based organization (CBO), which FHLB Dallas will match at a 3:1 ratio. In 2017, FHLB Dallas awarded $300,000 in Partnership Grant Program (PGP) funds through 31 member institutions to assist 30 community-based organizations. Combined with the $104,550 contributed by FHLB Dallas members, a total of $404,550 was awarded to the organizations.  

"The PGP promotes partnership between the community and our members," said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "This wouldn't be possible without our members such as First National Bank of Louisiana."

Mrs. Spencer said the funds will help sustain the organization to serve more kids.

"When I first started this organization, I had 20 kids," said Mrs. Spencer, who still fills in as a teacher at ETCFE from time to time. "Now, thanks to these funds, I am looking at helping 115 kids this year. We are blessed to continue for another year."

About First National Bank of Louisiana

First National Bank of Louisiana is an independent community bank whose mission is to ensure that the stability of the communities surrounding Crowley, Louisiana is strengthened by its commitment to delivering courteous, attentive, and personal service. Established in the 1920s, the bank has grown to hold over $380 million in assets. First National Bank is committed to attracting and retaining exceptional personnel who are motivated to serve their customers' ever-changing needs, as well as building strategic partnerships to enhance shareholder value. For more information, visit

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $62.9 billion as of June 30, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit for more information.