Philanthropy

Fiesta Bowl's Wishes for Teachers delivers $1 million to local educators

Posted 11/11/21

Though Thanksgiving was technically celebrated on November 25 this year, for 400 teachers across Arizona – including four from Litchfield Park – it came early this year.

During the …

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Philanthropy

Fiesta Bowl's Wishes for Teachers delivers $1 million to local educators

Posted

Though Thanksgiving will technically be celebrated on November 25 this year, for 400 teachers across Arizona – including four from Litchfield Park – it came early. 

During the first days of November, in what has become an annual tradition to honor, support and celebrate Arizona’s teachers, the Fiesta Bowl Organization was proud to award $1 million to teachers through the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program.

Through a three-day Virtual Draft Day presented by the Salt River Project (SRP), 400 teachers from K-12 schools were each given $2,500 to grant a wish in their classrooms.

The winners were chosen based on a program in the fall wherein any Arizona K-12 teacher was able to fill out an online application detailing a school or classroom need. The wishes were then verified and selected by random drawing for teachers to receive a grant.

Over the six years of the program, Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers has granted $4.7 total million to more than 1,200 Arizona teachers, impacting more than 500,000 children across the state.

“I love Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Draft Day presented by SRP, it is so exciting when we call each teacher to let them know their name was selected as a grant recipient,” said Patrick Barkley, chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “Wishes for Teachers is well-known around the state as the preeminent program for teacher support. My mom was a teacher, and we all know teachers who inspire us with their selfless work.”

This year, the 400 teachers represent 300 schools in 63 cities across the state, teaching more than 200,000 students in 84 districts over 75 subjects, from social studies to special education, literature to leadership, music to math. Here is just a sampling of classroom wishes being granted through the program:

  • Britney Joseph, a music teacher at Litchfield Elementary School, is using her wish to purchase instruments for students to use when they are unable to afford their own.
  • Jacqueline Rodriguez a 3rd-grade teacher at Litchfield Elementary School, is using her wish to provide Chromebooks for her class.
  • Jules Nolte, a STEM teacher at Belen Soto Elementary School, is using her wish to purchase equipment and materials for STEM projects.
  • Elizabeth Davis, an 8th-grade teacher at Western Sky Middle School, is using her wish to purchase additional books for the classroom.
  • Amy Alek, a math teacher at Western Sky Middle School, is using her wish to purchase headphones for testing and online assessment in the class. 
  • Kristen Stewart, a 1st-grade teacher at Verrado Elementary School is using her wish to provide iPads for her classroom.
  • Jennifer Guant, an English language learning teacher at Western Sky Middle School, is using her wish to purchase supplies to support a resource center for English language learners.
  • Philip Jackson, a science teacher at Western Sky Middle School, is using his wish to provide Chromebooks to his classroom.
  • Wendy Jones, an 8th-grade writing teacher at Western Sky Middle School, is using her wish to build a classroom library for students to enjoy. 

“Teachers are our unsung heroes, who give so much to our students in helping them become tomorrow’s leaders. Giving them a spotlight for their selfless work and support them with extra resources is an important part of the Fiesta Bowl’s commitment to our community,” said Mike Nealy, Fiesta Bowl Executive Director.

“Thanks to our partners Desert Financial and SRP, Wishes for Teachers help rewards Arizona’s teachers and give them a step forward in ways they may have only wished.”

For more information, or for a full list of granted wishes, visit www.fiestabowl.org.

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