After a successful telethon, Great Hearts Academies announces that more than $500,000 was raised to benefit its annual Teacher Excellence Fund, which provides annual bonus compensation for its teachers statewide.
In addition to charitable support from donors throughout the year, Great Hearts held its first telethon on Sept. 19 to raise money for the fund, according to a press release.
Livestreamed across Great Hearts’ YouTube, Facebook and other platforms, donations were received from more than 800 parents, community partners, and organizations.
The telethon was launched in response to the postponement of the annual Great Hearts Gala due to the current pandemic, the release said.
Telethon highlights included a student poetry recitation, live faculty and student musical performances, a mascot competition between all Arizona prep academies and individual academy highlights.
The telethon, which was the primary fundraising vehicle for this year’s annual Teacher Excellence Fund, afforded Great Hearts Academies the opportunity to reward hardworking Arizona teachers transitioning to distance learning and overcoming other obstacles created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are humbled by the kindness and generosity of the individuals and businesses that support our incredible Great Hearts Arizona teachers,” said Erik Twist, Arizona president of Great Hearts, in a prepared statement.
“This year has been extremely difficult for our teachers because of the pandemic but the talent, resilience and compassion of our teachers is revealed every day both in the classroom and online. They deserve our recognition now more than ever, and we are grateful to our community for participating and giving in this year’s telethon fundraiser.”
Funds will be distributed to teachers in their upcoming December payroll, said the release, noting that $525,467 was raised for the 2019 Teacher Excellence Fund, last year, which provided 578 Great Hearts Arizona teachers with bonus compensation in December 2019.
The Teacher Excellence Fund bonus awards are distributed every December and are tied to performance, based on Headmaster teaching observations of synchronous learning and recorded videos, excellence in the classroom and overall commitment to Great Hearts’ core purpose in serving students, according to the release.
Great Hearts – nonprofit network of tuition-free public charter schools dedicated to improving education nationwide through classical preparatory K-12 academies – has 22 schools and 14,000 students throughout Phoenix.
More information: greatheartsamerica.org.