Library friends aid teachers across Surprise

Posted 1/26/23

The Friends of the Surprise Libraries has released the names of the teachers in local schools who received a combined $65,605.71 in school grants in 2022.

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Library friends aid teachers across Surprise


The Friends of the Surprise Libraries has released the names of the teachers in local schools who received a combined $65,605.71 in school grants in 2022.

This amount represents nearly four times the amount requested and awarded in 2021. President Aly Cline explained the increase was due to “our ongoing outreach to local schools.”

Grants are made possible by the sale of used books and other media in the Friends Place bookstore, 16089 N. Bullard Ave., in the southwest corner of the Surprise Library. Friends Place is operated and staffed by volunteers of the Friends of the Surprise Libraries.

Grants were awarded based on applications by teachers wishing to enhance classroom learning experiences. Materials are purchased by Friends of the Surprise Libraries and delivered to the schools.

The 2022 recipients are:

• Arizona Charter Academy. Five teachers took advantage and were awarded a total of $9,825.92. Those participating were Vanassa Dobbs, Jada Henderson, Lori Townes, Sharesa Uher and Jacqueline Wheeler.

Dysart Unified School District has been participating in the grant program for several years.

This year four schools and eight teachers applied for and received grants in the amount of $29,771.24, including $8,458 to support Kindergarten experience summer classes and books for new teachers.

• Canyon Ridge Elementary teachers Jennifer Medved-Abbott, Elizabeth Schultz and Gennifer Zheng received a total of $8,185.60.
• Countryside Elementary teachers Teri Price and Caitlin Cassity received grants totalling $2,426.34.

• Yelena Fischer and Katelyn Magie of Thompson Ranch Elementary requested and received a total of $6,686.90.
• Leigh Johnson of Western Peaks Elementary received a grant for $4,015.

Nadaburg USD had the highest teacher participation in the grant program in 2022.

The district received a total of $23,576.57.

• Desert Oasis Elementary teachers Kristine Benney, Janelle Paul/Bewley, Shelby Figueroa, Laura Frazier, Victoria Kent, Samantha Miller and Kelsey Schuster received grants totaling $10,623.34.
• Nadaburg recently opened Mountainside High School. A grant of $3,677 was approved for Desere Hockman. The district also received $400 for books for new teachers. Lindsay Dyer, district speech pathologist received a grant for $422.03.
• Nadaburg Elementary teachers Erika Chapman, Courtney Keisling, Christine Kuschewski, Michelle McCarthy, Jennifer McGowan, Lori Noto, Makenzi Olson, Kylie Reynolds, Karen Small and Holli Taylor, received a total of $8,454.00.

• Paradise Honors High School received $1,033.70 for Helen Mason, and $1,103.70 for Kristin McNamara.

• The Your Sure Foundation received $249.46 for financial education tools to use when teaching a summer school program for the city of Surprise Work Program.

The Friends of the Surprise Libraries is a 50l (c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting literacy improvement in the northwest Valley.

For information or to make a donation, visit

Friends of the Surprise Libraries, Nadaburg USD, Dysart Unified School District, Arizona Charter Academy, Your Sure Foundation