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Phoenix school celebrates academic success


May 02, 2010

More than 300 families received support and assistance with nutrition and exercise; smart and safe use of media; reading, math and science homework tips; and much more at the “Qwest School Success for the Entire Family Backpacks" event on April 30 at the Friendly House Academia del Pueblo Elementary Charter School.

The event also gave the Phoenix school a chance to celebrate the completion of AIMS testing and their new "Performing Plus" status. PBS’ Maya and Miguel characters were on hand for class pictures with the students.

"Our students look forward to the backpack event because of all the stimulating and fun educational materials they receive," said Luis Ibarra, president and CEO of Friendly House. "The Qwest Foundation has prioritized supporting educational programs that are aimed at keeping children excited about being in school, and Friendly House is proud of the partnership we have developed with Qwest over the years. Their funds helped purchase the property for our elementary school, which has obtained a Performance Plus status from the Arizona Department of Education, and for that we are greatly appreciative of our partnership."

In April, backpacks were also made available to families in Benson, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City, Douglas, Mesa, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Kingman, Tucson, Casa Grande, Safford, Sierra Vista, Tuba City, Cottonwood, Williams, Winslow and Yuma – more than 2,000 in total. The program is part of Eight’s Educational Outreach partnership with Qwest to distribute backpacks through the Arizona Department of Economic Security Regional Prevention Councils in cities across the state.

The items in the backpacks will provide help to the youngest learners with kindergarten readiness, and for older siblings with reading, math and science homework tips. Good nutrition and exercise information and advice on good television-watching habits as well as safety online, are included for parents and caregivers. Sesame Street’s Families Stand Together offers advice and tips on a variety of issues. Finally, the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Consortium and its members have provided information to help families deal with difficult issues together and get assistance when needed. Referral information with websites and phone numbers for immediate help is also included.

“Eight Educational Outreach-ASSET was thrilled with the generosity and support of many community partners who came forward to donate items to the backpacks," said Eight’s Associate General Manager-Education Kimberly Flack. "Qwest provided the funding to get this project started and expand the distribution of PBS resources to families who need it most. The local partners added extra value. This kind of outreach reminds us that even in times of economic difficulty, there is still an opportunity to come together and provide resources for academic success.”

The backpacks included:

A Place of Our Own/Los Niños en Su Casa: Door hanger, pen, magnetic clip, whiteboard and poster

• KIP-Kindergartener in Progress: Growth chart and luggage tags

• PBS KIDS Raising Readers: Learn to read games, The Electric Company activity book, SuperWHY! color book.

Sesame Workshop Families Stand Together: Kits and DVD

• PBS’ This Emotional Life bookmarks

• 
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Caring Neighbor checklist

Additional school supplies were donated by the community as well as tip cards from the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Consortium, Arizona Literacy & Learning Center, Arizona Prevention Resource Center, Association for Supportive Child Care, Banner Health Cardon Children’s Medical Center, City of Phoenix, Family Resource Center, First Things First Southeast Maricopa Regional Partnership Council, Lakeshore Learning, Leaps & Bounds, Pearson, Phoenix Zoo, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, Southwest Human Development, State Farm, and United States Census 2010.

About the Qwest Foundation
The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.

About Eight's Educational Outreach
Arizona Pre K-12 students benefit from outreach programs and educator professional development distributed statewide by Eight Educational Outreach-ASSET. For more information visit www.azpbs.org/asset.

About Eight, Arizona PBS
Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture — utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1.3 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station’s annual budget. For more information, visit www.azpbs.org.