The first Wednesday of every month we introduce you to our new Giving Project nonprofit recipient.

School is winding down this time of year, making May 8 – 12 the perfect time for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Fittingly, May’s Giving Project focuses on the local organization Tucson Values Teachers.

“If you have a great teacher in the classroom, you’re going to have successful students, and then you’re going to have a prosperous community.” – Andy Heinemann, Tucson Values Teachers CEO

Founded in 2008, Tucson Values Teachers is an education initiative of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

The council is a business organization with over 140 members and one goal:

“Our entire mission is all about inspiring support of pre-K through 12th grade teachers,” says Andy Heinemann, CEO of Tucson Values Teachers. “We do that through community collaborations to attract teachers to the profession, help them stay in the profession and then we want to celebrate teacher excellence.”

“Tucson Values Teachers is a gem for the Tucson community and its teachers because they’re reliable and they support us,” says Robyn Yewell, who teaches 5th grade at Harelson Elementary.

“They’re always looking out for our best interests as educators. That’s such a great feeling,” says Yewell.

Pat Parris: “You must feel supported as well from some pretty important members of the business community who back this.” Robyn Yewell: “Absolutely, and it’s beneficial for not only the business side but also the education side as well, because our students are the ones that are going to be employed one day by these businesses.”

Those business leaders come speak to classes like Yewell’s, helping students see what the future might look like.

Yewell also feels valued as a past winner of the monthly ‘Excellence Award’ presented by Tucson Values Teachers.

Plus, she’s been able to take advantage of their start of the school year gift cards for supplies.

“It’s just really helpful because every dollar counts, and just to have that support, and knowing what we’re doing in the classrooms is so valued that we have the support in the community,” Yewell tells me.

We invite you to make a donation to Tucson Values Teachers using our new texting feature.

Simply text givingproject to 50155 to make a donation, or visit the Giving Project section of our website to learn more.

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is our partner in the Giving Project. They will again match the first $500 received in donations this month.