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April 2022

Our April update
Welcome to the April edition of our newsletter! This month’s issue features a recently published op-ed by our President & CEO, the outcome of the Ideas Welcome Initiative, and more. 

2022 Election Season Underway in Arizona 

With all statewide offices and the entire legislature on the ballot, the 2022 midterm election will set the course for the future of Arizona. It provides voters an important opportunity to participate in the democratic process and realize greater alignment between the Shared Public Values of Arizonans and our elected leaders.

When Arizonans passed the Citizens Clean Elections Act, their goal was to promote participation in elections and political campaigns that focus on real issues affecting voters’ lives. This is why we’re working with the Citizens Clean Elections Commission on an “information hub” to provide nonpartisan research and resources, encourage engagement in candidate debates, and ultimately help Arizonans cast an informed ballot in the primary and general elections later this year.

As leaders in our community, we encourage you to promote broad participation in this year’s elections and consider sharing resources with your networks to support The Arizona We Want. 

Resource Quick Links:

Nominations for the 2022 Awards Close Monday, May 9!

CFA’s annual Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards honor the memory of the dedicated community outreach director who lost his life while serving the citizens of Arizona. Awarded in three categories – Community Builder, Emerging Leader, and Civic Leader – honorees exemplify the impact Zimmerman had in connecting communities and engaging citizens. Arizona-based non-elected public servants can be nominated. 

Learn more about the award criteria and make your nominations today.

Awards will be announced and presented in July at the Arizona City/County Management Association Conference in Tucson. 

Op-ed: Collaboration can fix Arizona's school funding gap

In her latest opinion column in The Arizona Republic, our President & CEO, Dr. Sybil Francis, shares how broadly supported solutions are critical to building a better future for our state, its children, and public education.
Arizona Personalized Learning Network is Expanding to Provide New Options for Schools 

What happens when we reorient teaching and learning to put educators and students at the center? Educators and students flourish. Personalized Learning is a promising and innovative approach to education shown to improve academic achievement and provide meaningful learning that enables every student to thrive in college, career, and civic life. This spurred CFA to begin the Arizona Personalized Learning Network (APLN) in 2018. Since then, APLN has provided support and training to school districts and charter networks committed to developing a personalized learning environment. 

This year, APLN is expanding to provide schools with ways to engage in personalized learning, including the Launch Pathway for school leadership teams, where they can receive support and technical assistance in implementing personalized learning at their schools. 

The pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of a traditional one-size-fits-all education model, impacting student learning and success. This expansion of APLN, which is possible through a significant investment CFA received from Governor Doug Ducey utilizing federal COVID-19 relief dollars, will help Arizona educators build on work already underway to reimagine education to better meet the needs of students and their families.

Learn more about Launch for schools and join an upcoming information session.

Arizona Champion: Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community 

As an organization focused on bringing Arizonans together for positive change, we are keenly aware that our mission is not accomplished in a silo. Our work is highly collaborative and requires dedicated partners and consistent support to achieve sustainable outcomes.

This month we reflect on our gratitude for our funding partners in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, a tribal nation in the metropolitan Phoenix area. The Community shares common borders with the cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Fountain Hills and is an integral part of the East Valley economy. As such, the SRPMIC is committed to improving the quality of life of Arizonans through its partnerships with organizations that provide critical services. For example, the their continued support –every year for the last 16 years– has amounted to over $1 million. This investment helped us establish, evolve, and expand Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy, which supports Arizona district and school leaders in creating better quality schools and improving student outcomes. 

Read more about this partnership’s impact on this vital work throughout the state.


Celebrating the NRF Foundation RISE Up Partner of the Year: Congratulations, Trevor G. Browne High School!

Pictured left to right: John Martin Rigsby, Teacher at RISE Up Partner of the Year Trevor G. Browne High School, Kate Fessler, NRF Foundation Director of Outreach, and Orlando Cazarez, CFA Sr. Program Manager of Workforce Development 

Our RetailWorks AZ team attended the National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation’s Honors Dinner event to celebrate this year’s RISE Up Partner of the Year, Phoenix Union High School District’s Trevor G. Browne High School! 

The school was recognized for its innovative use of the NRF Foundation’s RISE Up training and credentialing program to positively impact individuals and communities through this skills development training. 

As past winners of this award and proud advocates of the RISE Up curriculum in Arizona, CFA is thrilled to see another honoree in our state honored for its dedication to ensuring students get the experience and skills they need to thrive in their first jobs and beyond. 


Congratulations to the Winners of the Ideas Welcome Education Equity Challenge

ASU Students’ Projects Advance The Arizona We Want

During this Spring 2022 semester, 250 students in the TEL-171 class at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College rose to the challenge to contribute to creating The Arizona We Want, identified in our latest Gallup Arizona Survey findings.

Using the Gallup survey and Arizona Progress Meters data, they developed innovative solutions for improving Arizona’s education system aligned with the priorities of Arizonans. 

Here’s a look at the winning projects in each category. The project teams will receive funding to implement their ideas. 
  • First Place in Policy: Quality Early Learning in Rural Arizona 
    Will use cross-sector partnerships to expand access to high-quality early childhood education in rural communities in Arizona.
  • First Place in External Projects: Reading Buddies for Language Learners
    Closes the gap between English Language Learners and their peers in third-grade reading by creating an after-school tutoring program in partnership with the Phoenix Public Library, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and reading buddy mentors.
  • First Place in Student-led Action: Growth Mindset for Math Gains
    Creates structured and scaffolded opportunities to help eighth-grade math students close gaps in understanding from prior academic years and provide resources for their families to become more involved in their learning. 
Congratulations to all the winners on these fabulous proposals and promising ideas! We commend all the participating students for their efforts and dedication to improving Arizona education.

Thank you to the Office of Applied Innovation and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College for their partnership on this project and to all the partners involved in judging the projects. 

We look forward to sharing the ideas across the state and supporting these students in their studies and paths to become leaders for Arizona’s future.
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