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May 2022

Our May update
Welcome to the May edition of our newsletter! This month’s issue features exciting news for our School Participatory Budgeting and Arizona Pathways to Prosperity programs, the newest Flinn-Brown Fellows and more! 

CFA Awarded $6.6 million in Federal COVID Relief Grants - Marks the largest single investment in organization history 

Major Investment in Arizona Pathways to Prosperity and School Participatory Budgeting will support Arizona schools' pandemic recovery needs 

We are excited to share that two of our programs, Arizona Pathways to Prosperity and School Participatory Budgeting, were awarded federal COVID relief funds. CFA will use this investment to support Arizona schools’ pandemic recovery needs by providing students with inclusive and accessible experiential learning opportunities that build social-emotional well-being and academic achievement. 

“We are humbled to be stewards of not only these relief dollars but the important work to bolster support for Arizona students and families impacted by the pandemic these last few years. Their success is critical to the future of our state,” said Dr. Sybil Francis, President & CEO of Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA). “This investment provides us a significant opportunity to expand the reach and impact of evidence-based initiatives shown to positively impact students and families for the short and long term.”   

Learn more about the federal COVID relief funding and how it will be used to serve Arizona students and school communities impacted by the pandemic.


Dr. Amanda Burke selected as
Flinn-Brown Fellow

We are very proud to share that CFA Executive Vice President, Dr. Amanda Burke, has been selected to be one of the 2022 Fellows of the esteemed Flinn-Brown Fellowship! This Fellowship program helps emerging and experienced civic leaders who are experts in their fields expand their knowledge, skills, and networks to help address Arizona’s long-term issues.

Flinn-Brown is the flagship program of the nonpartisan Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, an Arizona Champion and valued partner of CFA.


Helping Schools Effectively Implement Personalized, Competency-Based Learning 

One of many ways CFA is creating more excellent and equitable outcomes for all Arizona students

Since 2018, CFA’s Arizona Personalized Learning Network (APLN) has provided support and training to school districts and charter networks committed to developing a personalized learning environment. APLN is expanding to help Arizona educators build on work already underway to reimagine education to better meet the needs of students and their families.

This year, we are launching new ways for schools to engage in personalized learning, including a program for school leadership teams, where they can receive support and technical assistance in implementing personalized, competency-based learning at their schools!

Learn more about APLN and join an upcoming information session.


CFA Honored with the School Connect Community Spotlight Award

Pictured left to right: Madison Rock, Program Coordinator of CFA Civic Health Initiatives and Kristi Tate, Director of CFA Civic Health Initiatives 

School Participatory Budgeting was awarded the School Connect Community Spotlight Award, which recognizes nonprofits that overcame obstacles to continue school service during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated just how much the engagement of our whole communities is needed to tackle tough challenges. We need community members and leaders working together for healthier, stronger communities. CFA’s work has proven even more critical throughout the pandemic, and we have been able to effectively evolve how we deliver the SPB program to meet the needs of our school partners. We are proud to be part of a process that is addressing critical needs and immediate impacts within school communities while building our state’s civic capacity to emerge stronger together for years to come.


Introducing Our Communities at the Center Data to Action Guide

Moving from data to action is critical to achieving The Arizona We Want

CFA’s Communities at the Center initiative partners with communities across Arizona to build civic capacity while identifying priorities, and advancing solutions to address the issues of greatest importance to them. These partnerships have informed the newly published Data to Action Resource Guide. The guide is designed to equip and empower more community leaders and organizations with data and best practices to advance The Arizona We Want

Special thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona whose investment in CFA’s Communities at the Center initiative made this publication possible!

View the guide.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – Get the Playbook on Rural Funding Programs

Our Gallup Arizona Survey found that across rural Arizona counties, almost half of Arizonans (45%) do not have high-speed internet and 46% are unsatisfied with infrastructure. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest billions of dollars in rural communities across the country, with designated programs to support affordable, high-speed internet, safe roads and bridges, modern wastewater systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, and good-paying jobs in every rural community. In other words, it’s intended to deliver on many of the actions Arizonans want to see for a prosperous future. 

The new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Rural Playbook is designed to help rural communities understand the available funding for infrastructure. It covers information on the “what, where, and how” to apply for federal infrastructure dollars.

This critical investment has the potential to improve the quality of life for rural Arizonans and it’s imperative our communities and leaders can access and utilize the funding as intended.
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