Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Program Gives $500,000 to Arizona Teachers

Posted By on November 18, 2020

In what has become an annual tradition to honor and support Arizona’s teachers, the Fiesta Bowl Organization awarded $500,000 to teachers through the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program.

As part of its mission to benefit Arizonans through youth, sports and education, the Fiesta Bowl granted 200 K-12 public and charter school teachers a $2,500 wish to be implemented in their classrooms. The teachers represented 161 schools across the state, teaching more than 70,000 students from 177 schools, 67 school districts and 45 cities.

“Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers has been built into the preeminent program for teacher support,” said Patrick Barkley, chairman of the Fiesta Bowl board of directors. “My mom was a teacher and we all know teachers who inspire us with selfless work, shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.”

Each fall, Arizona K-12 public or charter school teachers are invited to fill out an online application detailing their school or classroom needs. After meeting the criteria, wishes are selected by random drawing for teachers to receive a grant.

“Wishes for Teachers is even more meaningful this year as teachers have adapted to extraordinary circumstances,” said Jeff Meshey, president and CEO at Desert Financial. “Desert Financial has made it a practice to support education to honor the legacy of our 15 founders, all teachers.”

Each of the teacher wishes will benefit teachers and schools in technology, reading, music, fitness and more. This year’s needs were more in line with the circumstances related to COVID-19, with more technology needs, Plexiglas dividers and flexible seating equipment.

“It’s been quite a year for teachers. We are honored to support them as they adjust to today’s circumstances yet still work tirelessly and selflessly every day to help our children on their life journey,” said Mike Nealy, Fiesta Bowl executive director.

Click here for a full list of teachers who received a grant.

Karen Werner

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.