Easy-to-submit process will award 400 Arizona teachers each a $2,500 classroom grant
In what has become one of Arizona’s most impactful teacher support initiatives, the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program for the sixth consecutive year will provide grants directly to teachers for use in their classrooms.
Applications are now open for all Arizona K-12 public and charter school teachers through September 24 at 5 p.m. Fill out the online application at WishesForTeachers.org, detailing the teacher’s school or classroom need.
This year’s program will double the amount of teacher recipients, with 400 teachers having their wishes granted. Each will receive a $2,500 grant for a total of $1 million in donations.
“The vision of Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers from the beginning has been to honor, celebrate and support Arizona teachers,” said Mike Nealy, Fiesta Bowl Executive Director. “Being able to enhance twice as many classrooms is a continuation of how Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers makes a meaningful difference in the lives of teachers and students across the state.”
Desert Financial Credit Union has had education in its DNA since its founding in 1939 by 15 Arizona educators with $78.75. Desert Financial has a mission of supporting schools, teachers and students to build strong communities.
“What’s more fun than granting wishes? This year, Wishes for Teachers is even more meaningful as teachers have adapted to a huge amount of change,” said Jeff Meshey, president and CEO at Desert Financial. “Desert Financial has always supported education here in Arizona and will continue to do so in honor of our founders, who were teachers. We are proud to serve as the title partner for this year’s Wishes for Teachers and work alongside Fiesta Bowl Charities to surprise these deserving teachers.”
Through a virtual Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP experience in early November, local community heroes and celebrities will select teachers at random and personally notify each of the 400 teachers who will receive a grant.
Technology needs were a desired request in 2020 due to classroom adjustments for COVID-19 and, over the past five years, wishes have ranged from new computers for classrooms to special education sensory and manipulative materials, vision testing and glasses for students, robotics, classroom makeovers, field trips to perform in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, laundry machines and everything in between.
“Granting wishes through the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers is my favorite way to say ‘Thank You’ to Arizona’s teachers for their tireless efforts given to our youth and teens every day,” said Patrick Barkley, Chair of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “It’s so inspiring to see how teachers put their wishes into action and hear the stories of what they are able to do with these grants.”
Fast Facts about Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers:
- 400 teachers will receive a $2,500 grant, totaling $1,000,000
- Applications open on August 16 and close at 5 p.m. on September 24 via WishesForTeachers.org
- $3.7 million granted over the last five years to nearly 850 teachers through Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers
- 300,000+ students at more than 400 schools across the state have been impacted through Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers over the last five years
- Open to all K-12 public and charter school teachers
- College Football Playoff Foundation has been a financial and supporting partner in all five years of the program