CFC supports John B. Wright Elementary school

John B. Wright Elementary is TUSD’s poorest school, measured by a 20-year 99% free lunch and breakfast rate.  At 500+ students JBW is one of TUSD’s largest schools.

Surviving midtown Tucson, JBW is marked by grinding poverty from nearby mobile parks and section 8 apartments.  Students speak 22 languages.  Mobility is 55% meaning more than half the students beginning class each August have moved by the following May.  15% of students are homeless or have incarcerated parents.  By any measure JBW students are struggling.

http://tusd1.org/wright/

Despite the grim data points, JBW is thriving.  For 5 years CFC has cradled JBW:

CFC supported amenities

  • Half acre organic and productive garden producing crops for 90 families, improving nutrition and aligned with STEM lessons of optics, hydrology, geology, soil chemistry.  And the kids love it.
  • 750 sf greenhouse for deeper STEM lessons.
  • A professional grade running track to compensate for budget cuts to PE.
  • Child proof kitchen for farm-to-table cooking lessons as the federal lunch kitchen is off limits to students.
  • Refurbished auditorium with black out shades, updated audio/visual and projection.

CFC’s focus has resulted in bringing a neglected school to the attention of business partners resulting in funding for 200 Legos sets each year and 500 STEM t-shirts. An onsite foodbank and clothing bank are maintained.

Results

  • Enrollment increased from 350 to 500 in three years.  Low-income parents know JBW is a top choice for their children
  • JBW is STEM proficient.  CFC amenities have created strong ties to UA professors and events.  JBW students are familiar with PhDs, careers, scientific process.
  • Teacher turnover is extremely low measured against national or TUSD averages.  1-2 per calendar year out of 30.  The teachers feel supported, acknowledged.
  • Test scores have risen to B rating*
  • Discipline problems greatly reduced.  If children run one mile, they are better able to focus.
  • Improved nutrition, lower obesity and more outdoor time in garden.

Kathleen Perkins and one of “her” students

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