Education & Literacy

Every Tucsonan needs to graduate high school with the skills they need to pursue job training or a college degree. Here are programs the Mayor’s Office is working on to help.

2012-02-02 Reading5-1K

Reading to preschoolers at the downtown library.

Attendance Awareness

Missing just two days of school a month – 18 days a year – can knock students off track, making them less likely to graduate. Mayor Rothschild worked with Tucson Unified School District, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and Walgreens to get the message out about the importance of school attendance – holding a press conference, creating and distributing posters and a PSA, and encouraging students and parents to take an attendance pledge.

STEM Internships

Mayor Rothschild worked with the University of Arizona STEM Learning Center to increase STEM internships locally. Obtaining an intern has never been simpler, with one-page process and timeline sheets – complete with contact info – for the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and various Tucson high schools.

Reading Seed and Literacy Connects

Reading Seed is a program of nonprofit Literacy Connects. Last year, the Mayor’s Office helped recruit and raise funds to support more than 600 new volunteer reading coaches to work with struggling readers in grades K-3. This year, we’re asking for more volunteers, to work with children and adults. Contact to learn more about becoming a Reading Seed volunteer.

Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge

Children can lose reading gains over the summer when they’re not in school. The Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge, which ended September 5, 2014, encouraged summer reading with certificates and prizes for participating children up to grade 12.

Teach the Parent, Reach the Child (TPRC)

This 8-week course, run by the Pima Community College Adult Education Department, teaches parents how to help their children learn early reading skills. After completing the course, students are asked to teach other parents what they learned. Our first TPRC course was very successful, and the Helios Education Foundation has generously provided funds for a second course this fall.

Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable

Consisting of 10 Arizona mayors, the roundtable meets to share local education initiatives and strategies. A founding member, Mayor Rothschild is an active participant. For more information, visit

Economic Impact of Dropping Out

The Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable released a report in June 2014 estimating the economic impact of high school dropouts in Arizona. Mayor Rothschild held a press conference to discuss the findings, and partnered with Tucson Unified School District to re-enroll recent dropouts. Click here for the report.

Steps to Success Re-enrollment Walk

Mayor Rothschild recruited community volunteers to participate in a Steps to Success walk with Tucson Unified School District staff in July 2014. Working in teams that included the mayor, TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez, local celebrities and University of Arizona athletes, they knocked on doors of recent high school dropouts, with the result that 177 re-enrolled in school! Stay tuned for another Steps to Success walk in the future.

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