Education & literacy

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

Steps to Success re-enrollment walks

So far, we’ve held two Steps to Success walks with Tucson Unified School District—in July 2014 and January 2015. Working in teams that included the mayor, TUSD Superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez, local celebrities, University of Arizona athletes and TUSD staff, we knocked on doors of recent high school dropouts, with the result that 269 re-enrolled—and many have already graduated! Stay tuned for more Steps to Success walks in the future.

With TUSD Superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez and former TUSD student David Forster at a Steps to Success walk, July 2014. David's was one of the doors we knocked on. Since then, he's re-enrolled, graduated from high school, and appeared in a KUAT video. [Photo: Jes Rubalcava, TUSD]

With TUSD Superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez and former TUSD student David Forster at a Steps to Success walk, July 2014. David’s was one of the doors we knocked on. Since then, he’s re-enrolled, graduated from high school, and appeared in a KUAT video. [Photo: Jes Rubalcava, TUSD]

Mike Varney, Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; Lee Nevarez, Walgreens; and Lea Marquez-Peterson, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the mayor's attendance awareness press conference, August 2014

Mike Varney, Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; Lee Nevarez, Walgreens; and Lea Marquez-Peterson, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the mayor’s attendance awareness press conference, August 2014

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. Read more…

STEM internships

The Mayor’s Office 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. Read more…

Presenting a certificate to a Mayor's Summer Reading Challenge participant, September 2014

Presenting a certificate to a Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge participant, September 2014

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.

Reading Seed and Literacy Connects

Reading Seed is a program of nonprofit Literacy Connects. In 2013, the Mayor’s Office and the Arizona Daily Star helped recruit and raise funds to support more than 600 new volunteer reading coaches to work with struggling readers in grades K-3. Learn more about becoming a Reading Seed or other Literacy Connects program volunteer. Visit literacyconnects.org.

Reading to preschoolers at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, February 2012

Reading to preschoolers at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, February 2012

Teach the Parent, Reach the Child

This 8-week course, part of Pima Community College’s Family Literacy Program, teaches parents how to help their children learn to read. After completing the course, students teach other parents what they’ve learned. Our thanks to the Helios Education Foundation for providing support for this initiative.

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. With a grant from the Helios Education Foundation and technical assistance from WestEd, the roundtable released a report in June 2014 on the economic impact of high school dropouts in Arizona. It’s estimated that, over a lifetime, each dropout costs government and society more than half a million dollars. Read the full report here.