Working with Maryland School is a project in support of justice and equity. The diverse population of the school is about 70% students of color, whose families have been subjected to decades of social and economic inequities, requiring reparations that the school cannot provide with current educational policies and level of funding. As a community partner, we are committed to help make up some of the deficits.

The administration and staff of Maryland School are very grateful for our partnership with them. They have come to recognize that they can reach out to our community and know that our response will be generous and from the heart. If you are unfamiliar with the program, you can read about our connection with Maryland School and how you can be a part of it.

How You Can Help!

  • As staff prepare for the new school year, there are always school supplies needed. Even with new funding from the Legislature, money is slow to trickle down and many items are outside allowed budget items and amounts. Your help can make a major difference, so please check the list to see where you can assist with shopping or a donation.
  • If you are interested in volunteering in the classroom, garden program, or at special family events, please email Cathy Kim at maryland@phoenixuu.org. You can learn more details about our program below.

Thank you for your participation!

Our Connection with Maryland School

Since 2016, UUCP has participated in a community partnership with Beatitudes Campus and Church of the Beatitudes to support the staff, students, and families at Maryland School, located at 21st Avenue and Maryland in the Washington Elementary School District. Maryland School is a K-8 Title I school, including Head Start and special needs preschool classes, with more than 80% of the students coming from low income families—a significant refugee and immigrant population. These schools receive additional federal funding to provide extra resources for academic, mental health, nutritional, and staff support, but not nearly enough to meet their needs. Each school district and each school must reach out to the community for additional support, which is where we help.

Our goal is to remain open to needs expressed by school administrators and teachers. Our main areas of assistance have been:

Student Support

  • Volunteers work with individuals and small groups to help with reading, math, and other curriculum areas, and provide mentoring once or twice a week on a schedule matched to teacher needs and your convenience. To find out more or sign up, email maryland@phoenixuu.org.
  • Participation in after school education programs for students and families, incentives to reward student achievement—providing materials and volunteers for events.
  • Classroom supplies: view the list of needed supplies for August 2022 and ways to provide them

Staff Support

Beginning and end of the year staff luncheons, notes of appreciation, gift cards, supplies for professional development opportunities

Garden Program

Planning, classes, volunteers, materials, and maintenance for a school outdoor education program are part of our team effort. Volunteers for garden classes are particularly needed, several times a month on Thursday or Friday mornings. For 2022-23 we have a grant for five after school events to engage students and families in garden, nutrition, and fitness activities. We especially need help with those. To find out more or to sign up, email maryland@phoenixuu.org.

Family Assistance

Clothing, food, hygiene and cleaning items, gift cards for families (especially refugee families), holiday gifts, English language tutoring

Community Connections for Special Projects

For example: Arranging funds for professional development and materials to launch and support a yoga-in-the-classroom program, grant writing assistance, instrument donations and supplies for the music program, scholarships to graduating 8th graders for high school fees and expenses

Arizona Tax Credit Donations

To make an Arizona tax credit donation to help fund Maryland School, download and print this PDF form, then mail the form along with your check directly to Maryland School at the address on the form. Donations for 2022 may be made up to April 15 of 2023. These funds provide for field trips and extra-curricular activities not funded in the budget, much needed in schools like Maryland where parents are not always able to pay.

For the Future

We recognize that because of the current state of our social systems, inequities exist for many children and families in Arizona, creating hardships, which is why extra support is needed. One of the most important things we can continue to do, based on our UU values, is to actively work through individual and collective efforts to change these systems, including the way education is funded. Throughout the year, our Civic Engagement team researches and provides opportunities to advocate for change, especially when the Legislature is in session.

We look forward to the new school year with students back in the classroom. Lots of volunteers will be needed, and we will do our best to be responsive to school needs across the board.