Working with Maryland School is a project in support of justice and equity. The diverse demographic of the school includes many families who are struggling to survive, with many that have been subjected to decades of social and economic inequities, and a significant refugee and immigration population. The school has great difficulty providing needed services 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, read about it below and consider becoming a part of our team.

Group’s Main Purpose:

As members of a community partnership with Beatitudes Campus, Church of the Beatitudes, Delta Kappa Gamma Education Sorority, and various individual community members, we support Maryland Elementary School, which has the highest poverty level in a district of 32 schools and almost no family involvement, in a variety of ways, including tutoring students, assisting with a garden and outdoor education program, collecting school supplies and holiday gifts, providing staff support, and responding to needs expressed by administration and staff as they arise.

Accomplishments in Past Year:

    • We were active in all the above areas, with an increased number of classroom tutors and garden volunteers.  The efforts of all these volunteers had a significant impact and were very much appreciated. The volunteers indicate they have found it to be a satisfying endeavor, especially enjoying relationships with these wonderful young people who very much need the mentoring and extra academic help.
    • Our volunteers have helped with the garden/outdoor education program which is building in a new direction. Grants we helped to write for the first time allowed the school to hire a part time Outdoor Education Teacher who works with individual teachers at all grade levels to connect their curriculum to lesson plans and activities that will encourage them to conduct classes outside on a regular basis, as research shows this has many important benefits for children and staff. Share Our Plate contributions in September helped a lot in the purchase of supplies to create more outdoor education spaces on the campus. The results of this program have been significant, and we are currently assisting with grant writing to continue the Outdoor Education Teacher into next year.
    • Maryland School has not had a parent organization for many years. Our partnership provides some support for staff through monthly gift card drawings and four meals during the year which a PTA would typically do. Additionally, we provide volunteers and snacks for some of the after school family events
    • We have encouraged UUCP friends and members to support Maryland School with their AZ tax credit donations.
    • We appreciate the work of Civic Engagement in raising awareness at UUCP of how we can help impact the work of our legislature in supporting public education. The lack of support is causing more staff and budget cuts. The funding system is broken, and we need more work to turn things around.

    Challenges in Past Year:

    • The social emotional well-being of students in the last few years has been especially challenging, due to conditions in our society and in the families of many of these young people. Attendance, behavior, general well-being, academic performance all suffer.
    • Staff burnout was evident again this year, with the result that more teachers continue to leave the school and the teaching profession altogether. The general lack of support for public education makes it difficult for people who love children and teaching to use their passion and skills.

    Challenges for the Coming Year:

    Challenges will be similar in the next year, in this school with so many needs. Our participation in this partnership offering whatever we can do to help Maryland School, is very important and much appreciated.

    Goals for Next Year:

    • To expand our partnership group and give more organizations and individuals the opportunity to participate in a very meaningful program
    • To continue building the team of volunteers for classroom and outdoor education
    • To continue providing support for activities as needed
      • The school has recently requested assistance to rebuild their music program by raising funds
      • For the repair and purchase of new instruments, or by donating used instruments in working condition.
    • To continue raising awareness for support of public education

    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
    • 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

    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 2024 may be made up to April 15 of 2025. 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.

    You can also donate directly to the UUCP-Maryland School Partnership fund.

    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.