Every teacher at Laguna Elementary received a $50 gift card to purchase classroom supplies at an event celebrating Tucson Electric Power’s $100,000 donation to Tucson Values Teachers.

With TEP’s contribution, the fall Tucson Supplies Teachers drive raised more than $111,000 to purchase similar gift cards for more than 2,000 K-12 teachers across Southern Arizona. Since its inception in 2009, the drive has delivered more than $1.1 million in school supplies. It is the only regional drive that directly invests in teachers and allows educators to shop for their specific classroom needs.

“Our education community directly benefits from the partnerships we make with companies such as Tucson Electric Power, so it was fitting to hold the check presentation at a local school,” said Andy Heinemann, Chief Executive Officer for Tucson Values Teachers. “We were able to fulfill the request of all teachers who registered in the most recent supply drive thanks to the support of TEP, as well as the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment.”

TEP President Susan Gray said the gift cards send an important message to teachers.  “We know teachers spend their own money on supplies – for everything from dry erase markers to paper,” she said. “Helping them cover these costs is a way to let teachers know we recognize and appreciate the important role they play in making our community stronger and smarter. It also helps ensure supplies are available if families cannot afford them.”

The donation, which comes from corporate resources, not customers’ rates, follows an $85,000 donation in 2019.

TEP offers professional development opportunities for students and teachers, delivers energy-related lessons to 20,000 students each year, and donates more than $400,000 annually to local nonprofit groups working to expand educational opportunities in the community.

Community members and businesses interested in making a donation towards the next supply drive can visit TucsonValuesTeachers.org for information on how to contribute.

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