Tucson Electric Power has donated $85,000 to Tucson Values Teachers (TVT) for its Tucson Supplies Teachers program, which provides teachers with funding to purchase basic and essential supplies for their classrooms.

TEP’s contribution, the largest in the program’s history, will allow TVT to fulfill all 1,200 pending requests for support while making funds available for additional applicants.

Under the Tucson Supplies Teachers program, teachers at all local public, private and charter schools may submit one-time requests to TVT for funding for classroom supplies. Teachers are then issued $50 gift cards to purchase the needed items at local Office Max and Office Depot stores. Discounts offered to teachers at these stores allow them to stretch their dollars and buy more supplies.

While the gift cards are for a relatively small amount, they send a big message to teachers that they’re valued and appreciated, said Katie Rogerson, TVT Chief Operating Officer.

“Many teachers spend $500 or more of their own money each year on basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, highlighters and dry erase markers,” Rogerson said. “TEP’s generous donation will help cover those costs and allow teachers to make more supplies available to children whose families cannot afford them.”

TEP’s contribution – which comes from corporate resources, not customers’ rates – builds on the significant support it already provides to our local schools. TEP offers professional development opportunities for students and teachers, delivers energy-related lessons to 14,000 students each year and donates more than $400,000 annually to local nonprofit groups working to expand educational opportunities in our community.

“TVT’s Tucson Supplies Teachers program is a great way to support the teachers whose efforts are so critical to our schools’ success,” said David G. Hutchens, TEP’s President and CEO.

In addition to its collaboration with TEP, TVT also works with Pima Federal Credit Union, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and Vantage West Credit Union to raise funds for the Tucson Supplies Teachers program. Since the program began in 2009, more than $1 million has been raised for classroom supplies.

TVT is a partnership of business leaders, educators and individuals with a shared mission to help schools and districts attract, retain and support the very best teachers for every K-12 classroom in Southern Arizona.

Through its work, TVT seeks to raise public awareness of the value of the teaching profession and provide a range of programs to support teachers professionally and financially. It also works collaboratively with the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and other business and education groups to advocate for funding and policies that positively impact teachers, students and schools.