School profiled in Star reaps
a credit bonanza
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Dec. 13, 2004
Ochoa Elementary School has
received $15,090 in tax credit donations so far
this year, almost four times more than in 2003.
Ochoa, in the Tucson Unified
School District, was profiled in the Arizona
Daily Star as part of the national Make a
Difference Day effort.
The school is on the dividing
line between South Tucson and the city of
Tucson, and it faces the challenges of low test
scores, high poverty, students who are learning
English as a second or third language, and many
kids who move and change schools frequently.
Because Star readers from across
Tucson directed their tax credit money to the
school, Ochoa students will be able to see their
lessons come to life through field trips, said
Yolanda Sethi, who works with parents and the
community at Ochoa.
"Teachers are going to take
students to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum or
the planetarium - before we didn't have the
money to go, and now we can go," she said.
"Otherwise, kids are just learning what they're
learning out of books and what the teacher is
"If you take them to where the
experts are, where the animals are, it makes a
difference," Sethi said.
Ochoa's site council, made up of
parents, teachers, community members and the
principal, will decide how to spend the money.
Schools don't have to spend their
donations all at once, and Ochoa wants to be
prepared in case donations aren't as plentiful
next year without the publicity of newspaper
articles. Ochoa received $4,100 in tax credit
money in 2003, according to state data.
"We have to make this money
last," Sethi said.