What is the Kyrene Foundation and what does it do?
The mission of the Kyrene Foundation
The Kyrene Schools Community Foundation (KSCF) advances the mission and vision of the Kyrene School District. The Kyrene school district, one of the top-rated school districts in Arizona. This district includes parts of Phoenix (Ahwatukee), Tempe and Chandler. Click here for a map of the Kyrene School District
The Foundation’s mission is to remove barriers to learning so that all students can excel in school. The Foundation serves families with students in the Kyrene School District in Maricopa County, Arizona. The Kyrene school district includes parts of Phoenix (Ahwatukee), Chandler and Tempe.
People are often surprised that there are homeless families (and therefore children) in the Kyrene School District. There is a further surprise when people learn children in our communities may be food deficient. This is the official term for children not having enough food. While the Kyrene school district is often considered to be in an affluent area. However, there is a broad spectrum of families with needs.
Kyrene Family Resource Center (KFRC)
One of the largest initiatives of the Foundation is the Kyrene Family Resource Center (KFRC) is at Kyrene Los Niños Elementary school. The KFRC is located at 1330 Dava Dr, Tempe, Az 85283. There, any family with children in the Kyrene school district in need of help may visit the Kyrene Family Resource Center. There is no income requirements or proof of need required.
The KFRC provides services for families such as food, gently used clothing, hygiene items, and new school supplies. The current hours for the KFRC are: (hours may vary) They can be reached at 480-541-1520.
- Tuesdays: 10:00am-5:00pm
- Thursday: 7:30am-2:30pm
- One Saturday per Month*: 9:00am-12:00pm
All resources distributed at the Kyrene Family Resource Center (KFRC) are donated by the community. The giving and opportunity for the Kyrene Foundation to generate funds and resources increases every year.
Families in need meet with a counselor at the KFCR and can receive food, clothes and hygiene items monthly. Many organizations support the KFRC by providing food drives to collect various donations. Many schools, churches, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and business throughout the east valley direct their generosity towards the foundation.
The Kyrene Foundation provides direct support to Kyrene families in need through the following programs:
The annual Taste of Kyrene (as of 2019 called A Night for Kyrene and Opportunity Drawing raise funds through an event featuring a gala evening at Arizona Grand hotel. Tickets purchased provide entry to a great dinner. Attendees stroll through the Arizona Grand hotel and can purchase tickets for the Opportunity Drawing, a wine pull and may also bid on numerous silent auction baskets. These baskets are donated by the Kyrene elementary and middle school PTOs, Kyrene Foundation board members and various vendors. While mingling with friends at the beautiful Ahwatukee Foothills Country Club attendees enjoy the event and know they are supporting the Kyrene Foundation and in turn the families in the Kyrene School District.
At the Taste of Kyrene, the winner of the Opportunity Drawing is drawn. For several months leading up to the Taste of Kyrene, the 25 Kyrene PTOs sell tickets for a great Disney or Sea World vacation. Tickets are sold for $10, 00, with $5.00 donated to the PTO and $5.00 to the Kyrene Foundation.
For several years, Shirley Coomer & Gregory Stainton of Keller Williams Realty have sponsored a Free Shred-A-Thon at Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary school in April and October. While the event is free to the community, anyone bringing items to be shred is asked to donate one none perishable food item for each box or bag brought for shredding. The food is donated to the Kyrene Family Resource Center. In the Spring, the request is for canned meat, pasta, pasta sauce, dried and canned beans and canned fruit and vegetables. For the October Shred -A-Thon, the public is asked to donate typical Thanksgiving food that is used for the Thanksgiving food boxes that the Kyrene Foundation provides for families in need.
Wishes Come True
Many families finding it difficult to meet basic food and clothing needs to welcome the Kyrene Foundations Annual Wishes Come True event. The event provides an opportunity for girls to attend and select a gently used semi-formal and spring dresses for 8th-grade promotion. Girls also can select shoes and other accessories so they too can celebrate 8th-grade graduation dressed in a special outfit.
The Annual Golf Classic
The Annual Golf Classic held each June, more recently at the Wildhorse Golf course provides an opportunity for many in the community to enjoy gold while raising money to support the Kyrene Foundation.
Stuff the Bus
The Stuff the Bus event collects backpacks and school supplies to enable students to start the year will the right supplies to be successful in classes and to have all the same supplies as other students in their class.
One of the goals of the Kyrene Foundation is to remove barriers to learning. When children come to class without the right supplies, they may get ridiculed by other students or suffer frustration at not having the tools they need to complete assignments. Many organizations work to ensure Kyrene students have the backpacks and school supplies.
Thanksgiving food Box
In November, the Foundation donates a Thanksgiving food box with all the usual Thanksgiving fare for families that otherwise may not have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Also included are frozen turkeys. For Thanksgiving 2016, a store generously donated an apple pie for each family. The foundation typically serves 250 to 300 families at this event.
The holidays can be a stressful time for any family. However, it is especially so for those families struggling to meet their family’s basic needs. The Winter Wonderland event provides an opportunity for families to select 2 new items for each child in the family for Christmas. Families are escorted with a “personal shopper”. They wander through a large room filled new toys, books, sporting equipment, books, games, puzzles, etc. Once the items are selected, recipients can send their items to be gift wrapped while they enjoy beverages and cookies. As the items are dropped off for wrapping, parents or other caregivers are given raffle tickets for periodic drawings. The drawings typically include new bicycles and turkeys throughout the day,
The Kyrene Foundation also provides many programs and events in support of the teachers in the Kyrene School District with such programs as;
Teacher Mini-Grants – Kyrene teachers all invited to submit a request for up to $500 for a classroom specific project to enhance students’ educational experience. These are granted twice a year.
Principle Mini-Grants – Principles can submit proposals for projects, up to $5000. These typically support the entire elementary or middle school.
In 2015, the Foundation implemented a Principle mini-grant for up to $5000. These grants are for proposals to enhance the educational experience for all students in their schools.
The Kyrene Foundation continues to look for new opportunities to serve the Kyrene School community. This organization works in partnership with the Kyrene School District to identify needs within the community and opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the Kyrene students.