Rim Country schools landed major grants thanks to the Mogollon Health Alliance and (left to right) Heather Williams, Carol La Valley, grant writer extraordinaire, and Sanja S. Long, Alliance CEO.
The Mogollon Health Alliance is on a roll helping Rim Country schools link up to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
Most recently, the Fiesta Bowl Charities have granted $45,000 to the Mogollon Health Alliance (MHA) to help the school districts around Rim Country purchase distance learning equipment.
The equipment will enable the schools to connect to classes and seminars from around the world.
The schools to receive help are: Payson High School, Tonto Basin Elementary School, Pine Strawberry Elementary School and Mogollon High School, said Sanja Long, executive director for the Mogollon Health Alliance.
“The Fiesta Bowl Charities does some amazing work. They have donated about $2.2 million in the past 18 months to programs that support athletics, education and human services,” she said.
“We were one of 23 recipients in a pool of over 220 that applied in the past grant cycle.”
Payson has recently had a rash of connections with the Fiesta Bowl organization.
On Saturday, Dec. 29, the town will have a float in the Fiesta Bowl parade. The Payson High School marching band will also perform.
According to its Web site, the Fiesta Bowl Charities organization believes in the importance of community outreach and service.
The non-profit has four different tax-exempt corporations: The Arizona Sports Foundation dba the Fiesta Bowl, Valley of the Sun Bowl Foundation, Fiesta Events, Inc., and The Arizona College Football Championship Foundation (collectively, “Fiesta Bowl Charities” or the “Fiesta Bowl organization”).
“Through the annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and related events, the Fiesta Bowl organization continues to promote volunteerism, athletic achievement and higher education,” said the Web site.
The MHA has also worked to connect local Rim Country schools to the National LambdaRail (NRL) and the Internet2 (I2) through the University of Arizona.
In a letter to Payson Unified School District Superintendent Ron Hitchcock, dated Sept. 18, Michele Norin, chief information officer for the University of Arizona wrote, “This letter serves to inform you with the good news that the University of Arizona’s CIO office is supportive of connecting your school district, and through your HUB the other rural and mid-rural Rim Country School Districts to the National LambdaRail (NLR) and the Internet2 (I2) networks ... the content available on these networks can be helpful to you in your efforts to provide STEM education to your students.”
Long said the Fiesta Bowl Charities grant is in conjunction with the USDA grant of over $276,000 the Mogollon Health Alliance procured this past fall.