JRE teacher Michaela Perry received a $500 gift card from APS to buy school supplies.

Michaela Perry, a teacher at Julia Randall Elementary School in Payson, is one of the 500 Arizona teachers who received a $500 gift card for school supplies through the APS Supply My Class Awards.

“It was an amazing feeling finding out I won,” Perry said. “I am hoping to purchase learning games and whole class manipulative sets to promote learning and engagement in my classroom.

“My students cheered for me and it was such a wonderful moment.

“I feel so grateful to now be able to provide exciting new engagement tools to the new generation of students catching up with their learning after COVID-19. Thank you APS!”

Every year, teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies. Teachers spent an average of $750 of their own money for the 2019-2020 school year, according to research from Adopt-a-Classroom.

To help offset expenses, Arizona Public Service Company (APS) again offered Supply My Class awards, giving K-12 teachers at Title 1 schools in APS service territory an opportunity to win a $500 Visa gift card to be used directly for school supplies.

The program kicked off July 1, 2021 and ran through Sept. 3. Teachers applied online and APS randomly selected 100 recipients per week to receive gift cards.

“I was so excited to find out I had won,” said Monica B., a teacher at Mountain View Preparatory in Cottonwood. “What a wonderful program! I am a physical education teacher, so I’m buying equipment for our K-8 students to use in our physical education program. Thank you so much for doing this — I feel like I won the lottery!”

APS established the Supply My Class program in 2018.

“While no one could have predicted the challenges that the past year brought upon our education system, Arizona school teachers stepped up to the plate and found innovative ways to continue to enrich students’ lives,” said Tina Marie Tentori, APS Director of Community Affairs. “The Supply My Class grants are just one way we hope to show gratitude for educators who play such an important role in inspiring the young minds of Arizona’s future leaders.”

The company and the APS Foundation also support several grant opportunities for Arizona teachers and schools, including STEM Teacher Grants for hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math classroom projects.

Arizona K-12 teachers in public and charter schools within APS service territory can apply for up to $2,500 for projects. Teachers can apply for STEM Teacher Grants from APS and the Phoenix Suns by Oct. 1, 2021. Applications are available at

More information about these grants can be found at

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(1) comment

Phil Mason

This is another example of how the school system has conned everyone - the taxpayers and the teachers. The Legislature historically funded school districts by each budget line item. One of the line items was "Soft capital" which specifically paid for classroom supplies.

School administrators lobbied the legislature ceaselessly to change the funding methodology to bulk funding. Their mantra? Let us decide how much goes to what item as that should be a local decision.

Finally, the legislature gave in and made the change. There were NO reductions from the line item funding to the bulk funding. And the administrators? They NEVER said thanks, they just took the money, revised the application of the money by no longer funding classroom support items and left the teachers holding the bag.

The teachers, not knowing the facts, began buying the items for awhile, then started requiring parents to provide the items. Some teachers actually punished the students on their report cards if their parents did not provide the items as directed.

Again, the teachers, the student families AND the taxpayers are ALL victims here. This is a problem across the breadth of the school system, and is not specific to PUSD. Regardless, It is time to restore fiscal integrity to the government school districts.

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