On November 21st we shared how your AZ Tax Credit contributions are used to support the PFFS ‘Fall and Spring Intersession’ programming at both the Downtown and University locations. This week (as we begin the last month of our Tax Credit campaigns at each of our schools) – we would like to share about our regular out-of-building, field experiences we call Expeditions and how we use your Tax Credit contributions to support these as well. Remember that whatever you give as a Tax Credit contribution (up to $200 for individuals and $400 for couples filing jointly) is matched as a tax reduction on a 1-1 basis by the state when you file your 2014 AZ tax return. For example, if you give PFFS-D or PFFS-U $100 to support Expedition programming before 1/1/2015 – the taxes you owe to the state for 2014 are reduced by $100.
Expeditions have been an integral part of our regular weekly programming since opening the first Paulo Freire Freedom School in 2005. Nearly every Friday for the last nine years, one-third of our PFFS-University student population has spent most of the day away from our school building having powerful learning experiences in various other locations around Tucson. PFFS-U students participate in Friday Expeditions by grade level on a rotating basis. PFFS-D students participate in expeditions as part of their regular interdisciplinary, ‘Learning in Community’ (LIC). Expeditions include a range of experiences designed to connect the school to the larger Tucson community, relate classroom content to the ‘real-world, and provide ‘team building’ opportunities to our students.
Past expeditions have included learning experiences at Mount Lemmon, Saguaro National Park (east & west), Tumamoc Mountain, Agua Caliente Park, Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, Las Milpitas Community Farm, Marana Heritage Farm, UA Poetry Center, Superior and City Courts, Gem and Mineral Show, Pima County Public Library, Bioshere 2, Tucson Art Museum, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Bicas, Ben’s Bells, KXCI Radio Station, UA Flandrau Science Center, and Silverbell Lake. Our primary rationale for creating learning experiences outside the classroom walls (whether they be Intersessions, Expeditions, or any of the other field experiences away from the building) is two-fold. Research shows that building background knowledge significantly improves students’ performance in their academic classes and helping students make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and experiences in the larger world motivates students to want to learn.
We are able to regularly provide these field experiences to our young people regardless of their family’s ability to pay activity fees because of the generous Tax Credit contributions of donors like yourself. Please consider making a Tax Credit contribution today to the campaigns of PFFS-Downtown and/or PFFS-University and support this powerful Expedition programming.