Fueling the growth and sustainability of Expect More Arizona, Helios Education Foundation has committed $3 million over the next four years to the statewide movement dedicated to making Arizona education the best in the nation. The new investment will be directed to advance Expect More Arizona’s efforts to engage more parents, families, students and voters in setting high expectations and championing high quality education for all children and students – from birth through career. It will also fund the building of infrastructure and capacity to ensure Expect More Arizona is able to influence positive change in education for generations to come.
“The board of Helios Education Foundation believes that Expect More Arizona’s long-term success in inspiring a high expectations culture is critical to our state’s ability to ensure all students receive the highest quality education and graduate college and career ready,” commented Vince Roig, Chairman, Helios Education Foundation. “As an inclusive and growing statewide movement that champions a strong birth to career education system, Expect More Arizona is uniquely positioned to shape and lead powerful change in education over the next few years.”
The recent commitment brings Helios’ investment in Expect More Arizona to $5 million, including the seed money, which helped launch the organization in December 2008. The investment comes at an exciting time in Expect More Arizona’s evolution as the collaborative undergoes a planned transition in leadership and embarks on executing an ambitious multi-year strategic plan.
“Helios Education Foundation has been a vital part of Expect More Arizona’s past and present success,” said Pearl Chang Esau, Expect More Arizona’s new President and CEO. “This investment will allow us to strengthen our organization, expand our movement and ultimately create a high expectations, education-first culture in our state.”
Expect More Arizona initially launched as a public awareness campaign including multimedia advertising and robust web site with the goal of educating Arizonans about the need to improve education across the state. Soon after its launch, the collaborative partners introduced strategies to motivate students, voters, educators and the broader community to expect more and do more for Arizona education. During the 2010 elections the partnership contributed to the successful passage of Proposition 100, a temporary 1% sales tax in support of education and the defeat of Proposition 302, the effort to eliminate the state’s dedicated funding to early childhood health and education. In addition, in partnership with Arizona GEAR UP, Expect More Arizona distributed more than 200,000 of its College and Career Planning Guides to 8th, 9th and 10th graders across the state, promoting the importance of college and postsecondary education for all Arizona graduates.
Since its inception, Expect More Arizona has informed, educated and inspired thousands of Arizonans to vote, volunteer, advocate and invest in education. A solid organizational foundation has been laid over the past few years and now much of the Expect More Arizona’s attention will shift to building a shared vision for excellence in education for children of all ages and at every stage of the education continuum. The Helios gift is unprecedented in Expect More Arizona history and efforts are underway to leverage the investment to retain current funders and attract new ones, as well as expand its base of partners statewide.