$20,000 Thunderbird Charities Donation to Support High-Quality Early Education in Arizona

Jumpstart for Young Children’s Workforce Development Program will engage 75 teachers and impact over 700 children in 2019-2020

Boston, MA (February 25, 2020) – Thunderbirds Charities donated $20,000 to support Jumpstart for Young Children’s Arizona Workforce Development Program.

Thunderbirds Charities—the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds—hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The donation will support the professional development and preparation of more than 75 early educators in Arizona and impact over 700 children.

Arizona currently faces a crisis in its current early education workforce, ranking 32nd in the nation for funding allocated to preschool programs according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Many early educators currently enter the field directly, without attending formal degree programs.

“Arizona’s need for teacher professional development and support is profound,” said Atalaya Sergi, Jumpstart’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Programming. The Jumpstart Arizona Workforce Development Program will help early childhood education teachers be better prepared in the classroom and inspired to further their education. It will also help retain them—bringing stability to the field and the children they serve. We know that better prepared and supported teachers, who stay in the classroom, have a positive impact on the outcomes of our youngest learners.”

Jumpstart’s Arizona Workforce Development Program engages early education teachers throughout the year, training educators utilizing a research-based model and providing pathways to furthering education through partnerships with local community colleges—contributing to the professionalization of the field. The result is a lasting impact on Arizona’s earliest learners.



Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for kindergarten, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is also a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.


Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.

Press Contact

Rebecca Grossfield

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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