TEP gives out $250,000 in grants to nonprofits - Tucson News Now

TEP gives out $250,000 in grants to nonprofits

Sonoran Glass School, which got a $7,000 TEP education grant, is shattering ideas of what glass art is all about, and it does it with students of all ages. (Source: KOLD News 13) Sonoran Glass School, which got a $7,000 TEP education grant, is shattering ideas of what glass art is all about, and it does it with students of all ages. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Several Tucson organizations will share $250,000 in grant money.

The 12 nonprofits are the recipients of the Tucson Electric Power Community Impact Grants. 

A TEP spokesman said the need in Tucson has grown so the utility has raised the grant total to $250,000 from the previous amount which was $100,000.

The spokesman said the grants are for groups that improve education, protect the environment and help people in the community.  

The largest share of the grant is going to four organizations that provide home repair to people who either can't afford it or just can't do it themselves.

One of the four groups is the Pima Council on Aging that serves Tucson seniors.

A spokesman said there's a huge need for home repair assistance.

"Last fiscal year Pima Council on Aging funded 770 home repairs for the older population, ranging from plumbing, roof repairs, grab bars, wheelchair ramps, cooling and heating repairs," said Pima Council on Aging Program Manager Antonio Estrada.

Sonoran Glass School got a $7,000 TEP education grant.

The school is tucked away in a corner of Tucson at 633 W. 18th Street, just east of Interstate 10. 

It may be tiny but what it does is anything but small.  

The grant is for the school's Youth Education Program.

When Tucson News Now arrived at the school, students from another part of the education program were learning to make sun catchers.

They were clients from the Achieve Builds Confidence, a nonprofit that serves adults with developmental disabilities.

"Coming here is learning new skills. It's getting to interact with people. It's just broadening everything that they're learning already so that we are really able to serve them in a way wouldn't be able to do just in our art shop because we don't have the supplies. We don't have the kilns or anything like that," said Achieve Builds Confidence Site Director Steffanie Field.

Sonoran Glass School is shattering ideas of what glass art is all about, and it does it with students of all ages.

"We work with people as young as kindergarten, all the way up in age range. And we've seen how people just get excited about working with this medium," Sonoran Glass School Executive John-Peter Wilhite.

Students' and instructors' pieces are for sale in the school's gallery, benefiting the artist and the school.

The TEP grant will pay for classes for some 600 under-served young people.

"70 percent of the kids we serve are low-income, come from schools that can't afford to have art programs or even pay for art programs," Wilhite said.

The school's impact is felt throughout our community.

Achieve Builds Confidence clients and staff feel it. 

"Their faces and, 'Oh my gosh! I made this!' And they're wanting to show everybody. So it's - I mean you can't buy that. You can't put a dollar sign on that. So it's wonderful," Field said.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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