Rio Vista Elementary is part of the national No Excuses University Network (NEU), a collaborative effort to assure each student achieves success and is prepared to attend college. Simply, there are no excuses, no educational barriers to attending a college or university once school is over. Other Amphitheater elementary schools taking part in the program are Nash, Keeling and Prince.
There are a few exciting components to the being a part NEU but the ones the students connect to the most are the classroom adoptions by real universities, the visits to campus by University of Arizona athletes and the yearly commitment to public service.
Each classroom learns the “fight song” of a university and is a “adopted” by that institution. Michigan, Arkansas, Maryland, Air Force and Arizona are but a few of the institutions that have adopted the classrooms at Rio Vista.
NFL quarterback Nick Foles, NBA standouts Jordan Hill and Solomon Hill and Wildcat football All-American Scooby Wright have all visited Rio Vista. The students have interacted with the athletes on the playground and in the classroom and the athletes have reinforced the value of going to school to achieve your goals.
Finally, the students at Rio Vista have raised over $3,000 since 2011 for the various charities sponsored by the NEU Network. This year, the students raised over $1,000 for the “Together We Rise” foundation as well as the continued effort to improve our own playground equipment.
Together We Rise is a foster care organization, seeking to improve the lives of children in foster care. The students at Rio Vista took part in an annual “Walk-a-Thon” held on campus to help raise money for this effort.
First-grader Nala raised over $80 for the charity and she won a new bicycle while three students, Moussa, Leslie and George, completed 20 laps in 45 minutes. All three students won a $30 gift certificate. The 20 laps equate to four miles.
The Rio Vista students also took part in the removal of Bufflegrass in our neighborhood as part of their community service. Bufflegrass is an invasive species that harms our local environment. In addition, the Kicks4Kids program is housed at Rio Vista.
This year, the school has collected and shared almost 700 pairs of new tennis shoes with the greater Tucson community. In all, 16 low-income public schools have received tennis shoes from the school with the $9,000 worth of shoes donated by community members, businesses members and local high school athletic teams with major contributions coming from the Tucson High girl’s basketball program, the Catalina Foothills boy’s basketball program, the Ironwood Ridge girl’s basketball program and the Pusch Ridge boy’s basketball program.
Schools in the 2016 Kicks4Kids Program
Rio Vista Elementary (Amphi)
Holaway Elementary (Amphi)
Imagine Amphi Preschool (Amphi)
Keeling Elementary (Amphi)
Coronado K-8 (Amphi)
Roskruge K-8 (TUSD)
Nash Elementary (Amphi)
Prince Elementary (Amphi)
Walker Elementary (Amphi)
Carillo K-5 (TUSD)
Marshall Elementary (TUSD)
Mexicayotl Academy of Tucson (TUSD)
Homer Davis Elementary (Flowing Wells)
Hendricks Elementary (Flowing Wells)
Hollinger K-8 (TUSD)
Donaldson Elementary (Amphi
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com