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Local Foundation Fuels Student Success

The Tucson-based Institute for Better Education (IBE) Foundation is high-powered way to help lower-income kids succeed

Imagine going to your first day of school without a backpack, books, school supplies, or
new shoes, and how devastating that might feel. What if you were struggling in Math or English and could not get the tutoring you needed to graduate? Or imagine wanting to play sports or a musical instrument to learn a new skill and meet new friends, but your parents cannot afford the fees or equipment for you to participate.

These are just a few of the concerns that families with school-aged children are facing every day but are unsure where to turn for help.

After recognizing the number of basic needs and educational resources that were missing in underserved communities, the Institute for Better Education (IBE) Foundation was established.

Kimberly Kirschner, IBE’s Executive Director revealed, “It has been on my heart to make more of a financial impact for our lower-income families, and as wonderful as Arizona School Tuition Organizations are, they can only cover tuition.” Kirschner continued, “With the Foundation, we can cover more than just tuition to help families with resources that will directly impact a child’s life such as a proper backpack, tutoring, sporting fees, and STEM classes.


Shari Colson, who served as Oro Valley Chamber’s Business Development Director and in various educational roles, is the new Director of Community Outreach. Colson expressed, “I’ve always been passionate about making a difference in children’s lives as well as bringing positive change into our communities, so this position gives me the opportunity to do both.”


Colson added, “The outpouring of calls our Foundation has received from the public,
charter, and private schools was more than we expected, which means we have a significant need and a lot of work to do to get the word out to donors and our community partners.”


The IBE Foundation launched its Building Bridges to Educational Success Funding
Campaign in August. Colson added, “I’m hopeful we’ll get the funding to help the students in our community be successful in their education because when children are thriving in school, everybody wins!”

Donors, both individuals and businesses, can recommend a school they would like to benefit the most by making their tax-deductible and QCD contributions at ibefoundation.org or call 520.200.7275 for more information.


In addition to contributing to the Foundation, donors can participate in IBE’s Student
Tax Credit Program. Qualifying corporations and insurance companies that pay premium taxes will receive a dollar-for-dollar AZ tax credit and may also be eligible for a federal tax deduction.

Individual donors will receive the same tax credit and have the option of recommending an Arizona K-12 private school and specific child or IBE’s general fund, where scholarships are awarded to lower-income students.

To help a child reach their highest educational potential, go to ibescholarships.org or call (520) 512-5438 for more information.

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