IMPACT E4: Make Way 4 Books, Literacy, Teachers

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Ethan Myerson, Development Director
Make Way For Books
700 N Stone Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705
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Ethan has long believed in the power of books to transform people’s lives, and he believes education is one of the surest paths to success. After a career in photography and design, Ethan has enjoyed working for several years in the nonprofit sector in Tucson, at organizations devoted to education and anti-poverty work. As Development Director, Ethan’s main goal is to help donors at all levels create the changes they want to see in society. The mission of Make Way For Books–ensuring that all children have a chance to read and succeed–is one that he believes in, and one that he thinks all of southern Arizona has a vested interest in supporting. When he’s not helping donors reach their philanthropic goals, he enjoys a variety of creative hobbies, including painting, illustration, and woodworking, and can often be found playing tabletop games of all kinds.

MWFB partners with parents and educators to make sure that all of the adults in a child’s life know that they have what it takes to give the child a chance to read and succeed. 90% of children in poverty who are reading at grade level in Grade 3 will go on to graduate high school. The literacy work done with children under the age of 5 will have a huge impact on their future success and in turn the future economic health of our community. In our programs:

  • 99% of children gain literacy and language skills necessary for school readiness
  • 82% of children gain the social skills necessary to focus, take turns, and participate in school
  • 99% of parents gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to be their child’s first and best teacher.

Betty Stauffer, Executive Director
Literacy Connects
200 E Yavapai Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705
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Betty has been the Executive Director of Literacy Connects since it was formed on July 1, 2011. Before that, she was the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Tucson since June 2002. Literacy Connectswas formed when five well-established literacy organizations in Southern Arizona merged to create one innovative organization. Betty has lived in Tucson since 2000 before which she lived in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a social worker and was the Executive Director of a transitional housing program for homeless families for 10 years in Cleveland. She loves working in literacy because it is addressing one of the root causes of homelessness and poverty both of which have been her professional focus for more than 30 years. Betty is the mother of 2 grown children and the proud grandmother of 3 wonderful boys.

Our Impact on Tucson

Literacy Connects is a volunteer-driven Tucson nonprofit providing literacy and arts programming to over 48,000 children and adults annually. Skills gained from our services reduce unemployment and poverty and help children be more successful in school. As Tucson has been identified as the sixth-poorest metropolitan area in the U.S., the services Literacy Connects provides are all the more critical.

While increasing literacy skills is key for people to move toward their full potential, our programs also address our students’ attitudes and behaviors. When skills, attitudes, and behaviors all change–a world of opportunities open.

Adrienne Ledford, Executive Director
Treasures 4 Teachers of Tucson
6800 N. Camino Martin
Tucson, AZ 85741
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I was a special education teacher asst for 22 years in the Amphi district. Seeing the need we had for supplies I shopped at the T4T in Tempe and thought we needed a shop down here in Tucson. We opened 5 years ago this summer. I retired 4 years ago and volunteer full time at T4TT.

Our Impact on Tucson

Education is a valuable stage in the life of a child. Teachers provide an invaluable service to our community by educating young minds and preparing them for the world. Despite the importance of their profession, the powers that be rarely find a way to provide teachers with all of the supplies they need. Teachers are underpaid and classrooms underfunded in Az. They cannot deliver quality instruction without the tools they need. That’s where Treasures 4 Teachers comes in: our mission is to provide educators with the hands-on materials they need in the classroom for free to low cost through donated and repurposed items. Our warehouse has a wide variety of unique and useful materials teachers need to be creative and successful. It’s not just pencils and paper they need but its plastic caps or egg cartons, art supplies or science items. We make a teacher’s job easier not only saving money but time.


About the Host

Barbara McClure, Executive Director  
IMPACT of Southern Arizona 
3535 E Hawser Street 
TucsonAZ  85739                                                    
Phone: 520-825-0009

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Barbara McClure wakes up each morning passionate about going to work at a place that improves lives and inspires futures every day! She has been the Executive Director of a Tucson social service nonprofit called IMPACT of Southern Arizona, for ten years. What is it that keeps you passionate about your role Barbara? 

Barbara has been a visionary and planner with decades of experience as a small business owner and in nonprofit leadership; her innovative ideas and strategic thinking, along with a talent for bringing the community together, has helped grow IMPACT five-fold in a very short time. Her talents and interests are diverse but all center around helping people, improving the community, bolstering education, building capacity and sustainability, being vocal about the rights and conditions of others, experiencing art, nurturing all inhabitants of your garden, and enjoying life to the fullest. 

And now Barbara is about to experience another exciting chapter in her life with hosting a brand-new Radio Show Podcast here on the Tucson Business RadioX Network starting in November. 

IMPACT of Southern Arizona is a 20 – year old social service nonprofit stabilizing families and seniors, and moving people out of poverty. IMPACT’s programs are designed to stretch household budgets so earned income can be spent on necessities such as improved housing conditions, fuel to get to work, utilizes, and needed medical attention and prescriptions Its clients are your neighbors! People come to IMPACT because it is a welcoming place where they are always treated with dignity and respect, and where they find resources, referrals, coaching, and help to attain the skills that can move them forward into self-sufficiency. 

Barbara grew up in Pasadena CA, moved to Long Beach for college, got married and started our family then moved to Seattle area ten years later. Took our youngest son on an 11-month motorhome trip to get to Tucson – Homeschooled for 10th grade. 

We vacationed at a rustic cabin when I was growing up, where we had no phone or television; and spent all our time outside fishing, hiking, horseback riding, listening to old radio shows, playing pool, reading comic books from the local small grocer, and using our imaginations all day long. I always admired the superheroes who defended people and cities like Gotham and Metropolis, so when our three boys were born, we named them after familiar character: Colin (Bryce for an overlay of Bruce Wayne, Kent, and Parker. Our first grandchild was born last year, and as in the family tradition, named Logan, after the Wolverine. I used to always tell them they were my superheroes – and they still are today! 

Barbara loves working with numbers and has always loved math and the organization of things, so accounting seemed perfect, but I soon realized that I if I became a CPA I would have to spend many months inside doing tax returns, and that did not appeal to me as a longterm career! I have a great imagination and enjoy creating things, so thought I should find a better path that might nurture that side of my personality. I was working in the shipping industry in SoCal at the time and fell in love with import and export, so shifted my majors to Marketing and International Business. Those were wonderful fits, and I imagined graduating and moving to the largest port on the planet, in Germany; then, I met my future husband and things took a different turn. 

A little bit about how Barbara got into Nonprofit work: 

All along with my husband and I were always involved in nonprofits and community volunteer opportunities, and often said it was too bad we could not make a living doing those things we loved so much. Leadership roles in PTO, Boy Scouts, Historical Societies, Junior League, Elks, Rotary and more. Then when we moved to Tucson I looked for a local opportunity to impact my community. A Board position was about to open at IMPACT, and my local bank branch manager, Peggy Smoot, suggested I would be very passionate about getting involved in the mission work there. I worked in the Food Bank. 

There are thousands of nonprofits in Tucson. What makes IMPACT Unique is that they bring the community together to stabilize families and move people out of poverty. Our true success lies in partnering with a large number of businesses, agencies, social clubs and other nonprofits. We invest $2.5 million in the community each year, and we do it all with a lean staff of amazing professionals supported by more than 170 volunteer shifts each week! We have put great systems in place to run efficiently, effectively and with a commitment to sustainability and integrity, protecting the community’s investment in our work, striving for perfect audits, being innovative, building capacity and most importantly – treating everyone with dignity and respect. We are an award-winning nonprofit with numerous nods to incredible customer service. Our clients are your neighbors… We improve lives and inspire futures of people living in Southern AZ.  

So, IMPACT is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and you have been at the helm half that time. Share with me the things IMPACT has accomplished over the years, and the things you have planned for this celebratory year. 

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