Arizona tax credits support one-of-a-kind school for the blind in Phoenix

The Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix is unlike any other elementary school in the state. On any given day, approximately 150 students ─ from kindergarten through fourth grade ─ are expanding their life skills, their learning, and recognizing their full potential.

There is a large gymnasium where these students can climb rock walls and play basketball and a kitchen where they learn to cook. Most students will assimilate into traditional elementary school environments with all the academic and life skills needed to succeed before fourth grade. Many return to use the facility as a teen community center and tackle even bigger life experiences as a group — like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or crewing sailboats through the Caribbean.

This year, UnitedHealthcare provided $9.5 million in tax credits to the Arizona Leadership Foundation, which dispersed the funds to 180 schools, including the Foundation for Blind Children.

“This school is changing the way families of children with sight limitations live their lives. The teachers and staff here alter the dynamics so these children grow up recognizing they simply have a diagnosis, not a disability,” said Heather Kane, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “Their mission to empower matches nicely with our own to help people live healthier lives.” 

On Jan. 29, Heather presented Arizona Leadership Foundation with this year’s tax credit check while enjoying a unique play day at the Foundation.

Five tons of fresh snow was dumped onto the school’s lawn. Each classroom of students, their teachers and several parents enjoyed a quick opportunity to play in the snow during a sunny, 70-degree day in Phoenix.

They threw snow balls, sledded down a hill and rolled around in the wintery flakes to their heart’s content. For some of these children, this was their very first experience playing in snow. It is just one more example of how this school is breaking down barriers, expanding their students’ horizons and preparing them for future success.

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