After losing 52 teachers in the 2016-17 school year, we knew this was our time to help our community.
In the summer of 2016, the Center for Future of Arizona and Arizona State University challenged Havasu Youth Advisory Council to improve the civic health of Lake Havasu City. As we lost 52 teachers after 2016-2017 school year, we knew this was our time to help our community.
We spent the summer designing this project and reached out to teachers, school district administration, parents, retirees, and community leaders for feedback. Some teachers left due to salary, benefits, failures of bonds and overrides, but some left because they didn’t feel rooted in the community. These teachers moved to a beautiful town like Lake Havasu City to work in a job that they loved, but they felt like they had to leave because they didn’t feel connected to the people or the place. Because of this, we knew teacher retention would be our primary focus.
We can’t create change to salaries and benefits, but we can effect change in our community by connecting teachers with local citizens. In order to bridge this gap and encourage educators to become part of the fabric of Lake Havasu City, we started the program, Project: We OutCare.
In December, we kicked off Project: We OutCare by gifting the newly hired teachers with school supplies donated from the community who out cared us. Today, we are currently in the design phase of a long-term connection between the community and ALL LHUSD #1 teachers: the Teacher Wish List website. Our vision for this website is to provide an ongoing connection between the teachers, parents, local businesses, and residents to outcare each other for years to come. In the end, we hope that Project: We OutCare will create social cohesion in our community and appreciate our teachers the way they deserve.
We hope Project: We OutCare will grow along with our community, and outlive our current council. We are forever thankful for for the citizens of Lake Havasu, our donors, sponsors, and most importantly, our teachers. We are doing our part, and now we challenge you to outcare us!