Suns Charities Comes Up Big for Central High

by Matt Petersen

If you’ve ever visited a country with a different language, you know the initial feeling of fear. It comes when someone assumes you understand what they’re saying.

He/she speaks at full speed, unaware that you’re silently drowning under a complete lack of comprehension. Only when they finish do they notice your lack of understanding, the blankness, and desperate desire to get past a mountainous, spoken hurdle of strange words.

Central High School students know this dilemma better than most. There’s roughly a different language for every 42 of the 2,100 students campus. Worse, their experiences of misunderstanding don’t occur in one-on-one basis. Too few teachers for too many students made staying on pace in the classroom a daunting task.

So many individual circumstances required equally individual assistance. Such face-to-face tutoring, however, was hard to come by under the school’s current budget.

Phoenix Suns Charities saw the need. They answered it with half a million dollars.

The donation ($500,000 over three years) didn’t open doors as much as it made them more welcoming for the various students to enter. Now they can do so knowing there’s a teacher or a tutor to whom they can turn when help is needed.

Thirty new employees means countless more hours of personalized help. Students can now afford to hit the proverbial pause button in order to better understand, absorb and utilize any and all lessons without fear of falling behind.

“That is an extension of staff that our budget couldn’t necessarily afford,” said Dr. Schavon Waggoner of Phoenix Union High School District.