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Safford K-8 recognized for civic engagement

Thursday morning, September 17, 2015, Safford K-8 Magnet School was recognized among the state's best for civic engagement at a ceremony in Glendale. The International Baccalaureate magnet school was one of ten named as a school of distinction for civic engagement by the Arizona Department of Education. It was the second-highest award possible.

"The international baccalaureate means that we do a world curriculum," Cheryl Walling, one of Safford's teachers receiving the award, discussed. "Civics is embedded in our curriculum."

The parameters to earn the recognition involved across-the-curriculum discussion of current events, as well as programs that engage students with their communities. It was the second straight year Safford was awarded recognition for civic engagement by the Department of Education.

Diane Dean, another Safford teacher present to receive the award, discussed some of the specific programs along with two of her students. Melanie Saavedra, a 7th grader, discussed Safford's role in Wear Yellow for Seth, which was a program to help benefit a young man stricken with the illness SCID. Skylar Begay, a 6th grader, mentioned trips to groom Mount Lemmon in order to prevent wildfires from spreading.

"[Our programs are about] teaching the students that we're not just here in Tucson." Ms. Dean said. "There's a whole entire world out here that we need to take a look at, and learn about and have as a part of our lives."

Superintendent H.T. Sánchez expressed the importance of Safford's IB program and magnet status to earning this award and for the overall success of the school as well.

"You know, their work really ties in integrally to their magnet status as an international baccalaureate school." Dr. Sánchez explained. "It is a hand-and-glove fit."

Safford's teachers agreed with the superintendent.

"It's because of our magnet program, our IB magnet program, that we have this award," confirmed Ms. Walling.