Thunderbirds Charities Donates $25,000 to Childsplay, Enabling In-school Performances and Promoting Arts Education for Arizona Children

Thunderbirds Charities generously awarded $25,000 to Childsplay to support its In-school Performance Program. The program forms the core of Childsplay’s operations, bringing professional theatre productions to schools across the state. More than half of Childsplay’s school audiences live at or below the poverty level. “Our goal is to provide access to theatre and arts education, to all Arizona children, by removing financial and geographical barriers. This is possible because of the continuous support of Thunderbirds Charites” said Ernesto Ortiz, Director of Development at Childsplay. It is estimated that one in five Arizona K-6 students will see a Childsplay production at their school. All performances are specifically tied to both academic curriculum and the experience of being a child today.

During Childsplay’s 2022-2023 season, more than 20,000 children in over 50 schools experienced live theatre through an in-school performance of ‘TOMAS AND THE LIBRARY LADY.’ The play revolves around the son of migrant farm workers, who meets a librarian who introduces him to the wonderful world of books. This is the inspiring true story of Tomás Rivera, who grew up in a migrant worker family, befriended a librarian in Iowa, and learned to love books and the places they took him. Tomás went on to a successful career in academia and became the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. In 2020, this play received the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education for the stage adaptation by Jose Cruz Gonzalez, of the acclaimed book by Pat Mora.


This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.