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The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

Matthew 19:14 Project opens applications for 2022 fall grant cycle

A promotional photograph meant to illustrate the capabilities of special education students here in Arizona. (File Photos/
Matthew 19:14 Project helps to fund special education at Arizona Catholic schools
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Matthew 19:14 Project has opened its bi-annual grant cycle to provide much needed funding for support and professional development addressing special education needs among the staff of Catholic schools across Arizona.

“Our grant program is designed to help schools better accommodate current students with physical and intellectual disabilities and to make sure they are prepared for future students in need of support and services,” says Lisa Fischer, founder and president of The Matthew 19:14 Project, in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to create learning environments that help all students be successful in their educational journey.”

Ms. Fischer started The Matthew 19:14 Project — formerly the Arizona Catholic Schools Disability Fund — in 2014, after meeting with the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools superintendent to address the need for special education services in the Valley’s Catholic schools. Ms. Fischer, who is deaf, is aware of the impact inaccessibility in education can create after being turned away from St. Francis Xavier School as a child due to lack of accommodations, according to a press release.

The fall 2022 mini-grant focuses on building the capacity of the knowledge and skills of school staff to better meet the needs of the exceptional learner and can help schools secure funding toward professional development classes, certifications, and qualified service provider or consultant fees, the release states.

Schools are eligible for up to $1,000 per teacher, with a maximum award limit of $5,000 per school. Applications for the grant program can be requested by email at The deadline to apply is Oct. 12, 2022.

Teachers and administration interested in learning more about the Fall 2022 mini-grant cycle are invited to attend an informational Zoom meeting 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the application process. To register for the meeting, contact Mary Brownell at

The organization approved a total of 26 applications in the Spring 2022 mini-grant cycle, the release states. Those applications covered 18 different Catholic schools and totaled $17,615. Funds from that cycle were used to secure professional development opportunities along with sensory kits, standing desks for those with needs for flexible seating options, noise reduction headphones and more.

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