ECA Tax Credit to Get Kids Active

As the year is coming to an end, it’s time to think about where you want you tax dollars to go.  Arizona taxpayers have the option of donating to a school’s Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) account by December 31st to receive a dollar for dollar tax credit.  YES – it truly is a DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR tax credit!  Individuals can receive credit for up to $200 and couples up to $400.  We have donated the $400 max for the past 17 years – every year we get $400 back when we file our taxes!  You are paying taxes anyway – why not have a say in where you want your tax dollars to go … It really is THAT easy!  (For those who like to read rules, click here)

In case you don’t know, Arizona is not know for spending money on education – in fact, we are ranked among the lowest for per pupil spending.  When taxpayers donate to our ECA accounts, it allows us to provide opportunities for our students we normally wouldn’t be able to.  Every school has ECA accounts – each one has a designated purpose and all money donated to that account must be spent for that designated purpose (no one can take it away!).  That means, any money donated to my PE account, gets spent by me on PE appropriate items … no one else in the school is allowed to spend the money on anything else.

By supporting of our RUN3rd Running Clubs, you’ll be helping teachers provide opportunities our kids wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.  Running and walking are among the best ways to get people active because they need no special equipment or facilities – it is something all our students and their families can do.  It’s a way to ‘unplug’ kids and teach them lifelong healthy habits.

In previous years I have used ECA monies for:

  • Race Registrations – this is huge for these kids!  Over the  years, hundreds of kids have crossed the finish line of community events and it’s been life-changing for both them and their families!
  • Proper Running Shoes
  • Shirts, visors & Sweatshirts (uniforms)
  • Travel Costs (buses to get students to events)
  • Incentives and awards to use for recognition as students hit mileage goals
  • RUN3rd curriculum – learn more about RUN3rd here



Run3rd 2017 Final (391 of 981)

The running club has been such a success the past few years because of amazing donors who help make these things possible!

In the Media: 

2nd Annual #RUN3rd 5k recap video – April 2, 2016
Sean Astin Periscopes the 2nd Annual RUN3rd 5k – April 2, 2016
NPR Story on the Brinton Running Club – July 1, 2015
#RUN3rd 5k – April 11, 2015
Sean’s Speech to Runners – April 11, 2015
YouTube – March 2015
CBS 5 AZ – March 2015
runDisney Blog – April 2014 (Here’s the video to accompany the story)


If you would like to donate to one of our RUN3rd Running Clubs, follow these steps:

  • Click here
  • If you don’t have an MPS account, create a guest account
  • Click on ‘Items At All Schools’ under Shop/Donate
  • Click on ‘Elementary Schools’
  • Click on the school you’d like to support.  Here are a few to choose from:
    • Zaharis – this is where I’m now teaching.
    • Wilson – they are new to the program this year and have VERY limited funding. Their coaches are fully committed and are off to a great start!
    • Brinton – the school where it all began and is still going strong
    • Sousa – also new to the program this year
  • Click on ‘ECA – State Tax Credit ONLY’
  • Click on ‘A to Z – ECA Account Name’
  • Enter the amount you would like to donate to ‘PHYSICAL EDUCATION – ECA’ and click ‘Add’
  • Proceed to checkout




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