Teacher’s murals, shoes and journalism bring joy to young people

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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Each week, KOLD News 13 partners with Casino Del Sol to shine a light on a person or organization that goes beyond the community.

In this week, we meet a teacher, an artist, and a journalist, who learned the ultimate balancing act, all to showcase Tucson’s youth.

“There are many ways to show your ability, your genius. We celebrate kids who can do math and can write well. But they can also express their genius through art,” explains Andy Morales.

He is a teacher on a mission. Andy Morales has been a teacher in Rio Vista for 24 years, teaching special education and physical education.

He says he believes in having fun and treating each of his students as if they were the only ones in his class. But that’s not all he does. Morales also paints murals at school to spread his love of art. And he does it while running Kicks4Kids, a program that provides shoes for students in need.

“I was tired of looking down and the kids were stretching and I could see their socks and toes sticking out of their shoes and so I decided on my own without anyone knowing to go to the store and to buy shoes for the children.”

And the program has grown steadily ever since, with people donating countless pairs to students in need.

Morales also covers high school sports for All Sports Tucson because he saw the need for more student athletes to be recognized.

“It’s just to recognize and honor the children of Tucson,” says Morales.

So this week, in partnership with Casino Del Sol, KOLD presented Morales with this week’s Heart & Sol award and a well-deserved $300 gift card.

But Morales says there is still work to be done. He has more murals to paint, more sports to cover, and hopes to reach his goal of raising $1 million worth of shoes for kids in the community.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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