Amazon is continuing a series of local donations with a $ 1 million pledge to Arlington and Alexandria public schools.
The company’s $ 1 million donation to schools in HQ2’s backyard follows a donation of more than $ 2.5 million to schools near “HQ1” in the Seattle area.
The donations will go towards a “‘Right Now Needs Fund’ – a flexible fund designed to meet the basic needs of schoolchildren and help remove barriers to learning” during the pandemic, the company said.
“The Right Now Needs Fund in Northern Virginia will provide students with immediate access to goods they urgently need, including food, clothing and school supplies in all 41 Arlington public schools and programs and in all 18 public schools in Arlington. Alexandria City, “Amazon said in its first day blog.
The fund adds to Amazon’s recent donation of hundreds of wireless Internet access devices and $ 75,000 towards headphones for Arlington students attending classes from home.
Arlington Public Schools Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer said the school system is “elated” with the gift and impact it will have on students in need.
We are excited about this partnership and equity initiative which will provide another path to fill in the gaps to meet the physiological needs of our students. Furthermore, MiFi will help close the digital divide.
– Arron Gregory (@APSEquity) 7 October 2020
More information on the fund, from the Amazon blog:
Site coordinators and school social workers within each of the school districts and schools will work with families to identify individual student needs and seek assistance from the Fund. Community in Schools NOVA, leveraging existing relationships with both school districts, will distribute Amazon Education Assistance product vouchers, a prepaid payment designed specifically for education needs. Students and their families can redeem vouchers for a wide variety of carefully selected items students need to be successful in school, including food, home learning school supplies, warm clothing, home improvement supplies. hygiene and more. Using prepaid vouchers, students and families can redeem their much-needed items in a dignified and affordable way.
“The start of this school year has been challenging for many families in our new Northern Virginia home and we are determined to provide support to the students who need it most,” said Jay Carney, Amazon Senior Vice President, Global Business Affairs. . “At Amazon, we are always on the lookout for innovative solutions to tough challenges and are confident that the flexibility and speed built into our new Right Now Needs Fund will help ensure that more students from disadvantaged communities can focus on their studies and don’t fall behind as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. “
Amazon recently donated nearly 800 Mi-Fi devices and $ 75,000 to protect thousands of headsets for Northern Virginia students starting the school year at home. Additionally, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Amazon’s HQ2 region, Amazon has donated $ 1 million to kickstart emergency response efforts, provided thousands of devices to groups that support students in need, donated money and in-kind products to organizations. local nonprofits and food banks, local restaurants paid to prepare and deliver 10,000 lunches and dinners for first responders, frontline health workers and vulnerable neighbors, and funded delivery services to provide more than 50,000 meals – 60,000 pounds of food – directly to doorstep of local seniors and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Amazon also donated $ 3.9 million to the nonprofit CodeVA to help make virtual computing curriculum and training available to Virginia teachers and students so they don’t fall behind in learning this skill set forever. more important. There are currently more than 50 schools and in the state of Virginia they are part of the Amazon Future Engineer program.