ARLINGTON, VA–(BUSINESS WIRE)—October 7, 2020— Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Communities In Schools NOVA today announced Amazon is making a $1 million donation to support the immediate needs of thousands of students from underserved communities in Northern Virginia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities In Schools NOVA will distribute Amazon’s donation through its innovative “Right Now Needs Fund”—a flexible fund utilizing prepaid product vouchers designed to meet the basic needs of schoolchildren and eliminate barriers to learning. The Right Now Needs Fund in Northern Virginia will provide students with immediate access to urgently needed items including food, clothing and school supplies across all 34 Arlington Public Schools and all 18 Alexandria City Public Schools.
Site Coordinators and school social workers within each of the school districts and schools will work with families to identify students’ needs and request assistance from the Fund. Communities In Schools NOVA, leveraging existing relationships with both school districts, will distribute Amazon Education Assistance Product Vouchers – a prepaid payment designed specifically for education-related needs. Students and their families can redeem the vouchers for a wide variety of carefully curated items that students need to be successful at school, including food, school supplies for at-home learning, warm clothing, hygiene items and more. The vouchers foster a dignified, convenient experience for students and families in need.
“The start of this school year is difficult for many families from underserved communities across our new home of Northern Virginia, and we are determined to provide support to those students who need it most,” said Jay Carney, Amazon Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs. “At Amazon, we are committed to providing innovative solutions to tough challenges, and we are confident that the flexibility and speed built into our new Right Now Needs Fund will immediately help ensure more students learning from home can focus on their studies, and not fall behind as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.”
“Communities In Schools of Northern Virginia appreciates the trust Amazon has placed in our ability to collaborate with schools and community partners on implementing the Right Now Needs Fund,” said Patrick Brennan, Executive Director, Communities In Schools of Northern Virginia. “Every student, regardless of circumstance, deserves a seamless system of support so they can stay in school and achieve in life.”
See full press release here.
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About Amazon in the Community
Amazon is committed to helping more children and young adults, especially those from underrepresented and underserved communities, have the resources and skills they need to build their best future. Amazon focuses on building long-term, innovative, and high impact programs that leverage Amazon’s unique assets and culture. Initiatives include Amazon Future Engineer, designed to inspire and excite hundreds of thousands of children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities each year to pursue computer science, as well as programs that support immediate needs, including addressing family homelessness through donations and housing a homeless shelter in its Seattle headquarters, as well as global relief efforts for people in need following natural disasters.
About Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools builds relationships that empower students to stay in school and succeed in life. Our school-based staff partner with teachers to identify challenges students face in class or at home and coordinate with community partners to bring outside resources inside schools. We remove barriers for students at risk of dropping out and leverage evidence, relationships, and local resources to drive results. While schools are closed, we’re working in and across communities to bring resources like meals, educational materials, and emotional support to the kids that need them the most. CIS NOVA has partnered with Arlington Public Schools since 2013 and Alexandria City Public Schools since 2015. In the 2019-2020 school year, 100% of our case-managed students stayed in school and 97% were promoted to the next grade level.