Time to Gear Up for 2021 Back to School Month

Everyone say it together – yay!

The pandemic certainly made school “interesting” this past year. First everything shutdown. Then schools started teaching students remotely 100% of the time. Then, we saw institutions deploy a hybrid approach by offering some virtual learning days coupled with a few days a week of onsite/in-person learning. Heading “Back to school” last year was anything but business as usual.

While students (and their guardians…let’s be honest) are enjoying a couple months to enjoy the summer and finally get a break from the chaos caused by the pandemic, another school year is just a few months away. And this time, thanks to the hard work of the medical and scientific research communities who played such a critical role in getting us access to a COVID-19 vaccine, we will be sending our kids back to school for in-person learning this year! 

Come August, students of all ages – from preschool to college – and their teachers will be heading back as a new school year begins. From ensuring students have access to the school gear, technology, and programs necessary for academic success, to continuing to safeguard their health and safety, to making sure kids aren’t too hungry to learn and succeed, to providing teachers with the tools they need to teach, America’s Charities nonprofit members are working hard to build brighter futures for our youth – now and all year long! Read below to learn how you can chip-in. 

In recognition of Back to School Month, America’s Charities is celebrating the following agents of change who we are proud to call our members.

One of the most cost-efficient ways you can support these nonprofits is to donate to them via payroll deduction through your employer’s workplace giving program (Don’t have a program? Click here to have your employer contact our team.) Click on each charity’s name below to learn more about their work, and to make a donation now!

School supplies, scholarships, and programs:

The following organizations hold back-to-school drives and/or have programs dedicated to providing students with the tools and opportunities to help them succeed academically.

Arlington Housing Corporation (AHC Inc.) – provides after-school programs and tutoring for children in the affordable housing communities they serve. AHC’s programs focus primarily on helping children – all the way from elementary through high school – build the literacy and academic skills they need to achieve scholastic success. Learn more.
The Sesame Street Yellow Feather Fund – as Sesame Workshop’s fundraising arm, The Sesame Street Yellow Feather Fund brings education to children in need. They work with industry-leading partners across the curriculum development, technology, professional development fields, all of whom are deeply invested in supporting educators and improving children’s learning, both in and out of school. Learn more.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) – committed to providing access to higher education, college readiness and career preparation for the students attending its member schools, TMCF provides critical educational support to low-income and first-generation students, to ensure that they can graduate from college and increase their lifetime earnings by an average of $1 million. Learn more.
Duke Ellington School of Arts –  as the only DC public high school that provides pre-professional arts training alongside a college preparatory academic curriculum, Ellington’s mission is to nurture and inspire passion for arts and learning in talented students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop their artistic skills. They ensure that students are prepared for post-secondary education and/or careers in the arts by offering an intensive arts-based program. 
The Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC) – based in Alexandria, VA, CFNC was started in 1984 by a group of mothers living in public housing after seventeen of their children failed kindergarten. Determined that this would not be the case for any more children in their neighborhood, a teacher was hired, a classroom secured, and CFNC was born.  CFNC’s mission is to provide caring, high-quality, free early childhood education and related services to at-risk children and their families in their own neighborhoods in order to prepare them for success in school and life. Learn more.
A Wider Circle – its mission is simple: to help one individual and one family after another to rise out of poverty. A Wider Circle’s holistic approach focuses on the provision of basic need items, workforce development, wraparound support, and neighborhood revitalization. You can help A Wider Circle ensure its clients’ kids have access to the basic tools and gear for school by supporting their back-to-school drive on Amazon. Click here
Teach for America – with millions of children growing up in poverty lack access to a high-quality education, Teach for America’s corps members and alumni are playing a role in eliminating this injustice by recruiting, developing, and supporting leaders committed to creating change. Learn more.
Feed the Children – while its goal is to end childhood hunger, Feed the Children’s work has expanded to include strategies designed to empower at-risk families to better face today’s challenges and realize more stable lives to secure long-term benefits for their children. Feed the Children believes education is the best way to help break the cycle of poverty. But without the proper tools for learning, students face overwhelming odds. Feed the Children supports students by inviting teachers to shop for free classroom supplies and books at its five Teacher Store locations. These stores benefit more than 525,000 students across the country each school year. Learn more.
National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) – with a mission to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy, NBCDI’s National Affiliate Network works to develop and deliver strengths-based, culturally relevant, evidence-based and trauma-informed curricula and programs that focus on health and wellness and family engagement. Learn more.
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) – envisioning a literate America with each child having the resources and capabilities to reach their full potential, you can help RIF provide new books for children as the new school year begins. Learn more.
Junior Achievement – dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices, Junior Achievement’s programs ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century. Learn more.
Junior Achievement of New York – with innovative, activity-based educational programs focused on three key content areas–financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, JA New York is inspiring and preparing young people in grades K-12 to succeed in the global economy. Learn more.
Latino Youth Arts Education Fund (LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc.) – educating and preparing America’s future workforce through intensive educational programming and leadership development training, LNESC’s network reaches out into some of the nation’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods and helps promising young students navigate the complicated channels that lead to academic success. Learn more.
Point Foundation – as the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit, Point is committed to making higher education accessible for LGBTQ students. Learn more. 

 

Health, safety, and advocacy at school:

The following organizations are dedicated to advocating for a healthy and safe learning environment. 

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids – As youth start back to school this fall, they’ll become more exposed to e-cigarettes and tobacco products from their peers. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids works with schools, education groups and public health organizations to teach children about the dangers of tobacco use. Help empower a tobacco-free generation by fostering youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco, and by supporting the Campaign’s work fighting big tobacco. Learn more.
Feeding America – School isn’t just where you learn – it’s where you grow, play and make friends. But hunger can stand in the way of a child’s ability to succeed in school and in life. As the school year kicks off, you can make sure kids have the meals they need to succeed. Learn more.
No Kid Hungry (Share Our Strength) – Millions of kids in America face the school day on an empty stomach because there isn’t enough food at home. And for some kids, lunch at school may be the last meal of the day. Hungry kids can’t learn. Help No Kid Hungry address this issue by ensuring kids have access to free breakfast at school and afterschool meals
Brady Center to Prevent Gun ViolenceFrom preventing the tragedy of another mass shooting at school or making sure families take proper gun safety measures at home, for more than 40 years the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has been the leading national voice in the prevention of gun violence, effecting meaningful change through policy, legal action, and increased public awareness of the risks and dangers of having guns in the home. As students head back to school, join Brady’s mission to reduce gun violence. Learn more
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) – Internationally recognized for its groundbreaking leadership in seeking justice for the most vulnerable in our society and fighting hate in courtrooms and classrooms throughout the nation, help the SPLC arm teachers across the country with the tools and resources necessary to teach tolerance. Learn more about the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project.
NAACP Foundation – The NAACP is focused on removal of all obstacles to equal access to educational opportunity, ensuring access to an equitable and quality education that is available to all children in order that they achieve academic success and are productive citizens in today’s society.  Its education priorities are universal, high quality, free pre-K; more time for learning; effective teaching in every school and classroom; targeted spending that is adequate to the neediest states, districts and students; fair discipline; diversity and meaningful community and parental engagement which is all toward the objective of college and career success for all students. Learn more.

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