This year’s back-to-school season indisputably looks different from those before. In places where kids are going back to school in person, they are facing a dilemma.
Many schools are facing budget cuts due to the strain the health crisis has put on the economy. Those cuts make little sense because schools need more supplies than ever to keep their doors open this year.
Many teachers already lament low budgets that leave them buying supplies for their classrooms out of pocket. This year could see a lot added to that list. Where schools cannot provide them, teachers will need to purchase sanitization products on their own.
Not only that, but they will also be responsible for adding to classroom supplies, as sharing so many of the classroom items we once took for granted is now unsafe.
Those embarking on distance learning also need support. Many students still don’t have the technological capabilities for distance learning. Teachers also need more equipment to best serve students.
Nonprofits are stepping in to bridge the gaps where they can. Many are going above and beyond to make sure students will have everything they need to be safely educated this fall. Here are some organizations that can use your support.
Kids in Need Foundation does a lot to help kids at this time of year. This year, the charity is looking to ensure kids have everything they need to thrive in their education and stay safe, regardless of what their learning situation is. The foundation’s COVID-19 fund, along with its Supplies for Success drives that will happen throughout the school year, will serve students and teachers in schools with a population of 70% or more enrolled in the government’s free and reduced lunch program.
Feeding America has been one of the most important organizations doing work during this challenging time. Food insecurity is a major issue as unemployment soars, people get sick, and families struggle to get by. Feeding America will help provide meals for families struggling, including those who will need to participate in remote learning and will not get meals at school as a result.
AdoptAClassroom.org allows you to fund a specific classroom in your school or area. This way, you can know in a more detailed matter how your contribution is making a difference. You can also donate to the nonprofit’s annual fund, which is directed to the areas teachers need most.
DonorsChoose currently has over 37,000 classroom projects that need support. Of those, over 15,000 projects support teachers trying to give students the best experience possible while distance learning. A majority of the rest are for teachers trying to make this year special for their students regardless of the struggle ahead.
Save the Children offers innovative programs that help children who would typically miss out on early childhood education have access to those foundational building blocks. The organization also globally supports efforts to ensure that children develop foundational skills in the early years, that they learn to read by third grade, and that no child’s learning stops because they are caught up in crisis.
The AFT Educational Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund is helping the students, families, educators, and communities that are struggling with the effects of COVID-19. The organization vows to provide communities with the soap, hand sanitizer, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to have in-person classes. It also supports distance learning by providing printers for teachers who are now having to work from home, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other technology needs.
Future of School is offering the Remote Learning Relief Fund. The fund offers immediate grants for teachers to get the tools they need to deliver quality instruction that engages all their students, no matter where the learning is taking place. The fund also has a partnership with The Modern Classrooms Project to provide technology and broadband access where there is need.
Operation Backpack is an annual effort by Volunteers of America, helping kids from pre-K through college in select communities across the country. The organization doesn’t just supply backpacks, however. It also supports after-school and mentoring programs, as well as other vital services.
Blessings in a Backpack has worked hard to keep kids fed during the current health crisis. That complicated work continues into yet another school year. The nonprofit’s breakdown shows just how far your donation will go in keeping a child fed.
Children’s Foundation of America is ensuring that children in foster care are well taken care of during this time. The organization notes that these children are also less likely to have access to the basic hygienic items we’ve all come to rely on to stay safe. It is accepting both physical and monetary donations.