Vanessa Williams Interview for Staples & Think It Up Helping NYC Public Schools #staplesforstudents
With NYC families going back to school this week, the announcement made by Vanessa Williams during a recent Staples event with Think It Up and Donors Choose was so touching.
Note: I was invited as media to this event and received a Staples gift card for school supplies. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own
Staples, Inc. announced that it funded 176 local classroom projects in New York City, as part of its recent $10 million pledge to Think it Up™, a new national initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation that seeks to inaugurate a new movement in support of students, teachers and schools, helping to create a culture of excitement about learning everywhere in America.
This fall, Think It Up, in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, will launch a platform to fund student-powered, teacher-led learning projects in classrooms across the country.
As a parent with a child in public school, I know first hand how much students and teachers NEED this type of help. Since entering my son into the public school system, I've stayed connected with his teachers. I've seen how it's a real struggle every school year for them to make sure the kids are equipped with supplies and resources.
A recent survey conducted by Staples found almost three-quarters of parents agree that teachers in their communities inspire their students. Additionally, the survey revealed that 76 percent agree that a lack of school supplies is a significant challenge for schools today. Most teachers spend more than $400 of their own money each year to provide supplies and materials for their classrooms.
After hearing the announcement, I had the chance to interview Vanessa Williams, Actress and Think It Up ambassador, to learn more about this initiative and what motivated her to be a part of sharing the news.
“Both of my parents were teachers, so I’ve seen firsthand how much teachers give to help their students achieve success,” Williams said. “I’m thrilled that Think It Up, together with DonorsChoose.org and Staples, is taking this opportunity to give back to the teachers of New York City Public Schools and all of the students whose lives they will impact this school year.”
But Vanessa isn't all about talk. She shared how she is personally donating her stipend, that covers her speaking at this event, to a middle school for boys so they can continue to make a positive difference in their lives.
See how a simple act of donating can make such a powerful impact in children's lives?
Now, in New York, Staples fully funded every 9th-12th grade project on DonorsChoose.org in New York City Public Schools. More than $173,000 was donated to help 132 teachers fulfill classroom needs and helped 25,858 students across 93 schools in New York City Public Schools.
“We’re thrilled to fund all of the 9th-12th grade projects in New York City Public Schools and to work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Think It Up initiative and DonorsChoose.org to ensure classrooms have the supplies and resources they need,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online, Staples. “Through our Staples for Students program, we’re proud to build on our rich history of supporting education with our $10 million pledge to Think It Up that will make a difference in America’s classrooms.”
The flash funding in New York is part of Staples’ $10 million pledge to Think It Up which will inspire students to pursue their passions by working on collaborative learning projects.
Since its founding in 2000, DonorsChoose.org has helped fund more than 236,000 classroom projects for teachers and impacted more than 14 million students.
"We are so grateful to Staples for their support of teachers and students through Think It Up," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org. "Their incredible gesture today will ensure that New York City teachers won't have to dig as deep into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies, and that students will have the materials they need to start the school year right.”
“EIF is truly grateful to Staples for joining Think It Up as its lead corporate donor, and helping New York City Public Schools get the school year off to a terrific start illustrates how deeply committed the company is to ensuring students and teachers have what they need to create learning experiences that make a genuine impact and prepare students for future success,” said Lisa Paulsen, President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
To help support the Think It Up movement, customers can donate one dollar at a Staples store near them.
For more information about Think It Up, visit www.thinkitup.org