Amazon assists continuous learning in wake of COVID-19

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology

Amazon is donating laptop computers to the Seattle public schools.

The e-tail giant will supply 8,200 laptops to students to help close the gap in Seattle Public Schools’ continuous learning plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon’s permanent, direct-to-student donation, valued over $2 million, is designed to meet the estimated need for elementary students and will help toward the goal of providing all public school students in Seattle with access to a device while at home. 

This donation also kick starts the “Equity Education Fund,” a new fund overseen by the Alliance for Education, Seattle Public Schools’ nonprofit partner. The fund will support students in need with access to the technology, technical support and additional resources required for continuous learning during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Making sure our kids have the ability to keep learning is one of the most important things we can collectively do during the COVID-19 crisis," said Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon Web Services. “With this donation, we're focused on Seattle students from underserved and underrepresented communities who otherwise would not have access to these devices – which helps enable SPS to educate and assist all of their students during this pandemic."

Amazon is also offering other resources to assist students in its home state of Washington and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the end of April, families within the Bellevue, Washington, school district who are unable to reach the district's sites to pick up food boxes or physical food vouchers will be able to shop online for eligible groceries, health products, and personal care items sold on Amazon and get them delivered directly to their doorstep.

In addition, the Amazon Future Engineer program is providing access to a variety of free, online learning opportunities. Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. During the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon Future Engineer is providing resources from lesson plans to online coding programs for all grades.

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