Amazon supports computer science education in Virginia

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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An e-tail giant is funding efforts to provide computer training to underserved students across Virginia.

Amazon has pledged to donate $3.9 million to CodeVA through 2022. CodeVA is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding access for all students in Virginia to computer science literacy. The donation will support more than 500,000 students and more than 12,000 teachers in more than 700 schools, particularly those in underserved and underrepresented communities.

Amazon has donated the first of three $1.3 million installments to CodeVA, which will help CodeVA make virtual computer science curriculum and training available to tens teachers and students who are now learning from home for the remainder of the academic year. 

To accommodate at-home learning in response to COVID-19, CodeVA has developed virtual programming for students, teachers, and families learning from home; started conducting live, online code-along events; shifted dozens of teacher training opportunities from in-person to online; and developed unplugged computer science education resources for students with lower Internet connectivity and for families who want students spending less time on screens.

“CodeVA is an innovative, respected, and results-driven nonprofit in our new home of Virginia,” said Ardine Williams, VP of workforce development, HQ2 at Amazon. “We are confident that this donation will help the commonwealth train more students from underserved communities and prepare our future Virginia workforce to be ready for exciting technology careers at Amazon and beyond. In this time of countless unknowns, we applaud CodeVA’s ability to quickly change gears, and transition to providing hardworking students, teachers, and families what they need right now to stay on track and to stay focused day to day.”

Amazon has invested more than $50 million to increase access to computer science/STEM education and has donated more than $20 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.