Cleveland - As the nation celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week, the Arby’s Foundation, Cleveland Browns Foundation and Cleveland Metropolitan School District have identified 520 students in need who will receive free WiFi for one year as the district and students strive to keep kids engaged in their education and remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given necessary changes to the standard school environment, the Arby’s Foundation, in partnership with its restaurant teams in Cleveland, the Cleveland Browns Foundation and CMSD decided to allocate the funds issued in December 2019 through the “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game” Network to help students succeed through virtual learning.
The Arby’s Foundation, Cleveland Browns Foundation and CMSD recognized inherent challenges as nearly two-thirds of CMSD’s students do not have access to reliable internet connectivity, which is exacerbated with the need to provide educational resources electronically following school closures across the state and country.
In addition to providing 500,000 free kids meals through “School’s Out Food’s In” meal cards to “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game” action school districts, the Arby’s Foundation has committed an additional $11,300 to the Cleveland Browns Foundation. The sum has been earmarked to supply personnel protective equipment to Northeast Ohio school district staff members who are preparing and delivering food for students and families in need during the current health crisis. Following a matching contribution by idegy, the preferred promotional merchandise partner of the Browns, 20,000 facemasks will be issued to a combination of front line workers operating food drives distributions, educators and students at CMSD, Canton City School District, East Cleveland City School District and Maple Heights City School District.
“We thank the Arby’s Foundation for this generous gift,” said CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon. “The closing of our buildings due to COVID-19 and the rapid switch to remote learning have exposed the digital divide that exists in Cleveland. Nearly two-thirds of our families are without reliable, high-speed internet. This helps move us closer to our goal of ensuring access for every student.”
“The Arby’s Foundation is thrilled to help Cleveland’s future leaders keep their minds engaged in school work and bodies nourished during the summer,” said Arby’sManager of Brand Activation Jeff Schechter. “We are proud to partner with the numerous teachers and administrators who are on the frontlines ensuring students have access to the necessary meals and resources that are critical to building a strong foundation for success in school and life.”
“The Arby’s Foundation and CMSD continue to be remarkable partners as the Browns and our community work together to ensure all kids have the proper support and opportunities to be fully engaged in their education and prepare for future success,” said Vice President of the Cleveland Browns Foundation Renee Harvey. “Many students and families in our ‘Get 2 School’ action districts do not have consistent access to food, internet service or other daily needs throughout the year, and these challenges are even more prevalent at this time as they often rely on schools for regular meals and important educational tools. We greatly appreciate how the Arby’s Foundation, CMSD and many others who always step up to help year-round and during the pandemic by providing kids the resources they deserve.”
To celebrate the efforts and thank staff members who are going above and beyond to assist students, the Browns delivered “Hats Off to Our Heroes” T-shirts at select food distribution sites today, along with free meals for workers, courtesy of the Arby’s Foundation.
The collaborative selected Digital C, a non-profit internet service provider in Greater Cleveland, to install internet connections for the identified CMSD students.
For more information about the Get 2 School Network, visit Get2School.org.
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