Amazon Expands $2 Million “Right Now Needs Fund” to Increase Access to Safe and Supportive Spaces for Youth in Low Income Neighborhoods in Seattle During Summer Months
In collaboration with the Alliance for Education and Seattle Parks and Recreation, a new $250,000 grant from Amazon will expand summer programming in low income neighborhoods, impacting hundreds of Seattle’s children and youth.
SEATTLE—June 3, 2019–The Alliance for Education announced an additional $250,000 grant from Amazon to support increased safe summer programming for youth through Seattle Parks and Recreation. The grant is designed to make sure more youth in Seattle have access to safe spaces and support for basic needs in the months when school is not in session. The funding is an expansion of the Right Now Needs Fund, an innovative new $2 million fund created by the Alliance for Education and Amazon, which addresses urgent and basic needs of Seattle students to remove barriers to learning.
“Children, youth and families in our city often rely on their neighborhood school for support when experiencing challenges. Amazon has been a remarkable and visionary partner in empowering our schools to address the basic needs of their students, especially students experiencing poverty, through the Right Now Needs Fund,” said Lisa Chick, President and CEO, Alliance for Education. “This new grant extends their current school-year investment to make sure that, even during the summer, kids have increased access to the support they need.”
The $250,000 grant will support two programs offered by Seattle Parks and Recreation for children and youth over the summer:
Summer of Safety
The Summer of Safety program provides meals and access to safe and supportive places in low income neighborhoods for youth not enrolled in any structured programming during the summer. The Summer of Safety program requires no fee and no registration, ensuring there are no barriers to participation. The Amazon grant will expand capacity by 100 youth per day throughout the summer, supporting programs in five Seattle neighborhoods – Bitterlake, Rainier, Van Asselt, Delridge, and South Park – and will add a new teen-focused site in the Central Area. Funding will increase staffing and support the incorporation of youth employment.
Summer Programming Scholarships
Seattle Parks and Recreation offers scholarships for summer programming for students experiencing poverty, ensuring more youth have access to safe, secure and enriching opportunities over the summer months. Amazon’s funding will provide scholarships for an additional 750 slots in various summer camps throughout Seattle. Individuals and families demonstrating need can apply for the scholarship program here.
“We’re excited to add to the Right Now Needs Fund to help underserved students with access to safe spaces, engaging enrichment activities, and meals that may otherwise be inaccessible during the summer months,” said David Zapolsky, Amazon SVP & General Counsel and Alliance for Education board member. “School provides a safe and stable place for all students during the academic year and the collaboration with the Alliance for Education and Seattle Parks and Recreation will provide added support for basic needs during summer vacation.”
In October 2018, Amazon announced a $2 million grant to the Alliance for Education to create the “Right Now Needs Fund.” Since its launch, the Right Now Needs Fund has helped principals, teachers, and parents collaborate to remove students’ most basic barriers to learning such as food, clothing, and housing. The fund empowers Seattle Public Schools staff and communities with the resources to address the urgent and basic needs of their students. To date, the Right Now Needs Fund has provided over 5,000 instances of support to address the basic needs of Seattle Public School students during the 2018-2019 school year.
“Seattle Parks and Recreation is proud to be a partner with Amazon and the Alliance for Education to further extend the reach of our summer enrichment and safety programming. Partnerships like these are incredibly important in their ability to provide additional resources to our growing city. We know that these programs serve as critical resources to our youth and families, and help support student academic outcomes and mitigate summer learning loss,” said Jesús Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent.
The Alliance for Education and Seattle Parks and Recreation are committed to supporting the well-being of our community, and especially our city’s children and youth. The Alliance for Education is an independent non-profit working in partnership with Seattle Public Schools to promote equity, close opportunity gaps and encourage high-quality public education. Since 1995, the Alliance has created direct service programs, convened stakeholders, and raised and invested over $155 million to support the students of Seattle Public Schools.
Seattle Parks and Recreation provides welcoming and safe opportunities to play, learn, contemplate and build community, and promotes responsible stewardship of the land. We promote healthy people, a healthy environment, and strong communities.