In an effort to provide tools that parents, students, and teachers need for home learning during the COVID-19 crisis, Dallas-headquartered AT&T has launched the $10 million Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund. Its first donation of $1 million will go to the Khan Academy.
The fund was created to provide resources to maintain meaningful connections and bonding opportunities for those isolated from family and friends. Over the next few weeks and months, as we all navigate through these trying times, AT&T is committed to standing beside the communities in which its employees live and work, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said.
“Our country is grappling with an unprecedented challenge,” he said. “Now more than ever before, connecting people with the resources they need to maintain a sense of normalcy is paramount. For students and teachers, that means creating the best digital learning environment. For families, that means simply staying connected to loved ones.”
The AT&T fund will focus on educational needs. The collaboration with the Khan Academy will improve and expand online learning resources to meet growing demand from parents, teachers, and students. That includes those who rely on free resources and need Khan Academy the most.
The fund also will support the development of new resources designed specifically for COVID-19 school closures.
Created in 2008, Khan Academy offers educational practice exercises, instructional videos, and personalized learning dashboards to empower students to study at home. There’s also free tools for teachers and parents to help track a student’s progress. The programs are available in 40 languages.
The collaboration with Khan Academy also received a $1 million contribution from Google.org. An estimated 47 million students are now learning from home in the U.S. alone, the statement said.
“AT&T and Google.org have been committed supporters of Khan Academy,” Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, said in a statement. “We’re grateful that they’re helping us respond quickly to school closures so everyone can keep learning at home.”
AT&T aims to advance education, strengthen communities, and improve lives. The global tech giant has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs.
For instance, its AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in schools and beyond. That commitment has involved $550 million since 2008, allowing AT&T it to leverage technology, relationships, and social innovation to help all students achieve their dreams.
AT&T joins others in North Texas stepping up amid COVID-19
The Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund joins other efforts in the region that provide financial help as residents deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Just last week, for example, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and six of its top corporate partners launched a fund aimed at tackling both urgent and long-term needs in North Texas created by COVID-19.
Called the United Way Metropolitan Dallas Coronavirus Response and Recover Fund, the fund kicked off with $1.2 million in seed funding commitments, which equated to $250,000 from Texas Instruments Foundation, Bank of America, McKesson Foundation, and Perot Foundation. Wells Fargo and Hoblitzelle Foundation donated $100,000.
United Way said that additional contributions from individuals, philanthropic, and corporate partners are expected. Funds raised will fuel immediate and long-term relief to the region’s most vulnerable neighbors. The grant application process for that begins today.
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