08-07-2023 — Amazon Now Funding Computer Science Education for 17 Elementary Schools in Lexington County School District One, Impacting More than 12,000 Students
Libby Roof, Chief Communications Officer
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NEWS RELEASE — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 7, 2023
Amazon Now Funding Computer Science Education for 17 Elementary Schools in Lexington County School District One, Impacting More than 12,000 Students
Lexington County School District One is now part of Amazon Future Engineer’s expansion to more than 500,000 elementary students nationwide
Funding from Amazon Future Engineer delivers teacher professional development and curriculum from BootUp PD, a nonprofit professional development provider specializing in high-quality computer science concepts, practices, and standards for elementary teachers and students
Amazon Future Engineer aims to bring high-quality computer science access to students from underserved communities and groups currently underrepresented in tech - from childhood to career
Lexington — August 2023 — Amazon and Lexington County School District One today announced that Amazon is funding computer science education and teacher professional development for 17 elementary schools in the district, impacting more than 12,000 students, many from underserved communities and groups currently underrepresented in tech, as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program. Lexington One is now part of Amazon Future Engineer’s target to bring computer science to 500,000 elementary students by 2025.
Amazon is working with BootUp PD, a nonprofit professional development provider, specializing in elementary school education, to bring computer science to each school. BootUp PD’s typically in-person PD sessions adapt well to a virtual model and provide teachers with the tools they need to bring engaging coding lessons to their students both on-screen and in-person. High-quality computer science education for elementary school students during their school day is a critical piece of Amazon’s “childhood to career” approach because it helps address skill gaps at an age when students are just beginning to formulate ideas about their futures.
Lexington One Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait said, “Being selected to be part of Amazon Future Engineer’s expansion positions our district to assist students to become creators, not just consumers, of the technology around them. Learning to code supports problem-solving, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. It can also provide confidence to students when dealing with complex, open-ended problems, and persistence in the face of challenges. This partnership will help us create consistent learning across all of our elementary schools.”
“Amazon Future Engineer is thrilled to hear how teachers continue to go above and beyond to reach young students and pique their interest in computer science,” said Victor Reinoso, Global Director of Amazon’s philanthropic education initiatives. “We are committed to offering high-quality curriculum, professional development, and benefits to support educators as they help their students build life-changing skills that leverage computer science and coding to bring their dreams to life, no matter what career they choose to pursue.”
"This is the first ongoing national sponsorship focused on implementing sustainable computer science education that is available to all students district-wide," said BootUp’s Chief Executive Officer Savita Raj. “We prepare educators and support districts in building long term programs that provide access to computer science opportunities for all students. Through this partnership, we will build a community of curious, innovative, thoughtful learners who are ready to most brilliantly impact our futures.”
Amazon’s commitment to Lexington One is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to increase access to computer science/STEM education across the country, primarily through Amazon Future Engineer. In addition, Amazon has donated more than $20 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education. Already in South Carolina, there are 88 schools participating in the Amazon Future Engineer program.
About Lexington County School District One
Lexington County School District One serves more than 27,000 students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 with more than 4,000 employees (not including substitutes) and 31 schools (17 elementary schools, eight middle schools, five high schools, one technology center). The district also offers an early college program, an adult education program and an alternative education services program. The 360 square miles that make up Lexington One stretch from the banks of Lake Murray to the county’s southern border with Aiken County. Our district occupies 48 percent of the county’s 699 square miles and is one of the county’s major employers. Lexington One students and employees receive recognition year after year for excellence in academics, athletics, fine arts, community service and more.
About Amazon Future Engineer
Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career computer science education program intended to inspire and educate millions of students from historically underrepresented communities globally, including hundreds of thousands of students in the U.S. each year. Students explore computer science through school curriculum and project-based learning, using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems. Additionally, each year Amazon Future Engineer awards 250 students with four-year, $40,000 scholarships and paid internships at Amazon, as well as names 10 Teacher of the Year winners, awarding $30,000 prize packages for going above and beyond to inspire students in computer science and to promote diversity and inclusion in the field. The program is currently available in the U.S., UK, France, Canada, India, and Germany. For more information, visit amazonfutureengineer.com.
About BootUp Professional Development
BootUp PD is a national 501(c)(3) organization specializing in sustainable, multi-year, district-wide elementary computer science professional development focused on coding, computational thinking, creativity and problem-solving. Since 2015, BootUp has worked with more than 1,000 elementary schools in twenty-three states, directly impacting over 600,000 students. Through ongoing professional development, model teaching, and instructional coach support, BootUp prepares participants to become confident, innovative educators who engage students with meaningful, project-based, open-ended, age-appropriate coding activities. Sponsorship applications are being accepted at: www.afebootup.smapply.org.