Amazon and Rialto Unified School District announced that Amazon is funding computer science education and teacher professional development for 15 elementary schools in the District which will impact more than 7,000 students from underserved communities in technology, as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program.
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 bridge equity skill gaps at an age when students are just beginning to formulate ideas about their futures.
“Our District is proud to partner with Amazon Future Engineer and BootUp PD,” stated RUSD Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila. He added, “This is another strong partnership that provides our students options to explore computer science through school curriculum and project-based learning, using code to make music, program robots, and solve problems. Additionally, on behalf of the RUSD Board of Education, we appreciate and thank BootUp PD, Myers Elementary School Principal Alberto Camarena and leads in Education Services for spearheading a community partnership which will benefit thousands of young students as we will continue to remain student-driven.”
BootUp PD is a national nonprofit specializing in district-wide elementary computer science initiatives focusing on creativity and problem-solving. Since 2015, BootUp has worked with over 700 elementary schools in twenty-one states, impacting over 260,000 students. BootUp prepares teachers to facilitate open-ended coding projects that are project-based and personally meaningful. Students are empowered with creative and interactive curricula that allow them to explore their personal interests through coding with design, music, animation, games, or stories.
“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 equity-driven opportunity will close digital learning gaps by ensuring computer science opportunities for students in under-served/underrepresented communities throughout the nation,” said Clark Merkley, BootUp PD’s Executive Director. “It is the first ongoing national sponsorship focused on implementing sustainable, district-wide computer science, exactly where it’s needed most. We’re extremely proud to be a part of something that will have a measurable, positive impact for decades to come.”
“Amazon’s commitment to the District is part of our ongoing efforts to increase access to computer science/STEM education across the country, including right here in the community that is home to thousands of Amazon employees.” David Ambroz, Head of Community Engagement for the Inland Empire. In addition, Amazon has donated more than $20 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education.
Rialto Unified School District serves 30 schools; four high schools, five middle schools, 19 elementary schools, one virtual academy and one adult school. The District encompasses the cities of Rialto, parts of Colton, San Bernardino, Lytle Creek and Fontana. The nationally-recognized school district is the 43rd largest school district with over 1,020 school districts in the State. For more information on Amazon Future Engineer program, please visit amazonfutureengineer.com.