Currently, 210 million hours of in-person instructional time are lost every day due to elementary school closures amid COVID-19. To prevent the gap from growing larger, the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation has partnered with outdoor experiential learning leader Out Teach for their #EducationIsOpen campaign which provides free access to hands-on lessons for teachers and their students to keep kids learning while they social distance at home.
To drive awareness and to help raise funds for this much-needed program, the Foundation has pledged $25,000 to serve as a matching fund during Teacher Appreciation Week, doubling any donation made to the #EducationIsOpen campaign through a Teacher Wall of Fame spotlight. With the support of donors nationwide, Out Teach raised more than $30,000, unlocking the $25,000 gift from the Foundation for a total of $55,000 in support of teachers and their students!
“Each of us can recall a special teacher who nurtured our growth and who made learning fun,” said Lyndsey Waugh, executive director of the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. “The role teachers and organizations like Out Teach play in helping nurture students’ love of learning and confidence in the classroom is so important – and their ability to quickly adapt and creatively deliver programs virtually is inspiring! Our team at Sprouts is humbled to play a small role in such an important effort.”
Jeanne McCarty, CEO of Out Teach said, “We look forward to Teacher Appreciation Week every year, but this year was particularly important to us. The whole nation is appreciating how hard teachers work, and how hard they’ve always worked – even before COVID-19 closures. Teachers’ work now is more critical than ever. They are holding the educational lifeline to students, preventing opportunity gaps from widening, and ensuring that our children may reach their full potential. Thanks to support from partners like Sprouts Farmers Market, we’ll be able not only to show our appreciation, but to invest in new resources and support for teachers.”
Out Teach is also providing professional development to teachers to help them navigate the unique challenges of remote instruction during this crisis. Together, these resources empower teachers to balance online and real-world learning for students ensuring that students aren’t losing the deep and engaging learning experiences that build a foundation for future success. Teachers and parents interested in outdoor learning lessons from Out Teach can sign up by visiting bit.ly/OutTeachJoin. These lessons are mobile-optimized, printable, and available in English and Spanish, bringing engaging outdoor learning that extends beyond the screen to students everywhere.
Main image: Courtesy of Out Teach.