Heading Back to School
At Applied Materials, we believe that education inspires young minds and paves the way to more promising futures. The company and the Applied Materials Foundation continuously invest in efforts to increase access to high-quality education globally. As schools get back in session, we celebrate the ongoing efforts of education providers around the world who make sure students feel supported and experience academic gains during these challenging times.
Applied has been engaged in education improvement efforts in East San José, California for the better part of a decade. A predominantly working-class, immigrant community with thousands of essential workers, residents of East San José have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. In addition to managing the distribution of hardware and devices for online instruction, districts in the region deepened their partnerships with Applied Materials Foundation grantees City Year San José/Silicon Valley and Catholic Charities to offer in-person learning pods for children of essential workers and others who needed a safe and reliable place to study. As classrooms reopen for in-person instruction this school year, City Year and Catholic Charities staff will be onsite to support students with valuable in-school and afterschool enrichment programs.
In Austin, Texas, Applied has been a long-time supporter of Manor Independent School District’s efforts to provide high-quality education for youth in the district. With the changes caused by the pandemic, teachers needed new strategies to provide effective instruction in a distance format. In response, we awarded funding earlier this year to provide teachers with professional development focused on how to equitably and effectively engage students in a virtual environment. As schools reopen in Texas, our employees are writing letters of support for new teachers to help build excitement for the new school year.
In some U.S. communities, like Gloucester, Massachusetts, education providers were able to provide in-person activities. Foundation grantees including Leap for Education and Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute continue to introduce youth to career pathways through experiential learning and career exploration projects while observing public health guidelines.
Outside of the U.S., education-focused organizations also found themselves pivoting in response to community needs. Applied expanded our relationship with ChildFund Korea, providing funding to convert experimental science lessons to online programming so students could participate in distance learning. We also supported efforts by the Association of Taiwan Online Education Development to improve access to online STEM programs by creating science experiments and online resources for 5th - 9th graders, which are available free to teachers.
While the past eighteen months have been particularly difficult for teachers, students and families, we are grateful for the flexibility, ingenuity and tenacity of educators around the world as they stay true to their mission to ensure all kids have access to a meaningful educational experience.