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5 Ways to Give Back and Support Students on Giving Tuesday

The season of giving is upon us, and there’s no better way to make a lasting impact than by investing in students’ futures. Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday) is a great opportunity for families, community members, organizations, and leaders to make a difference in the well-being and education of today’s youth. One of the most impactful ways to give back to students is by investing in their education. Donating your time, expertise, and resources in students and their education has far-reaching benefits and is a meaningful way to participate in Giving Tuesday this year.

Here are five ways to give back and support students:

  1. Support teachers and classroom initiatives

Teachers are on the frontline of students’ education, shaping young minds and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow. By finding ways to support local teachers and their classroom initiatives, you can directly impact the quality of education students receive. One way to give back is by contributing to crowdfunding campaigns for classroom supplies, technology, or other teaching materials. This not only enhances the learning experience for students, but also alleviates some of the financial burden on teachers who often dip into their own pockets to provide enriching educational experiences in their classrooms.

  1. Contribute to scholarships

Financial barriers can hinder a student's educational opportunities, but community donations can help to make resources and programs available to more students. Establishing or contributing to scholarship funds ensures that deserving students have the opportunity to access greater educational experiences. Scholarships and grants can help students access AP® instruction, online courses, and higher education opportunities. These investments not only benefit individual students but also contribute to the development of a highly skilled and educated workforce.

  1. Participate in mentorship programs

Not everyone can contribute financially, but your time is just as valuable to help enrich education in your community. Consider volunteering your time and expertise through a local mentorship program to help shape a student’s future and provide guidance that extends beyond the classroom. Mentorship programs offer invaluable support to students navigating the challenges of academic and personal growth, while preparing them for the challenges they'll encounter in their higher education and professional journeys. Additionally, mentor-mentee relationships help students build a strong foundation for success by fostering confidence, leadership skills, and a sense of purpose.

  1. Invest in STEM education

In an increasingly technology-driven world, a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is essential for students’ future success. Consider financially supporting or volunteering with initiatives that promote STEM education in K-12 schools, like robotics clubs, science fairs, or eSports teams. You can also give back to students by helping to improve access to STEM coursework, including Advanced Placement® courses, programming courses, and robotics courses.

At VHS Learning, we are passionate about increasing STEM education access and improving educational equity, so we make an annual CSforALL commitment to give back to students in underserved communities. Through this year’s commitment, we will provide AP® Computer Science Principles or AP® Computer Science A to 60 students in schools that do not offer either course. Increased investment in STEM education not only prepares students for careers in high-demand fields but also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential in shaping well-rounded professionals in any discipline.

  1. Cultivate community engagement and partnerships

Businesses and local organizations can engage with schools through sponsorships, community service projects, and donations of goods or services. These partnerships enhance the educational experience for students, while also helping to create connections throughout the community. In addition to benefitting from the goods, services, and programs that organizations provide, students also gain the opportunity to network with local businesses, leaders, and potential future employers, cultivating a valuable community-school relationship that extends beyond the classroom. These experiences broaden students' horizons, improve their social skills, and motivate them to excel.

This Giving Tuesday let's shift our focus to the future by investing in our students. Supporting education transforms the lives of young people and has a profound impact on communities as a whole. As we enter this season of giving, remember how valuable your contributions to students, teachers, and schools can really be!