From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Tajiana Ancora-Brown
Adapting to new ways of learning is something that’s been top of mind for teachers and students this fall, and with 16,000 Central Florida students resuming face-to-face learning this week, we wanted to lend a hand in a way that mattered most to the teachers who would welcome these students back to their classrooms.
Walt Disney World and A Gift For Teaching—a Central Florida nonprofit that provides free resources and materials to public schools—have been working together for the past two decades to help make a difference in local schools. This work took on even more importance this summer when the nonprofit needed to temporarily close its supply warehouse to visiting teachers and launch a new curbside supply pickup service, all while sourcing items not typically found on supply lists like lanyards for holding face masks and individual water bottles to replace communal drinking fountains. Thanks to the help of our merchandise teams, Walt Disney World donated thousands of lanyards, nearly 5,000 reusable shopping bags to support the new curbside pickup model and various merchandise items to spread a little magic in local classrooms.
“The feedback from teachers has been incredible,” said Jane Thompson, president at A Gift For Teaching. “They’ve been so thankful for us recognizing there was going to be a need and figuring out how we could help fill that need for them. That’s been very gratifying for us.”
The Walt Disney World Ambassadors visited A Gift For Teaching to see the new curbside pickup in action and how local teachers are still getting the many resources they need, but in a whole new way.
Beyond supporting schools through A Gift For Teaching, Walt Disney World also recently donated more than 100,000 reusable bags, thousands of water bottles and lanyards, along with other back-to-school essentials like backpacks and incentive items to Central Florida schools and organizations. We’re thankful for everything teachers and staff do for students in our community and hope these items help position them to have a fantastic school year.
“One of the things that we’re so grateful for at this time is partnerships like we have with Disney,” Thompson added. “Disney as a partner has been there to serve and deliver and support our organization and our mission of ensuring that every student has every supply that they need.”