Fifth Third Bank, an official partner of the Cleveland Browns, has graciously rerouted its $53,000 donation to the "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!" network to help provide immediate relief and assistance to students in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation, which was originally slated to support attendance interventions for three action schools in the "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game" network, has instead gone toward academic materials and hygiene kits to help keep students stay healthy, educated and safe. The schools ultimately made the decisions on what resources would help their respective districts most during these trying times, and Fifth Third delivered.
"We are incredibly thankful for Fifth Third Bank's generosity and eagerness to stand behind our work to enhance educational outcomes as we navigate challenges together during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Vice President of the Cleveland Browns Foundation Renee Harvey. "Their donation will make a real difference in expanding access to remote learning opportunities and support Ohio students in these trying times."
For the Maple Heights School District, it meant 100 new Chromebooks for students who would otherwise not have the ability to be educated in a remote fashion. For the East Cleveland School District, it funded more than 1,900 academic work packets as well as personalized phone communications. And for the Canton School District, it resulted in 600 hygiene care packages to families, and 250 educational activity kits for younger age students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
The donation was the result of Fifth Third's "Drive to Better" campaign, which ran throughout the 2019 season. For every 100 yards of offense gained during the season, Fifth Third donated $530 to the Cleveland Browns Foundation's Get 2 School, Stay in the Game! statewide attendance initiative. When the Browns hit 5,300 total yards in the final game of the season, Fifth Third raised its contribution to a total of $53,000.
The "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game" Network is designed to connect its users to each other, state and national experts and high-quality attendance-focused campaign materials, strategies and evaluation tools. The Network's backbone is its website, Get2School.org, which is available to all Ohio schools and districts at no cost.
The Network's goal is to increase student attendance, particularly among specific groups of students, such as African American, Hispanic, English learners, economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities. The Network believes that student success begins with engaged learners who attend school each day. The Network has also pivoted its focus during the COVID-19 pandemic to support schools and students by offering a variety of #StayInTheGame content by Browns players and online resources to help students continue their learning at home.
An identified set of school districts, known as action districts, currently receive additional supports and resources, affecting approximately 66,000 students. Through these resources, districts are able to launch comprehensive community campaigns to raise awareness regarding the importance of school attendance, use data to target specific attendance-related intervention efforts for maximum impact, analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of specific interventions, and refine attendance-related solutions across these school districts. Over time, all learnings from these improvement efforts are shared broadly across the Network, benefiting all participating schools and districts.
For more information about the Get 2 School Network, visit Get2School.org.