Empowering Families with Ready to Learn Gift Cards

Choosing the perfect backpack
has been exciting for children in
past years, but this year’s
flexibility is important for an unusual
school year.

This year, the APAH resident services team is supporting residents to get “back to school” by supplying $50 gift cards for each child in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Although at first some residents were wondering where all the backpacks were, they were very excited to learn that they would have VISA gift cards they could then spend for exactly what they need for this school year.  Many residents emphasized their need for quality headphones, especially those who have multiple children in virtual learning at the same time.

Thanks to the generosity of donors to APAH’s Ready to Learn Fund and through our partnership with Volunteer Arlington’s “Buy a Neighbor School Supplies” program, APAH was able to support over 600 students with $50 gift cards to buy what they need for this school year.

One mother explained, “I can use this to get headphones, because there weren’t any left at the school.  I also need colored pencils, because we only have crayons left from last year.  If there is some left over, it would be nice to get [my daughter] some fresh fruit for snacks like she used to have in school.”

This family is jazzed for school

Many other residents have expressed similar needs and will use the gift card funds to optimize effective workspaces for students’ digital learning. While students normally have access to shared classroom supplies, like white boards and math manipulatives, APS schools has tried to bridge this gap by providing some supplies to student households. However, not every tool could be provided. Thanks to the gift cards, residents can figure out which supplies they still need.

In addition to supporting so many families, the Resident Services team also enjoyed being able to see (outside, wearing masks, and from a safe distance!) many of the residents they haven’t since March!  This was the first on-site event held at multiple properties outside of the AFAC food distributions.  It was great to see residents and their families, even briefly.

Thank you to all of our donors and the volunteers who helped distribute gift cards!