Amazon donates $3.9 million to expand computer science education in Virginia


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Amazon is donating $3.9 million to expand computer science education and training for teachers and students in Virginia.

The money will be donated to CodeVA, a non-profit that promotes computer science education throughout the commonwealth.

Virginia first lady Pamela Northam made the announcement during a video visit with CodeRVA high school students in Richmond.

According to Northam, the donation will benefit 500,000 students and 12,000 teachers in over 700 underserved schools across Virginia for the next three years.

The $3.9 million supplements Governor Ralph Northam’s state grants to implement computer science standards throughout Virginia and doubles CodeVA’s annual operating budget through 2022, according to the Office of the Governor.

Mrs. Northam, who is a former science teacher, was joined by Amazon’s VP of Worldwide Ops, Ardine Williams, along with the organization CodeVA, for the video call.

Funds will help CodeVA make virtual computer science curriculum and training available to tens of thousands of teachers and students, who are now relying on virtual learning.

“We have made great strides in recent years in igniting curiosity in STEM education and careers in an equitable way, and we won’t let this pandemic slow us down,” said First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam. “Amazon’s donation to CodeVA strengthens Virginia’s first-of-their-kind computer science standards and will help students develop these critical workforce skills while they learn from home and once they transition back to the classroom.

According to CodeVA, nearly 200 teachers from Hampton Roads have already signed up to gain access to the resources. 50 of those teachers are already participating in a federal grant partnership between ODU and CodeVa.

Teachers who have applied are from Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk, York, Hampton, and Newport News, according to the governors office.

10 On Your Side’s Kara Dixon will have more on how to access these opportunities in an interview with Mrs. Northam tonight at 5 p.m. on WAVY 10.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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