PLAYERS COALITION CONTINUES TO CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE WITH OVER $1 MILLION IN EDUCATION GRANTS TO DIRECTLY BENEFIT STUDENTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 01, 2022
Players Coalition, the nonprofit founded by NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins, now with more than 1,500 athlete advocates across 12 professional leagues, announced this week that it has surpassed $1,120,300 in total local education grants. These investments address the digital divide and directly benefit students in underinvested schools and communities from 20 markets across the country.
Most recently in December of 2021, Players Coalition donated $430,000 in local education grants across eight markets nationwide to help provide K-12 students and schools with the needed internet access, broadband connectivity and technology devices to make learning remotely accessible. The grants were awarded to districts, schools and technology programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, East Palo Alto, Jupiter, Nashville, Orlando and Prince George’s County.
Players Coalition collaborates with expert organizations and resource partners including Chiefs for Change, Comp-U-Dopt and Electronic Arts to help identify and fund critical opportunities to ensure connectivity for students most in-need across the country.
“Students across the country should not have to worry about whether or not they can attend class or complete their homework because they lack access to computers at home,” said Megan Steckly, Chief Executive Officer of Comp-U-Dopt. “It’s time to put even more energy and resources than ever before into closing the digital divide. With the generous support from Players Coalition we can provide the computers needed for students to have a proper education.”
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic disparities have been further exacerbated in low-income communities of color,” said Players Coalition Task Force member and Arizona Cardinal offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum. “It is imperative that we continue to support these groups and advocate for digital inclusion throughout the nation.”
Players Coalition continues to build momentum and engagement with representation across 12 professional leagues. Athletes from the NFL, Black Players For Change (MLS) and Black Women’s Player Collective (NWSL) participated in the virtual grant announcements to students via video messages in each local market.
The pandemic has heightened education inequities and the digital divide in our country as millions still struggle to get online amidst the ongoing remote and hybrid learning environments. Students without access will continue to fall further behind in 2022 without additional support. According to studies done by McKinsey & Company, students are about four months behind in math and three in reading, compared with similar students in pre-pandemic years. The same studies show that the gap between students in majority-Black schools and students in majority-White schools is now three months wider than it was before the pandemic.
According to Pew Research Center, around a third of parents with children whose schools were closed during the pandemic (34%) said that their child encountered at least one technology-related obstacle to completing their schoolwork during that time.
Players Coalition hopes that these grants will help to bridge that gap. These local investments are part of a larger, ongoing commitment by Players Coalition aiming to achieve digital equity and inclusion for all students. In 2022, the PC Charitable Foundation will continue to engage new partners and invest additional grant funds in schools throughout the country addressing the digital divide and providing access to STEM education programming and technology in underinvested communities.
About Players Coalition
Players Coalition is an independent 501(c)(3) (charity) and 501(c)(4) (advocacy) organization, working with professional athletes, coaches and owners across leagues to improve social justice and racial equality in our country. Founded in 2017 by NFL players Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins, Players Coalition continues to grow exponentially with representation from more than 1,500 athlete advocates across 12 professional leagues.