Liftoff for Learning, an annual Boeing employee community engagement program, is always an important part of equipping local students with the tools they need to start school ready to learn. This year, with the added challenges of a global pandemic and remote learning, the resources the employee drive provides to Puget Sound students is more critical than ever.
Employees clearly recognized the need, raising over $110,000 for organizations with missions to invest in Washington youth with a focus on equitable access. The funding will help the nonprofits address the critical academic impacts of COVID-19 including learning loss due to school closures, mental health challenges, lack of remote learning technology, and unfamiliarity with available resources.
Three local organizations benefited from this year’s drive:
InvestED, a new Boeing partner, provides immediate help to students throughout Washington, working with more than 600 WA high schools to empower students to succeed academically and beyond.
Funds provided to InvestED will be used for remote learning access and social-emotional support to address impacts of the pandemic on students’ well-being.
Employees are also engaging in communications and data analysis volunteer projects with InvestED as part of Boeing’s Leading Change skills-based volunteer program.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington
Clubs play a valuable role in maintaining academic gains for kids. Employee contributions will enable Boys & Girls Clubs to provide critical academic success services, including school supplies, take-home education enrichment kits, digital learning resources, and staff time for academic tutoring and mentoring of Club kids.
Employees also volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club to read books to children, assist kids with school supply “shopping”, work on outdoor Club maintenance, and more.
Page Ahead recognizes the importance of early learners being able to see their lives and experiences reflected in the books they read. The organization sources and creates a pipeline of books that are as diverse as the wonderful students they serve.
Employees volunteered to help with book labeling and book inventory and create bookmarks for children. Funding will be used for providing access to new books to support early literacy and joyful reading.
“We value our special relationship with Boeing employees. After all, a group of Boeing people helped found Page Ahead exactly 30 years ago!” said Susan Dibble, Executive Director at Page Ahead. “Without Boeing, there would be no Page Ahead—and without you, we would not be able to reach more than 17,000 Washington kids with the books and reading resources they need to thrive.”
Some Boeing employees formed teams to compete virtually to see which group could raise the most during Liftoff for Learning. One team, CR Scholars, is part of the Puget Sound Customer Relations team which has colleagues who work at the Everett Delivery Center, Seattle Delivery Center, and the Longacres site in Tukwila. Together, they raised $1,200.
“These drives allow us to come together as a team, even when we are working remotely, and make a difference in our community at a time when it is needed most. It is so important that all students have access to tools and opportunities to thrive and be successful, especially in the current environment and the challenges that COVID-19 presents,” said team leader Lawrie Elliott-Wilson. “Global citizenship is a priority for our organization, and these drives are a great way for us to support what the Boeing Company is doing in the communities where we live and work. It’s inspiring to see what we can accomplish when we all work together in support of a common cause.”
Organizers of the Liftoff for Learning Drive say it’s inspiring to see how committed employees are to making a difference in their communities. “I would like to thank our employees for their generosity and commitment during these hard times, and congratulate them on the success of the drive,” said Ruthie Berk, Liftoff for Learning drive lead.
By Simren Luthra