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How Burlington Stores Is Raising Funds for Teachers and Students During the Pandemic

Burlington Stores and AdoptAClassroom.org are teaming up once again — this time, to provide much-needed funds to teachers and students amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On the fourth consecutive year of the partnership, the off-price retailer is encouraging shoppers to donate $1 or more at checkout to the nonprofit organization starting today. All funds, Burlington said, will help provide essential resources, such as distance-learning supplies and tools, to teachers at schools with high-need student populations. (The program runs through Labor Day.)

“During these unique and extremely challenging times, students still need to learn, and teachers still need to teach,” Burlington Stores CEO Michael O’Sullivan said in a statement. “We want students to be able to have access to supplies wherever learning will take place this school year.”

According to a survey from AdoptAClassroom.org, 45% of educators in the United States said that their spending has increased since distance learning caused by the COVID-19 health crisis had begun.

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The study, which was conducted in June, added that 70% of teachers had worked to mail or deliver supplies — including worksheets, pens, pencils and notebooks — to students’ homes to spur learning outside of the classroom. However, these respondents estimated that 43% of students have become disengaged, often due to a lack of critical resources.

Since they launched their partnership, Burlington Stores and AdoptAClassroom.org have reported funding supplies for nearly 36,000 teachers and supporting more than 900,000 students in underserved communities across the country.

“This work wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support from partners like Burlington,” added AdoptAClassroom.org executive director Ann Pifer. “Their ongoing commitment has made a significant difference for teachers and students nationwide, and only emphasizes — regardless of the unusual times — education continues to be the foundation for success, especially for our underserved communities.”

Burlington itself has felt the impact of the coronavirus on its business: The New Jersey-based chain temporarily laid off the majority of its store and distribution center workers as its locations shuttered to the public. Its CEO also forfeited his salary, while other members of the company’s executive leadership team took pay cuts and members of the board of directors agreed to forgo their cash compensation.

In mid-May, Burlington began reopening its doors where allowed by local and state guidelines. It said it has implemented numerous measures to allow for social distancing and is frequently cleaning high-touch areas and providing sanitization materials throughout its outposts.

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