By Daniel Smith, Education Leader, Amazon Business on 20 April 2020
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, 94% of US schools are closed and tens of millions of preK-12 students are now learning remotely. In response, we've developed resources to help US schools and districts quickly delegate relief dollars and find in-stock learning and wellness products that will get to students quickly.
Distance Learning Supplies
Working with our customers and national education associations, we identified top items needed to help kids continue learning while schools are closed. Amazon Business for Distance Learning empowers educators to innovate and adapt in this new learning environment in order to benefit all of their students, and have access to the supplies needed to continue teaching remotely.
This central location for educators includes distance learning items students need, such as both physical and digital books, headphones and other electronic devices, instructional materials, and even shelf-stable foods — all in stock and able to be delivered quickly.
Relief Funds, Deployed Quickly
Public and private sector organizations are directing relief dollars to schools. Our customers have shared that system limitations can delay getting those funds directly to those who need to buy for students.
Districts and schools with a free Amazon Business account can utilize our new Budget Management functionality to quickly get funds allocated to IT buyers, purchasing departments, and even directly to teachers. This tool helps reduce manual processes and supports account administrators with features such as pre-purchase approvals, restricted product categories, spend limits, and detailed reporting.
"The majority of San Diego Unified School District's 102K students come from vulnerable families,” said Andrea O'Hara, Strategic Sourcing and Contracts Officer with San Diego Unified School District. “Through this challenging time, we’ve found a partner with Amazon Business to help us provide teachers and students access to hundreds of supplies quickly, so we can focus on delivering quality distance learning and serving our community.”
Flexible, Multiple-Location Shipping Options
Getting needed supplies to students is difficult for school districts when schools are closed. While some central warehouse locations are still operational, our customers shared with us that they now face new challenges, such as getting materials to distributed pick-up locations, to teachers – or even directly to students’ homes.
To help schools nationwide, Amazon Business’ functionality allows districts and schools to ship to multiple locations, at the direction of the account administrator, in order to get the needed materials to the right locations as fast as possible.
Daniel Smith is the Global Leader of Education at Amazon Business, overseeing all aspects of education: strategy, product development, engineering and customers.
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