The Culver City Education Foundation has announced a $250,000 contribution from Amazon to support the much-needed renovation of an outdoor space for the primary campus of the Office of Child Development within the Culver City Unified School District. CCEF is the lead fundraising partner for CCUSD and raises funds for programs throughout the entire Culver City district, engaging over 7,000 students each year.
“What better way to begin to express our gratitude to the Culver City community than to provide an innovative and environmentally-friendly learning and play space outside for our youngest neighbors. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance for children to have access to safe, outdoor spaces. The renovation project will take over a year to complete and we hope at that time, will be a much-welcomed space for children to safely enjoy the outdoors through creative learning, play and interaction,” said Albert Cheng, Vice President, Co-Head TV and Chief Operations Officer of Amazon Studios.
Culver City is now home to Amazon Studios, which is creating its new headquarters at Culver Studios in the downtown area.
Educators and psychologists are emphasizing the importance of the outdoors and interaction with each other in the development of children. The benefits of learning and play outdoors impact the physical, social, and emotional capacities and well-being as well as influencing imaginative and cognitive development.
“This is a visionary gift, especially right now. The support of future in-person learning and creative play for the youngest members of our school community, is reassuring of a brighter future for us all and particularly for our future preschoolers,” said Leslie Lockhart, Superintendent, CCUSD. the renovated outdoor space was included in CCUSD’s master plan. The Office of Child Development will use the new space to focus on all areas of development for children 3-5 years of age.
Renae Williams Niles, Executive Director of CCEF noted that “We truly value our relationship with Amazon and their support of our district-wide efforts began over a year ago. They understand the significant role of an exceptional school system and its positive impact on the broader community. They also recognize there’s so much more needed to ensure academic success and well-being for all of our students. We look forward to a continued partnership with Amazon that will make our school district even more highly regarded.”