Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity Announces $50,000 Challenge Grant to Benefit Norwalk Public School Students and Teachers

Oct 25, 2021

$50,000 DonorsChoose Campaign for Norwalk Public Schools Teachers


(NORWALK, CT) The Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity today launched its third funding initiative, a $50,000 challenge grant to support Norwalk Public Schools teachers and their students with DonorsChoose.

Established in August of 2020, the Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity is a multi-year local impact and funding partnership that capitalizes on the combined impact of our region’s philanthropic corporate sector. Its goal is to help reduce and eliminate educational disparities among Fairfield County’s most vulnerable pre-K through 12+ students, their parents and guardians, as well as teachers and staff through distribution of grant funding for qualified projects.

The Business Collaborative supports local nonprofit organizations and initiatives in the Greater Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford regions with financial contributions, employee volunteerism and expertise, mentorship and internship opportunities, and other resources. Founding members include Bank of America, First County Bank, Lapine Associates, Pitney Bowes, Synchrony, Tudor Foundation, and Xerox, in partnership with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF).

“For more than 50 years, Xerox has called Fairfield County home. Giving back to this community — and all the communities in which we operate — is something that’s ingrained in our core values,” said John Visentin, vice chairman and chief executive officer at Xerox. “With all the challenges presented by the pandemic, supporting students and educators has never been more important, and we’re proud to stand alongside other local businesses to strengthen the fabric of our community.”

Through DonorsChoose, public school teachers with classrooms in need create virtual and in-person classroom project requests. Donors can give any amount to the project that inspires them. Individuals can support the campaign at DonorsChoose.org/NPS2021. The $50,000 DonorsChoose challenge grant will match the generosity of individual donors, delivering a total of $100,000 in project funding.

“Our schools are facing unprecedented challenges in 2021 and our schools, teachers and students need all of the support our community can deliver,” Juanita James, President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, said. “Through the leadership and generosity of Xerox, Bank of America, First County Bank, Lapine Associates, Pitney Bowes, Synchrony and Tudor Foundation, we will provide critical funding for projects that can help close some of the opportunity gap that exists in our region, and address needs exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Public school teachers seeking funding for projects can learn more at DonorsChoose.org/teachers. Distributions of grant funding began on October 18 and will be available until funds run out.

Individuals wishing to donate to teachers’ projects can visit DonorsChoose.org/NPS2021.

In July, the Business Collaborative distributed its first round of grant funding, totaling $300,000, to seven local nonprofit organizations: Bridgeport Prospers (United Way of Coastal Fairfield County), Carver Foundation of Norwalk, Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County, Norwalk Community College Foundation, Person-to-Person, Domus Kids, and Horizons Bridgeport.

Before that, in November 2020, the Business Collaborative provided a $50,000 DonorsChoose challenge grant to benefit Bridgeport Public Schools teachers and their students. The funding supported 249 projects from 122 teachers, reaching nearly 25,000 student experiences across 39 Bridgeport public schools.

To Learn More:  The Business Collaborative is currently planning its 2022 initiatives and looking to expand its membership and reach in the county.  Local businesses of any size interested in supporting or joining should contact Rebecca Mandell (rmandell@fccfoundation.org) at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.