Ford’s Drive 4 UR School program will benefit public school students across the country through a $1 million total donation. Credit: Ford.
*** NOTE: FRIDAY, MAY 7th, IS THE LAST DAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS. ***
Teachers, the countdown is on! You have until THIS Friday, May 7th, to take part in Ford’s Drive 4 UR School virtual test drive program and earn money to spend on classroom projects. It’s how Ford is honoring teachers during Teacher Appreciation week, a time for students, parents, communities and companies to give a shout out to teachers for all the wonderful and tireless work they do. Work they’ve continued to do during a challenging pandemic.
Ford says its dealers typically partner with local schools to host test drive events. But this year, the Drive 4 UR School event is being conducted virtually due to the pandemic. It offers virtual test drives of Ford’s cool new vehicles: the 2021 Bronco Sport Badlands, Mustang Mach-E Premium and F-150 Limited. They can also check out 360-degree interior and exterior views of the vehicle, interactive hotspots and a virtual drive route.
All you need is a computer or mobile device to take part. Teachers who take a virtual test drive between May 3rd - May 7th will earn a $50 e-gift card for use in a DonorsChoose project in their classroom. Teachers can visit drive4urschool.com/teachers to take the test drive.
Ford says overall, it will fund $1,000,000 for classroom resource requests through DonorsChoose.
DonorsChoose is a crowd-funding nonprofit site that enables public school teachers to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Ford says it is awarding up to $500,000 in DonorsChoose gift cards – a portion of the total donated for each virtual test drive. The gift cards can then be applied to any teacher project listed on the site. The company is making another $500,000 donation to projects listed on the site.
One example of a teacher using the DonorsChoose program is Kathy Sergeant, a first-grade teacher at Burns Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. Ford says she’s been using DonorsChoose for more than 10 years. Her first venture through the site helped provide a saltwater aquarium for her students. Since then, she has used the site to fund purchases of basic school materials such as books and art supplies, but she’s also been able to provide items such as seating and yoga mats, and experiential learning opportunities via field trips, classroom pets and gardening, plus life science projects through the observation of tadpoles and butterflies.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ford says Sergeant purchased supply kits to support her students in their shift to remote learning thanks to donations on DonorsChoose. She also purchased a classroom rug with markings to maintain social distancing. In all, she has had nearly 150 projects funded by users of the site and estimates at least $100,000 worth of contributions have enabled her causes over the past decade.
“It’s made such a difference in the things I can do with these children,” said Sergeant. “They’re getting experiences closer to what my own children would get and that makes such a difference as a teacher to offer those fun and exciting opportunities.”
Ford’s Drive 4 UR School program dates back to 2007. Since then, Ford says with the help of 2,000 U.S. Ford dealers, its Drive 4 UR School program has raised more than $45 million to date.
“Working with our Ford dealers to support local communities is part of the DNA of Ford Motor Company and the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed that,” said Jim Peters, head of brand content and partnerships at Ford in the U.S. “The more than $45 million Drive 4 UR School has raised for schools in communities where Ford does business has been critical in enabling new programs, providing uniforms and equipment for students or, in cases like this one, delivering much-needed supplies for classrooms across the country. To be able to partner with DonorsChoose and continue giving back despite all of the challenges that have come our way this past year is incredible. Ford is so proud to be part of celebrating these very important teachers this week.”
Ford says DonorsChoose has been used to raise more than $1 billion for nearly 2 million classroom projects since it was founded in 2000. Nearly 80 percent of all projects posted to the site are fully funded, according to the organization.
“We’re grateful to be teaming up with Ford this Teacher Appreciation Week,” said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose. “Both the Ford Drive 4 UR School program and DonorsChoose are dedicated to helping teachers get resources their students need. This gift from Ford will go a long way to bring teachers’ dreams to life.”