Nationwide Volunteer Event to Inspire Individuals to Make Changes in ClassroomsNEW YORK, September 27, 2010 --
American Express announced the week-long Action for Education Challenge today at NBC News' Education Nation, inviting the public to take the pledge to help their local schools. As a result of the pledges, American Express will make a donation of up to $1 million to DonorsChoose.org. In addition, American Express will host in-school volunteer events with HandsOn Network in five cities across America to help engage the public in the effort to improve the quality of classroom education.
Beginning today through Oct. 1, Members Project from American Express and TakePart is encouraging people to help improve education within their communities by pledging to take action - from volunteering at a local library to donating supplies to a local school and more. American Express will donate $1 million to DonorsChoose.org, an organization that empowers people to help students in need, if 100,000 people take the pledge. American Express will donate $10 per pledge if the challenge does not receive the full 100,000 pledges. Pledges can be made online at MembersProject.com/Pledge or in-person at Rockefeller Center in New York City at NBC Universal's interactive "Classrooms of the Future" experience as part of "Education Nation."
To further encourage involvement in the improvement of American's schools, American Express has partnered with HandsOn Network, the largest mobilizer of volunteers in the nation, to host volunteer events in New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tampa and Cleveland. The projects will harness the efforts of close to 2,000 volunteers to help transform local schools and impact thousands of students.
"American Express is proud to provide a mechanism for everyone to be an active part of the conversation surrounding the opportunity to improve education in America," says Nancy Smith, Vice President, Global Media, Content and Community, American Express. "Through Members Project we are constantly providing new ways for our Cardmembers with a passion for giving back to get involved in their communities."
On Sunday, Sept. 26, American Express presented an exclusive screening of the eagerly anticipated Davis Guggenheim documentary "Waiting for 'Superman,'" a film that follows a handful of promising kids through the education system. The screening was followed by a live town hall on MSNBC moderated by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and featured panelists Geoffrey Canada, founder of Harlem Children's Zone, musician John Legend, Davis Guggenheim, Michelle Rhee, chancellor of public schools in Washington, D.C., and president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten. "Waiting for 'Superman'" is a film by Participant Media, the parent company of TakePart, the social action network American Express has partnered with for Members Project.
For more information on NBC News' "Education Nation" summit, a weeklong series exploring the greatest challenges, most exciting opportunities, and most innovative ways to improve education in America; and the Learning Plaza, please visit www.EducationNation.com.
ABOUT MEMBERS PROJECT
Members Project, an innovative online initiative presented by American Express and TakePart, believes that everyone can help change the world for the better, one step at a time. Whether it's volunteering time, voting for a favorite charity to receive funding from American Express, donating or sharing stories with friends, Members Project enables people to log on and decide how they'd like to take action. Cardmember or not, anyone who is at least 18 is invited to register online at MembersProject.com to find out the many ways they can do good. Through Members Project, people can find volunteer opportunities that are right for them and get rewarded for their time by earning Membership Rewards® bonus points. Everyone is invited to join the conversation and share their Members Project experiences using Facebook and Twitter and #AmexMP to tag their tweets.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.
About NBC Education Week
NBC News' Education Nation seeks to engage the public, through thoughtful dialogue, in pursuit of the shared goal of providing every American with an opportunity to achieve the best education in the world.
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit website where public school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students, and donors can choose the projects they want to support. After completing a project, the donor hears back from the classroom they supported in the form of photographs and student thank-you letters. To date, 140,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to secure funding for over $58 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through www.donorschoose.org, individuals from all walks of life have helped 3.6 million students from low-income families.
About HandsOn Network
HandsOn Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, is the largest volunteer network in the nation and includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers in 16 countries. HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating meaningful change in their communities. Annually, the network delivers approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at about $600 million. For more information, please visit www.HandsOnNetwork.org.