(ATLANTA, GA - February 15, 2020) - Over 13,000 students plan to return to Atlanta Public Schools (APS) February 1st after a long hiatus of virtual learning. With 77% of students coming from low-income homes, many do not have access to PPE and hand sanitizer, so going back to the classroom can be daunting. With deep roots in Atlanta, cleaning solution innovator Zep was determined to help with a ‘Back to School Safely’ education and donation program.
Zep is providing 1 gallon bottles of hand sanitizer to all APS classrooms, with donations totaling 10,000 gallons. During the week of February 1st, Zep will also distribute hand sanitizer to parents or guardians through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a program that offers free healthy meals to students at various curbside pick-up locations and designated school bus routes.
Zep will also roll out in-classroom awareness and education to select schools that opt in to teach safety measures that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The schools will be provided with 2,000 back-to-school safety kits, including reusable face masks, tote bags and a postcard highlighting best practices for hand hygiene. EVERYBODY.WORLD, a female owned and operated LA-based brand, provided the materials, which are made out of 100% recycled cotton and are biodegradable. Zep educators will also provide hands-on demonstrations that leverage black light technology to show how germs spread and the importance of proper hand washing and sanitizing.
Additionally, educational posters with key safety tips will be displayed in each classroom in the district, and digital mobile billboards will run throughout Atlanta from February 1-3, featuring creative, rotating headlines like “Coughing into your arm is sort of the new dab” and “Glad to see your faces again. Just don’t touch them.” The billboards will not only speak to the unique education sanitization program and offer hand hygiene tips, but also spread joy and smiles around the city, especially those returning to in-person learning after the better part of a year. The billboards will also stop near select college campuses including: Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Gwinnett Technical College, Emory University, Spelman College, Morehouse College and Kennesaw State University.
“As students head back to school, it is important that we have measures in place to ensure their safety,” said Rachel Sprecher, Executive Director of Partnerships and Development, Atlanta Public Schools. “This program is designed to decrease health risks to students and their families and we are grateful that Zep identified this need and is generously providing the community with assistance.”
APS has also provided students and faculty across the district with PPE, including masks and hand sanitizer.
“As a parent with children in the APS, I know intimately how challenging it can be sending kids back to school during COVID-19,” said Greg Gastel, CMDO, Zep. “We’re in a unique position to provide community support and make that process safer, by making hand sanitizer accessible to those who need it most.”
Zep, Inc. is a leading innovator, producer, and distributor of maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing solutions for food & beverage, industrial & institutional, retail, and vehicle care customers. Zep possesses a large portfolio of premium brands built over an 80+ year legacy of developing the most effective products trusted by professionals and consumers to get the job done right the first time.
About Atlanta Public Schools
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 51,000 students across 87 schools and five programs. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 64 traditional schools, 19 charter schools, six partner schools, two alternative schools and five alternative programs. To learn more about Atlanta Public Schools, follow us on social media – Twitter (@apsupdate), Facebook (Atlanta Public Schools), and Instagram (apsupdate) – or visit us online at www.atlantapublicschools.us.
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Subject to change pending approval. For now, picked two from the creative but if the team has any "favorites" they want to highlight, we can easily swap out