Doing Good: American Eagle Donates STATE Backpacks to Kids in Need

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American Eagle Outfitters x State Bags backpack back to school August 2015

The following press release comes from American Eagle Outfitters, STATE Bags and Teach for America:

American Eagle Outfitters and STATE Bags announced today that together they will donate 20,000 new STATE backpacks to students across 20 high-need communities served by Teach For America. The partnership equips students in traditionally underserved areas with the supplies they need to enter the classroom ready to learn.

“Every child should start the school year with the essential tools for success, and we’re ecstatic that we can help level the playing field.”

American Eagle x State Backpacks x Teach For America 2015

STATE Bags, a national one-for-one benefit corporation that works to create a positive impact on American children, donates one bag to a child in need for every bag purchased. Now through October 10, 2015, for every STATE backpack purchased in American Eagle Outfitters stores, one backpack will be delivered to a student in schools where Teach For America corps members and alumni are serving.

“The opportunity to support thousands of children impacted by Teach For America educators with a leg-up of a donated bag is exactly why we created STATE Bags,” said Jacqueline and Scot Tatelman, founders of STATE Bags. “Every child should start the school year with the essential tools for success, and we’re ecstatic that we can help level the playing field.”

American Eagle x STATE Bags x Teach for America back to school backpack 2015

In New York and Los Angeles, participating schools will receive their bags during special STATE bag drop events – motivational rallies led by STATE’s dedicated team of “PackMen” and “PackWomen” that leave participating kids with a renewed spirit and belief in themselves. PackMen and PackWomen are experienced child development specialists who grew up in low-income neighborhoods themselves and serve as role models and mentors. Bag delivery methods will vary across the other 18 regions.

“We are honored to be working with Teach For America and STATE Bags on this inspiring campaign,” said Chad Kessler, American Eagle Outfitters global brand president. “American Eagle Outfitters and our customers are eager to make a positive impact in the lives of 20,000 students in need. Our associates are also donating thousands of school supplies to stuff into the backpacks to help the students get their school year off to a great start.”

In addition to purchasing bags to support students, American Eagle Outfitters customers can donate at the register to support Teach For America. Funds will be matched by American Eagle Outfitters – up to $100,000 – to help Teach For America recruit, train, and place committed individuals to serve in our nation’s highest-need classrooms and open doors of opportunity to students.

American Eagle x STATE Bags x Teach For America backpacks 2015

“We’re grateful for the partnership of American Eagle Outfitters and STATE Bags in equipping students in the communities we serve with essential classroom tools,” said Molly Friedland, senior managing director of national corporate partnerships at Teach For America. “Students in low-income communities face many barriers in their pursuit of an excellent education, and having the proper means to carry one’s school supplies doesn’t have to be one of them. This partnership will help give students a strong start when they enter classrooms this fall.”

Across the US, 1 in 3 low-income students do not graduate from high school, and just 9 percent of students from the lowest-income communities will graduate college by age 25. Teach For America is committed to giving all children equal access to a high-quality education, regardless of their zip code, by enlisting our nation’s future leaders to serve as classrooms teachers for an initial two-year period and go on to become lifelong advocates in the movement to spread educational opportunity. The 2015-16 school year marks Teach For America’s 25th anniversary – for the first time, the nonprofit’s corps members and alumni will number more than 50,000.

About the partners:

American Eagle Outfitters is a leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices under its American Eagle Outfitters® and Aerie® brands. The company operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie merchandise also is available at 115 international stores operated by licensees in 19 countries.

STATE is a one-for-one Brooklyn born benefit corporation whose mission goes beyond selling cool and classic bags, founded by Jacqueline and Scot Tatelman in 2013. Jacq and Scot are the definition of social entrepreneurs as the two created Camp POWER in 2009, a nonprofit summer camp for at-risk Brooklyn children. After watching countless kids carrying their necessities in trash bags, STATE was born. STATE addresses the immediate needs of American children living with challenging and critical circumstances. For every bag purchased, STATE hand-delivers one to an American child through its motivational bag drop rallies. #GiveBackPack

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, 10,600 corps members are teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network.

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