Funding to help teachers get students back on track as recent studies show major declines in learning progress
To support students’ learning needs after a few difficult school years, SONIC® Drive-In will donate $1 million this fall as part of its Limeades for Learning initiative to fund classroom projects submitted by local teachers across the communities SONIC serves. The funding will take place on October 5 to celebrate World Teachers’ Day in collaboration with the brand’s longstanding educational nonprofit partner, DonorsChoose®, a crowdfunding platform that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom requests.
DonorsChoose and SONIC recently surveyed* more than 5,000 public school teachers across the United States and found that learning disruptions from the past two years have led to students falling behind. Nine out of 10 teachers (91 percent) report that helping students reach expected learning milestones for their age group is a challenge. This is in line with recent findings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which tracked a major decline in student learning progress over the past few years as standardized testing scores experienced the largest drop in more than two decades.
For World Teachers’ Day, SONIC is supporting teachers in their efforts to get students caught up by donating $1 million to fund classroom requests on the DonorsChoose platform across the communities SONIC serves. Funded through a portion of drink purchases**, SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative has donated more than $23 million to fund local classrooms – supporting over 2.4 million public school students – since its inception 13 years ago, becoming one of the largest programs to support public education in the U.S.
“As a mother of three, I know first-hand just how difficult the past few years have been for teachers and students, and the challenges they’ve faced due to inconsistent structure and learning environments,” said Lori Abou Habib, Chief Marketing Officer of SONIC. “The SONIC brand is dedicated to supporting education in the local communities we serve, and we’re proud to provide funding to get our students back on track in their educations through Limeades for Learning.”
When educators receive funding for classroom materials, it has a big impact. 95 percent of teachers surveyed say it provides an opportunity to increase and motivate student interest in learning. However, much of this funding often comes from teachers themselves. The DonorsChoose and SONIC study revealed that teachers spent an average of nearly $750 their own money purchasing materials for their classroom last school year.
“Research shows that funding a teacher’s project through DonorsChoose helps students feel inspired to learn and to reach their full potential. It also helps teachers stay invested in their students,” said Alix Guerrier, CEO of DonorsChoose. “We’ve learned from teachers that having just one project funded through our platform makes them 22 percent less likely to leave in a given school year, which is crucial at a time where teacher retention rates are rapidly dropping. SONIC’s commitment for World Teachers’ Day will fund thousands of programs across SONIC markets, which will enrich the education of so many students and positively impact teachers around the U.S.”
SONIC is also thanking teachers for all their work in supporting students with a special offer. Educators enrolled in SONIC’s Teachers’ Circle Rewards Program*** through the SONIC App will receive a Buy One Entrée, Get One Free offer on October 5, which they can redeem through October 19.**** Entrées include Burgers, Breakfast Sandwiches, Breakfast Burritos, Jumbo Popcorn Chicken, Sauced Jumbo Popcorn Chicken, 3- and 5-piece Crispy Tenders, Chicken Sandwiches, Chili Cheese Coneys, All-American Dogs and Footlong Coneys.
SONIC guests can help in supporting teachers and students by visiting their nearest SONIC location and purchasing their favorite drink, shake or slush, and SONIC will donate a portion back to local public schools. They can also visit DonorsChoose.org and donate directly to the thousands of public school teachers seeking support to provide students with educational resources.
*Online survey of 5,018 teachers conducted by DonorsChoose on behalf of SONIC Drive-In between July 14th – July 24th, 2022.
**SONIC donates a portion of proceeds from every cup sold at participating drive-in locations to fund classroom needs submitted by teachers across the U.S., in partnership with educational nonprofit DonorsChoose. 10-ounce cups paper cups are excluded from the funding program.
***To join SONIC Teachers’ Circle, download the SONIC app, register, open your account settings by tapping your profile icon on the bottom left of the app, then tap your name to open account settings. Under “Account,” select “I’m A Teacher” and provide your information to sign up. The program is available to educators employed by K-12 schools and colleges/universities in the United States. Once verified, Teachers’ Circle members will receive exclusive discounts and offers within the app, only available to teachers. Program has capacity limits; sign up now.
****Reward is valid for 14 days for one free entrée with purchase of an entrée of equal or greater value online or in the SONIC App. Add-ons cost extra. Not valid with Combos, delivery or any other offers. Qualifying products include all national entrées under the Featured, Breakfast, Burgers, Chicken and Hot Dogs categories. Excludes local favorites. Mobile ordering available only at select locations; hours may vary. One reward will be issued directly to the SONIC App account of each member fully verified in Teachers’ Circle by October 4, 2022.