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With Kids Headed Back to School, Red Nose Day Asks America to “Mind the Learning Gap” for Children Living in Poverty

Mind the Gap

The effects of COVID-19 have spotlighted the inequity in our educational systems — the pandemic has, in a matter of months, made the educational gap even wider

New York, Sept. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This back to school season, Red Nose Day — the campaign to end child poverty — is asking people to Mind the Gap between the support and opportunities available to students in low-income communities and their better resourced neighbors. This September, Red Nose Day is calling on the public to drive awareness and donations at this critical time, and to help fund educational programs that ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Red Nose Day’s return-to-school fundraiser highlights the well-documented achievement gap that affects low-income students, which is driven by differences in access — to quality schools, stable learning environments, technology and resources. Even before the pandemic, about 12 million children in the US lacked access to the internet, and around 1 in 5 teens said not having reliable access to the internet or a computer disrupted their ability to complete homework sometimes or often; globally, an estimated 56% of elementary school aged children lacked basic reading skills.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history, and this year’s rapid transition to remote learning due to COVID-19 has put low-income students at an even greater disadvantage, further widening the disparities that have persisted for decades. Falling behind academically, even at a young age, can reduce a student’s likelihood of graduating high school, attending college and reaching their future income potential.

“Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty, and more children than ever are facing gaps in educational opportunities and support,” said Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US, the organization behind Red Nose Day. “The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the growing inequities in education. We’re calling on everyone — individuals, brands and corporations — to 'Mind the Learning Gap' for children living in poverty, ensuring every child has best access to a quality education, and a brighter future.”

Red Nose Day is activating the campaign with select digital partners, across their powerful owned social platforms, and with a network of celebrity supporters to build awareness around the critical issue of the learning gap. Inspired by September’s National Read a Book Day, Red Nose Day is partnering with a host of book-loving celebrities and influencers to support the Mind the Gap campaign. Jodie Sweetin, Sutton Foster, Jeannie Gaffigan, Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson East and athlete Andrew East, Disney’s Paxton Booth and more will use their platforms to highlight the power of reading, early literacy — a key driver of academic success — and how their fans can help to Mind the Gap for the most vulnerable children.

Since 2015, Red Nose Day has supported programs to expand access to quality education for millions of children, supporting evidence-based programs across America and around the world. But school closings have forced crucial interventions to help close the learning gap — from classes and after-school programming to early education and leadership training — online or, at worst, to end all together, further widening disparities in education outcomes. This campaign will help support programs working with trusted partners like Save the Children, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Educare and more, which are focused on tackling the unique challenges the pandemic has created. But more needs to be done to bridge the divide for low-income children.

Please, Mind the Gap. Go to rednoseday.org/mindthegap to learn more about ways to help and make a donation.

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ABOUT RED NOSE DAY

Red Nose Day USA is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief US, a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity. Red Nose Day started in the U.K., built on the foundation that the power of entertainment can drive positive change, and has raised over $1 billion since the campaign’s founding in 1988.

Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015 with a mission to end child poverty, and has raised over $230 million to date to positively impact nearly 25 million children. Money raised supports programs that ensure children in need are safe, healthy and educated, both in America and around the world. For more information about Red Nose Day USA and its impact, visit www.rednoseday.org. Follow @RedNoseDayUSA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

ABOUT COMIC RELIEF US

Comic Relief US, also known as Comic Relief, Inc., is a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity. It harnesses the power of entertainment to drive positive change to help those who need it most in America and around the world. Campaigns include Red Nose Day, Idol Gives Back, and Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief. For more information about Comic Relief US and its impact, visit www.comicrelief.org. Follow @comicreliefus on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.