SF schools get supplies, support from tech firms

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A few tech companies in San Francisco are about to leave their mark in classrooms throughout the city. Each company will be matched with a public school to offer more than just financial support.

Bobby Aitkenhead is not a teacher, yet he knows plenty of Spanish to engage these English language learners. He and about 50 co-workers will make Junipero Serra Elementary their volunteer school of choice.

"Our commitment is to come to the school read to the kids, not just bring stuff or buy stuff, but invest time in the school with our employees," said Theresa Pasinosky of Xoom.

They both work for online money transfer company Xoom. The company will support the school for a minimum of one year. Already Xoom has donated 500 books to the school library. Eve Cheung, is the school principal.

"That's been a God send. He's going to be helping us with a whole bunch of guide-it reading books, as far as we agreed on, right?" said Cheung.

"We're going to start with the 20, then we are going to assess how that goes, then talk about scaling up," said Superintendent Richard Carranza.

The Superintendent and Mayor of San Francisco have been working for more than a year to get tech companies involved in the public school system.

"They are really going to allow teachers to do what they are supposed to do, teach, while we take care of the facilities or supplies, or the things that may be challenging to them," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

The program is seen as a wise investment for the city.

"We have to do it for Junipero Serra but this program has to do this for the city, so we can get these kids well educated and put through the higher education system successfully through college and into the work force contributing to San Francisco," said John Kunze, Xoom President & CEO.

The goal is to have all 116 San Francisco public schools paired with a tech company within a year.
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