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Rams & Pacsun team up to combat chronic absenteeism in under-resourced schools

Los Angeles, CA — Consistent attendance is the key to success for many students.

The Los Angeles Rams and Pacsun are donating washer and dryer sets to local schools in historically under-resourced communities to combat chronic absenteeism.Through their recently launched "Loads of Love" program supported by Thinkwatts Foundation, 20 schools from Compton Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District will receive a set, ensuring students have clean clothes.

The U.S. Department of Education describes chronic absenteeism, missing at least 15 days of school in a year, as a widespread educational crisis. Research suggests students in underserved communities are chronically absent due to varied challenges including poor health, limited transportation, lack of safety and limited access to clean clothes.

"We are incredibly proud of our partnership with the Los Angeles Rams and Thinkwatts Foundation to address the critical issue of chronic absenteeism in under-resourced schools. By providing washer and dryer sets and clothing donations through our community programs, we aim to remove barriers to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed. We are committed to making a tangible difference in their daily lives, and this initiative reflects Pacsun's ongoing commitment to supporting and uplifting the communities we serve," said Brie Olson, CEO of Pacsun.

To announce and celebrate the donations, the Rams and Pacsun joined Thinkwatts Foundation and the Los Angeles Unified School District on Friday, May 24 to host a free Pacsun Pop-Up Shopping Experience and washer and dryer ribbon cutting for students from 112th STEAM Academy in Watts. The students also enjoyed a youth football clinic and received autographed cards from Rams running back Kyren Williams who joined the special day.

"We're just getting started with changing lives! This is a pure example of the power of what I like to call the See-Suite, when corporate meets community," said Thinkwatts Foundation Founder Brandon "Stix" Salaam-Bailey. "Amazing things happen when there is an aligned focus of impact between the two. The Thinkwatts Foundation and Rams tag team will continue to demonstrate excellence in positively impacting students, individuals, and communities in need by providing resources and opportunities needed to thrive academically and personally. Adding Pacsun is the cherry on top!"

Leading up to the 2023 season, the Rams and Pacsun renewed their partnership centered around incentivizing attendance at schools supported by Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a non-profit managing 20 of LA Unified's highest-need schools in Watts, South LA and Boyle Heights. Last year, the Rams and Pacsun launched their "Geared for Greatness" initiative aiming to combat chronic absenteeism by providing new and fashionable clothing to get students excited about being present to learn. Over the past four years, Pacsun and the Rams have donated more than $3 million in product to provide new, on-trend clothing to more than 30,000 students throughout LA County.

"At Los Angeles Unified, we believe that every student deserves the opportunity to succeed, and that begins with being present in the classroom," Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. "By addressing barriers such as access to clean clothing, the Los Angeles Rams and partners are making a tangible difference in the lives of our students."

The "Loads of Love" program is an extension of "Geared for Greatness" and will include the Rams and Pacsun donating an additional $2 million worth of clothing to under-resourced schools served by Compton Unified, Inglewood Unified, LA Unified and Partnership for Los Angeles Schools this year. In January 2024, half of the allocation was donated to the 20 schools receiving washer and dryer sets.

"At the Rams, we pride ourselves on being present in our community and eliminating barriers to success facing our young people," said Los Angeles Rams Executive Vice President of Community Impact and Engagement Molly Higgins. "When we learned that lack of clothing – and clean clothing – contributes to chronic absenteeism that prevents learning in our under-resourced communities, we wanted to find a creative way to address the issue. We are grateful to our partners at Pacsun for donating $90,000 worth of clothing to the students at 112th STEAM Academy, and our partners at Thinkwatts Foundation who are helping us provide access to washers and dryers to keep the clothing clean and the students in school."

At the heart of the Rams' community impact efforts is a commitment to fight for equality, drive equity and provide access and opportunity. Through various programs and initiatives, the Rams work to address issues of poverty including education inequities. The Rams have placed an emphasis on becoming collaborative partners in the education space with the goal of closing the achievement gap for under-resourced students. Through year-round school engagement the Rams are working to do their part to ensure a stronger public education system, which the team knows is key to a thriving Los Angeles.

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