On Feb. 27, a Seattle-area high school made what is now a familiar announcement: The school was closing its doors. A staffer had fallen ill after traveling internationally, and administrators were fearful for students’ safety.
It was one of the first indications — though it would become increasingly clear over the next few weeks and months — that the COVID-19 pandemic would fundamentally transform our expectations for the remainder of the school year. Knowing what we know now, it’s likely those expectations will be altered indefinitely.
Parents and guardians across the country — across the world — would soon face a herculean task. They’d need to convert their living rooms into makeshift classrooms and scramble to find quality remote learning resources. Many of these families would turn to you for support. And through the Mensa Foundation, you’d spring into action, equipping families with one of the most comprehensive lists of free and low-cost remote learning resources available, complementing the myriad educational resources your support has created over the years.
Parents and educators were overjoyed. The positive feedback and overwhelming gratitude we’ve received illustrates just how much your support has changed their lives. You helped relieve the stress of parents struggling to manage a new normal. You ensured that countless children, including many who are the most vulnerable, continued to receive a quality education.
For every family fortunate enough to be able to provide their kids with tutors and after-school enrichment activities, two more families go without. Your help creating Mensa for Kids has over the years provided the kinds of resources and opportunities families and teachers need to guarantee educational development through high-quality learning experiences. And when families were met with unexpected and unprecedented educational needs, your support ensured that the Mensa foundation was there to meet those, too.
By donating to the Mensa Foundation, you’re showing your commitment to the belief that education is one of the world’s great equalizers and the key to social mobility.
You also helped us look at the bigger picture of the pandemic’s consequences. All the remote learning resources in the world couldn’t help families struggling to cope with the mental health effects quarantining and social distancing bring. The importance of maintaining positive mental health can’t be overstated, so through your support we enlisted an educator with years of crisis counseling experience to help guide families tackling psychological trauma and unexpected strain on their relationships. Again, your commitment to the Mensa Foundation made a positive impact in the lives of others.
We don’t yet know the long-term effects our current strife will bring. We’re confident that education will change, that its institutions will change. But we’re also confident that we can continue to count on your support to inspire and empower the intellectually gifted. We always have, and we always will.