The local response to Amazon's plan to put its next headquarters in New York City has been lukewarm at best. Now the company is doing some community outreach: it announced today a plan to fund computer science courses for more than 130 schools in NYC area high schools. The initiative will bring introductory and advanced placement courses to school in all five of the city's boroughs, including 30 schools in Queens, where the company is setting up shop for its new headquarters.
The funding provided by Amazon will cover preparatory lessons, tutorials and professional development for teachers. The company will offer a full digital curriculum for students, as well as online support that both teachers and students can access if needed. Amazon will also be providing students with a free membership to AWS Educate, which includes free access to the AWS Cloud.
The funding for the courses will come from the Amazon Future Engineer program, which has the goal of funding computer science courses for over 100,000 underprivileged kids in 2,000 low-income high schools across the United States.
Amazon is likely hoping that the decision to fund computer science courses will buy the company some goodwill in New York City. Last year, the retail giant chose Queens to serve as the home of its second headquarters and received a lot of pushback from citizens who are less than thrilled about having a multi-billion dollar corporation as a neighbor. Many New Yorkers were upset about tax breaks offered to Amazon as an incentive to come to the city, and residents are worried about Amazon's presence leading to increased housing costs.