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Communities In Schools® (CIS™) Receives $2.7M Charitable Donation from Philanthropic Arm of Panda Express®

By Communities In Schools | Nov. 16, 2021

Communities In Schools® (CIS™), the national organization that empowers all students to achieve in school and stay on a path to a brighter future, today announced that Panda Cares, the philanthropic arm of Panda Express®, donated $2.7M to help meet the health, social-emotional, and education needs of underserved youth in the CIS network.

Panda Care’s $2.7M will deepen our inaugural $1M partnership, with a focus on ensuring students in our shared communities have access to high quality, evidence based, social emotional learning (SEL) supports and programming. This has enabled us to expand our partnership with Panda Cares into 12 states from our previous six states. The 12 states are as follows: CA, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, NC, NV, SC, TN, TX, WA. 

“The need for increased investment in social-emotional learning is crucial as students and adults in our schools grapple with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Confronting the opportunity gap widened by the pandemic means engaging in difficult conversations rooted in racial equity and social justice in our highest need communities,” said Communities In Schools President & CEO Rey Saldaña.

Saldaña adds, “Panda Cares’ exemplary commitment to ensuring that the students we support have access to high quality programming, which helps them excel academically and develop strong character skills, makes them the ideal partner to help CIS advance the critical social-emotional learning supports available to students within our shared communities.”

About Panda Express®
On a mission to inspire better lives, American Chinese trailblazer Panda Express is the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. Family-owned and operated since 1983 by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is best known for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes, including its best seller the Original Orange Chicken® and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp, which have defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine. Each dish at Panda Express, including the Wok Smart® selections, is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,200 locations throughout the U.S. and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to more than ten international countries. Powered by this global family of associates, Panda Cares, the organization's philanthropic arm, has raised more than $196 million and countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 12 million youths as well as supporting communities in need since 1999. In 2020, Panda established the Panda Cares Scholars Program to provide the necessary funding, academic support and leadership development to help high school and college students learn, lead and thrive towards a bright future. For more information about Panda, visit, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 

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