As part of its longstanding support of Atlanta Public Schools, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) recently had students screaming for ice cream during special events at two schools.

April 23, the Sandy Springs-based luxury automobile company hosted a student appreciation ice cream social at Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy and Lenora P. Miles Elementary School. MBUSA employee volunteers distributed ice cream and several prizes to help raise spirits among students and faculty at the schools amid a difficult year brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After shifting to online classes in March 2020 when the outbreak started, the Atlanta district continued with virtual instruction when the 2020-21 academic year started in August. It remained that way until February, when the district’s elementary, middle and high schools returned to in-person classes in phases.

“We are grateful to the have partners like Mercedes-Benz USA whose steadfast support for our students and educators have helped us navigate through this unprecedented school year.” Rachel Sprecher, the district’s executive director of partnerships, said in a news release. “Today’s student appreciation ice cream social was a great source of joy and fun for all while serving as another example of their commitment to be an uplifting influence on our students.”

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver and Mercedes-Benz Ambassador Calvin Ridley appeared at both events, where he interacted and took photos with students via social distancing. Students also got to check out the latest Mercedes-Benz models, including the all-new S-Class and the GLS SUV, which were on display at both schools.

“Our long-term partnership with Atlanta Public Schools is a cornerstone of Mercedes-Benz USA’s community engagement and something that means so much to our employees,” Lars N. Minns, MBUSA’s chief human resources officer, said in the release. “As a company, we are deeply committed to empowering the next generation of leaders, particularly right here in our community. We know COVID-19 has made this a difficult school year for students and educators and we hope the student appreciation ice cream social will help to raise spirits and motivate our students as they continue the school year.”

To encourage good reading habits at home, MBUSA bought more than 3,000 books for the district’s students earlier this year. In December, the company donated 1,200 gift bags along with 400 turkeys and hams that were distributed to students and their families by employee volunteers and school faculty as part of a socially distanced drive-through Winterfest celebration at Hollis and Miles.

Also, to help kick off the 2020-21 school year, MBUSA supported the district’s Pop-Up Back-to-School Bash events with a donation of 1,600 backpacks to students. MBUSA employee volunteers helped faculty distribute the donated backpacks to Miles parents and students, in a drive-through event at the school. The luxury carmaker also made a sizable financial donation in September to assist the school district with coronavirus prevention efforts and to support programming at Miles and Hollis.

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