Oracle’s Promise

Oracle Corporation

Contact: Project Manager

500 Oracle Parkway 5op4

Redwood Shores, CA 94065

Tel: (650) 506-7000


Web: promise/livehtml/index.html

Oracle’s Promise was launched in support of Gen. Colin Powell’s America’s Promise-The Alliance for Youth, a multi-year national campaign created in response to President Clinton’s Summit for America’s Future.

The program, introduced in June 1997 with a $100 million endowment, was chartered to provide network computers to economically-challenged and disenfranchised schools.

Oracle’s Promise completed its first school installation in September 1997 at Walnut Park Elementary School in Los Angeles. Since then, the program has deployed more than 5,000 computers in more than 1,000 classrooms. The program has reached 125,000 students and 1,500 teachers in cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., among others.

The program recently celebrated its 100th public school network installation, completing a project at George Washington Carver Elementary School in San Francisco.

To be eligible for the program, schools must demonstrate a need for the donation. This is measured by the percentage of students eligible for federal school lunch programs and/or student to computer ratios.

Since the Promise program does not support wiring costs, schools also must have the required infrastructure to support the network. The infrastructure must include a dedicated internet connection with adequate network capacity, appropriate cabling to classrooms, and sufficient electrical power in classrooms.

Schools accepted into the Promise program typically receive the following:

• 50 network computers, keyboards, mice, and SVGA color monitors

• 10 Hewlett Packard LaserJet printers with external print servers

• 1 Pentium II-based server (350 Mhz), 9G SCSI hard drive, 128M RAM, Intel 10/100 Ethernet card, 8Gb tape backup, CD-ROM drive, SVGA color monitor, surge protector, and keyboard

• 1 Ethernet switch

• 10 Ethernet hubs

• All necessary network cables and mouse pads

• 2 network computer administration cards

• 150 network computer user cards

The set-up includes access to Netscape, eMail, Microsoft Word and Excel, multimedia utilities, and Java Virtual Machine. Students will be able to surf the internet, create their own web sites, and even develop their own internet applications.

The network hardware is meant to be distributed across 10 classrooms, with five network computers per classroom being the standard set-up. (Oracle’s Promise does not support computer labs.)

Also included with the donation is a comprehensive teacher training program, hardware installation assistance, and technical support.

Oracle’s Promise funds and coordinates the initial training for two selected teacher leaders, who will in turn train their fellow teachers in the use of the network computers. Course content covers network computer integration, network computer programs, internet searching, creating web pages, using web pages in teaching, server administration, creating lessons for the web, and implementation planning.

All instructors get a teacher training activity booklet and reference guide and are granted access to Oracle’s online training and reference site. A training video also assists teachers in understanding network computer hardware and on the basics of creating a web page.

The Oracle’s Promise application has recently been revised, and the online application is not yet available. However, the application can be downloaded from the Oracle Promise web site in PDF format. You can also get an application by sending an eMail request to or by writing to the company at its corporate headquarters, listed above.

The Oracle’s Promise application is comprised of:

• The Oracle’s Promise Donation Terms: A legal document that will need to be reviewed and signed by your school’s principal or a district official.

• The Application for School Selection: Designed to capture school contact information as well as network and student population specifics.

• The NC Infrastructure Requirements: A reference document detailing the infrastructure needs for the network computers.

• The NC Infrastructure Survey: This document is filled out by your network manager or someone who knows the school’s available network addresses. It will be used to pre-configure your server.

Incomplete applications will be rejected automatically.

There are no deadlines; applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. As for the program’s competitiveness, “If a school is able to meet the application eligibility criteria, they have a very good chance of getting the grant,” said project manager Deborah Choyne.

Oracle has budgeted $100 million over 10 years for the project and there is plenty of money still available, Choyne said.