AT&T Foundation and Learning Network
Contact: AT&T Foundation c/o Marilyn Reznick
32 Avenue of the Americas, 24th floor
New York, NY 10013
phone: (212) 387-6555
fax: (212) 387-5097
AT&T has been committed to improving technology in education since Alexander Graham Bell founded the company more than a hundred years ago. As the company gradually expanded to one of the largest multi-national corporations in the world, it has attempted to keep the spirit of philanthropy alive through the AT&T Foundation, formed in 1984, and its educational offshoot, the AT&T Learning Network.
The AT&T Learning Network, formed in 1995, is an award-winning, five-year, $150 million program designed to help families, schools, and educators use technology effectively in teaching and learning.
Last year, the AT&T Foundation contributed $46 million to various philanthropies, of which 44 percent went to the education sector. AT&T has given an estimated $500 million in support of education since 1984.
The AT&T Learning Network offers free online support services for teachers, such as the Internet 101 tutorial, and provides educators with free online mentoring on how to integrate the internet into their curricula.
Other online services provided to teachers include:
• Basic information on how to use the internet and the world wide web;
• Links to education resources to make web-surfing easier and more efficient for today’s busy teachers;
• Online project ideas;
• eRate resources and other funding opportunities;
• A community guide to link educators, parents, and kids to community awareness sites; and
• Links to top family sites to encourage parental involvement in web-browsing.
The AT&T Foundation has also created a grant program for K-12 and higher education to complement the services offered through the Learning Network. The program is focused on encouraging greater family involvement in education through the use of technology, providing professional development to teachers wishing to learn about technology, and aiding in the preparation of new teachers for a technological school environment.
Previous AT&T grants have provided support for local and statewide professional development for educators by encouraging collaborations between K-12 educators, their university counterparts, and private businesses.
An example of a successfully funded project is the grant presented to New York University to support the integration of technology into NYU’s professional development training for New York City public school teachers.
Another collaborative effort supported by a grant from AT&T is taking place in Chicago. The Chicago Public Schools, the Archdiocese of Chicago schools, and the Illinois State Board of Education have joined forces to develop a technology-based ninth-grade science curriculum, with the help of funding from AT&T.
AT&T Foundation funds are typically granted through invitational programs or by applications that the foundation solicits from nonprofit organizations. In fact, even solicited proposals are not necessarily accepted automatically.
But despite the nature of the selection process, it is possible for unsolicited proposals to receive funding.
If you are involved in a nonprofit, non-denominational organization (such as a public school), AT&T will accept a very brief (one-page) letter of introduction and a description of your organization and project. These letters will then be considered for solicitations of full proposals.
If the project you’re proposing is based in the U.S. and is national in scope, you’ll want to apply directly to the AT&T Foundation. However, if your organization and its activities are local in scope, you should contact one of AT&T’s regional offices.
Marilyn Reznick, vice president of education for the AT&T Foundation, said applicants who submit a letter of introduction to the appropriate office will get one of three responses: a letter saying “thank you, but we’re not interested”; a request for more information; or an invitation to submit a full proposal.
But “the letter must be good–it must be clear, concise, and contain a clear request of what you’re looking for in order to get an invitation,” she added.
The AT&T Learning Network grants program favors collaborative projects that demonstrate innovative uses of technology in communities, schools, and at home to accomplish the following:
• Get families involved with their kids education;
• Provide teachers with the training they need to use advanced technology; and
• Develop and implement a plan to promote lifelong learning and family involvement in schools.
AT&T Learning Network grants are open to all accredited public and private elementary and secondary schools and higher education institutions in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories. Grant winners are selected periodically throughout the year on no particular schedule, though proposals that come in earlier in the year usually stand a better chance.