Aiming to help children who can't afford computers, internet giant America Online (AOL), computer maker Gateway, and several other groups announced Nov. 8 a multimillion-dollar program of free systems, software, and after-school tutoring.

The program, called PowerUP, will provide $10 million in seed grants, free computers, internet connections, and volunteers for more than 5,000 after-school programs for poor children. The new nonprofit organization, which is intended to advance the goals of Colin Powell's America's Promise initiative, will be based in California's Silicon Valley.

"Technology has changed people's lives in ways we didn't envision," said


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