$186 million from the U.S. Department of Education
President Clinton has announced the award of nearly $186 million in new grants to 1,500 schools in 48 states for the Education Department’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.
The program enables schools to provide high-quality, after-school community learning centers. The school-based centers made possible by this latest round of grants will provide enriched learning opportunities to an additional 275,000 children outside of regular school hours and during the summer, ED said.
Technology education is one of eight types of activities supported by the grants. The others are youth tutoring and homework help; academic enrichment; college prep activities; enrichment through the arts, including chorus, band, drama and art; drug and violence prevention counseling; supervised recreational opportunities; and services for youth with disabilities.
ED particularly sought the participation of school districts, collaborating with
community-based organizations, that serve communities with conditions associated with high dropout ratessuch as high poverty, weak economic and community infrastructures, large or growing numbers of limited English-proficient students and adults, and low levels of parental education. ED, the National Community Education Association, the National
Association for Bilingual Education, and the C.S. Mott Foundation hosted a series of 64 state and regional training sessions to assist applicants to plan their programs.
The average grant award is nearly $600,000 and supports three or four centers. New grantees, like their earlier counterparts, will receive training funded by the Mott Foundation, which is providing $115 million over six years to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, as well as other after-school activities.
The program is authorized under Title X, Part I, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. For fiscal 2001, President Clinton wants to double the program’s funding to $1 billion. Additional information, including the grant application package and supporting
materials, can be obtained via the internet, by telephone at (800) USA-LEARN, or by eMail at 21stCCLC@ed.gov.
$1.4 million from the 3M Foundation
The 3M Foundation, the charitable arm of 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) Co., has announced $1,377,500 in grants for K-12 education. The grants include:
• A $1 million partnership with American Association of School Librarians, through which 3M will donate its Library Detection Systems to eligible schools across the country.
• $160,000 to Metropolitan State University for its Urban Teacher Education Program.
• $82,500 to 3M TWIST (Teachers Working in Science & Technology).
• $75,000 to Math Counts.
• $60,000 to 3M STEP (Science Training Encouragement Program).
For additional information, visit the foundation’s web site.
$1.3 million in software
from Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft has announced that 48 middle and high school teachers nationwide will receive more than $1.3 million in software licenses as part of the company’s Curriculum Grant Program. The initiative is designed to help educators create leading-edge information technology curricula and courses to prepare students for college and a technology-driven work force.
The two-year competitive grants, which award from $10,380 to $41,575 in software licenses per school, include the latest technology tools used in the IT industry, including Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Visual J++ development systems; Office 2000 Developer Edition; the Visual InterDev web development system; and Windows 98 or 2000 Workstation operating systems, if needed.
For many teachers, the awards allow them to offer students advanced computer science, programming, and web development courses that otherwise might not have been possible. As part of the award, educators agree to post current curricula and course materials on the company’s MainFunction web site (http://www. mainfunction.com), so other educators can share the resources.
Computers and servers from
Compaq Computer Corp.
Compaq has announced four winners of this year’s national “Competition for Innovation in Classroom Computing.” The contest, which just completed its third year, is a part of the company’s Teaching with Technology Grant Program. It recognizes K-12 educators from U.S. public, private, and Department of Defense schools for their original uses of technology to create challenging and inspiring learning opportunities for students.
The four educators who created model programs each received a Compaq iPAQ and ProLiant 1600 server, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to demonstrate their projects at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Atlanta June 26-28. Compaq and NECC chose the winners based on “uniqueness and innovative teaching strategies,” said Compaq spokeswoman Sharon Jones.
The winners were:
• William Dunbar, Gunn High School, Palo Alto, Calif. Dunbar uses his knowledge as an engineer to guide high schoolers through the process of developing computer products for orthopedically challenged elementary school students.
• Jeffrey Skelton, Hedrick Middle School, Lewisville, Texas. Skelton integrated computer literacy into core subject areas through the development of a school web site. The site contains all lesson plans and instructions for the students and is built around the state’s education standards.
• Gail Cross, Mary Hughes School, Piney Flats, Tenn. Cross created a curriculum that encouraged political awareness among her middle-school students by having them design their own web pages and bulletin boards. Her students evaluated the Iowa and New Hampshire presidential caucus candidates on teen issues, reviewed candidates’ web sites and campaign finance sources, and tracked their media appearances.
• Katherine Nell McNeil, Northwood Junior High School, Renton, Wash. Her winning curriculum incorporates the goals and objectives of multicultural education, special education, and technology for students with behavioral issues. To track the achievement of personal goals, each of McNeil’s students created personal portfolios that included digital pictures, written compositions, voice recordings, music, video, and downloaded sounds or pictures from the internet.
The contest will be offered again in 2001, but Compaq and NECC are discussing possible changes and enhancements to the program, Jones said. In addition, Compaq is working with NECC to develop a web site that will publicize next year’s event. For more information, check Compaq’s web site this fall.