$3.2 Million from America’s
On Oct. 5 and 6, students, parents, and teachers from 28 states and 10 countries competed for $3.2 million in prizes in an online game show program, America’s Kids Connect 2000. Overall, the winners represented 24 states and won 183 individual prizes.
America’s Kids Connect created the contest to increase awareness of the use of computers in schools and to generate parental and community participation in schools, said Chris Bates, the group’s executive director.
The awards included:
• International Assessment Network donated unlimited use of its MAPP program, which retails at $29 per user, to students in grades 9 to 12 throughout an entire state for a period of one year (Pennsylvania won the award). Training for teachers and guidance counselors in the state also is included. The MAPP program is an online tool that evaluates a student’s career interest and can assist students in planning their courses. Schools can use the tool in their school-to-work programs as well.
• James Integrated Technologies donated 100 WebClerk labs, which have a value of $21,000 each. These are 20-station eCommerce labs that include web servers, Quick Time training movies, and other tools to assist students in developing eCommerce businesses. Administrative support is provided, too.
• Edvenions donated two “Starship School” pilots worth $50,000 each. These are web communities designed for K-8 schools.
• Sun Microsystems donated two sets of five Sun Ray internet appliances and server systems, each valued at $10,000.
• Microsoft donated software and licenses for two 20-station computer labs, including Word, Excel, and Front Page.
• Altiris donated $30,000 in computer management software and licenses for schools.
Next year’s America’s Kids Connect event is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 4, 2001.
$323,000 from the Verizon Foundation
Urban school districts across upstate New York will benefit from a $323,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation for technology-based literacy programs. The gift was announced by New York Lt. Gov. Mary O. Donohue and representatives of the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.
Verizon will provide the funds to Education 21, a nonprofit agency based in Troy. Education 21 will take applications from urban school districts and distribute the funds in the form of one-time grants. The funding is targeted at urban school districts because they face the greatest challenge in meeting higher literacy standards and assessments, program officials said.
The grants will be used to purchase equipment and technology to further literacy efforts by the school districts. The funds will pay for computers for students and high-speed internet connections in classrooms and the homes of some inner-city students.
“We have a long-standing commitment to support the use of technology to enhance educational programs,” said Richard Amadon, director of community relations for Verizon in upstate New York. “Computers and the internet are essential tools for learning. They are more than a resource to improve literacy. They can provide students with the stimulation and excitement that will make them want to learn.”
Besides the purchase of computers and high-speed internet access, funding will be used to buy software designed to promote literacy programs, establish activities to support these programs, and support efforts to get parents more involved in their children’s education.
The Verizon Foundation supports programs that create innovative eSolutions, help bridge the digital divide, foster basic and computer literacy, and create a skilled work force. Verizon is the national communications company formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE.
Contact: Cliff Lee of Verizon, (518) 396-1095 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Peter Stoll of Education 21, (518) 266-9336 or email@example.com.
$100,000 from Microsoft Corp.
In an effort to increase interest and proficiency in science, engineering, and technology among girls, Microsoft Corp. has donated $100,000 to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to fund mentoring and education programs in K-12 schools.
“Microsoft and other technology companies have a vested interest in increasing the number of women with math and science backgrounds, not only in response to the number of jobs open, but to foster a diverse and more effective work force,” said Deborah Willingham, vice president of human resources for Microsoft. “SWE is providing educators and youth leaders with the kinds of innovative, skill-building tools and curricula that will help them interest girls in technical subjects, leading eventually to more women pursuing technical careers.”
According to the Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development, only 9 percent of today’s jobs that require engineering backgrounds are filled with women. More women than men earn college degrees today, but women comprise less than 19 percent of engineering enrollment.
SWE will use the Microsoft “Equal Access” grant to fund mentoring programs and science curricula that encourage girls from underrepresented racial or ethnic populations to study science or engineering through hands-on activities and web-based instruction.
The Equal Access program was developed in conjunction with Microsoft’s Community Affairs division as way to help fulfill the company’s vision of providing access to technology and the internet for everyone. Additional sponsors include Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and VERITAS Software Corp.
Contact: Anne Perusek of the Society of Women Engineers, (216) 397-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.