Microsoft Announces Connected Learning Community Grants to 12 Organizations

Microsoft Community Affairs is pleased to announce the winners of the Connected Learning Community Grants for the third and final round of fiscal year 1998.

The goal of the CLC program is to expand access to information technologies with a focus on enhancing learning and communication in disadvantaged communities. These grants support public and nonprofit organizations that provide innovative programs that connect individuals of all ages to learning resources. Microsoft field offices partner with these organizations to develop grant requests of up to $15,000 per project and significant software donations can be made in addition.

During the two years the CLC program has been in place, a total of $600,000 cash and $2.9 million in retail-valued software has been awarded to 55 organizations in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

The latest CLC funded programs:

  • Boys and Girls Club, Bellevue, WA: $15,000
    Their grant will go toward a state-of-the-art technology center at the main clubhouse site in downtown Bellevue. CLC funds will be used to enhance the computer labs at the Teen Center and at a club site in the Eastside Terrace public housing project. Club members will be able to use the computers to develop skills in desktop publishing, digital video production and Internet web-page development. These three labs will provide hundreds of at-risk school-age children access to computers during non-school hours, access they would not otherwise have.

  • HiP Magazine, Alameda, CA: $15,000
    Hearing Impaired Press (HiP) provides print and electronic instructional materials for deaf and hard-of-hearing children. This pilot program, called “HiP Chat Pals” will create an Internet classroom experience for deaf and hearing-impaired children. Working through five middle schools in Northern California, Chat Pals will teach children how to communicate electronically in real time and will structure opportunities for collaborations across schools. CLC funds will be used to support curriculum development, personnel to run the program, computer equipment and program evaluation.

  • Team TECH: Kids Online!, Los Angeles, CA: $15,000
    Team TECH Los Angeles was established one year ago to support and strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving youth by providing technology planning assistance, equipment grants and computer training. Kids Online! is a new program which will site six computer labs in community-based organizations serving disadvantaged youth in the Los Angeles area. Kids Online! will have its own curriculum and the labs will be connected to share best practices in a virtual learning community. Grant funds will be used to augment IBM’s equipment donation, provide software and purchase a training library of MS Press books.

  • University of Chicago Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL: $10,000
    In September 1997, Microsoft and other partners contributed hardware, software and technical expertise to deploy computers in the rooms of long-term pediatric patients. This access to technology has allowed young patients to keep up with schoolwork, stay in touch with friends and family and explore the world through the Internet. This CLC grant will allow the hospital to expand access to short-term patient rooms, outpatient treatment areas and the community center, which serves the families of patients. Funds will be used toward the purchase of computers. Software will be donated to complement the CLC grant.

  • YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, Detroit, MI: $15,000
    Two new Community Technology Centers will be established with CLC funds — one in the Western Branch and one in the Northwestern branch of the Detroit YMCA. Community workshops will teach basic software applications, resume writing and using the Internet to conduct a job search. Additionally, there will be open time for youth and others to use the computers to learn, play and explore. Workshops will also be designed to provide training to the staff of area nonprofits. These two YMCA branches will be providing the only community computer access in their local area. This CLC grant complements the recent $120,000 software grant made to the YMCA by the Great Lakes Field Office.

  • Family and Children’s Services, Minneapolis, MN: $15,000
    A social service agency annually serving 13,000 impoverished families with multiple needs, the Family and Children’s Services has integrated their existing computer lab to cover a wide range of program activity—the computers are used for everything from its Teen Outreach to its job placement effort. CLC funds will be used to upgrade existing computers and purchase additional machines.

  • Genesis Women’s Shelter, Dallas, TX: $15,000
    Providing professional services to woman and children who are victims of domestic violence, Genesis will use CLC funds to build a computer lab for their clients. The lab will be used to teach job training skills to adult clients with the goal of contributing to women’s self-sufficiency as they prepare to leave the shelter. The computers will also be used to help children keep up with schoolwork and ESL training during their time in the shelter. Microsoft employees have been actively involved with this organization — they helped to build a new shelter called Annie’s House, which opened in April. Local Microsoft employees plan to continue their close involvement and will provide volunteer leadership in setting up the computer lab and providing ongoing training to the clients.

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Jackson, Jackson, MS: $15,000
    The Whiterock Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs is the only Jackson club located in a public housing project. Currently, there are no computers available to the 500 members who are socially and economically at-risk. The CLC grant will be used to purchase a server, workstations, furniture and Internet access time. A wide range of software will also be provided, making it possible for all club members, from the six-year-olds to the teenagers, to play and learn in this lab.

  • Greenville Community Combined Youth Organization, Charlotte, NC: $15,000
    The Community Combined Youth Organization (CYO) was founded in 1991 out of parental concern for children living in a drug-infested, crime-ridden neighborhood. The community’s success in fighting those forces has allowed it in recent years to turn its focus to developing neighborhood-based programs and services for its residents. Among those services is a computer lab, which is used for after-school tutoring, family enrichment programs and several job-related programs. CLC funds will be used to purchase seven new computers for the lab. The existing 286 and 386 computers will be upgraded and made available through a loan program to neighborhood residents who, because of physical limitations, cannot get to the lab. Software will also be donated through this grant.

  • The Lazarus Foundation, Columbia, MD: $10,000
    In partnership with Atholton High School in Howard County Maryland, the Lazarus Foundation will establish a Computer Technology Center at the school. Using a formal course curriculum, students will learn how to test, repair, upgrade and maintain computers and will also have the opportunity to attend classes on software applications. The program will provide students with employment opportunities, whether its helping to run the Center, teach software classes to other students and community members or maintaining computers for outside businesses. This CLC grant will support start-up costs.

  • Foundation for Educational Innovation (FEI), Washington, DC: $14,000
    This CLC grant of cash and software will contribute to the establishment of the Workforce Readiness Institute (WRI), a technological training center. WRI will house a family technology center, an electronic recreation center and a drop-in center for single mothers without day care. In addition, training will be extended through schools, libraries, community centers, local government and colleges using distance learning materials and intranet technology.

  • The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Boston, MA, $15,000
    NFTE is an international nonprofit organization that teaches low-income youth the basics of starting their own business. Using an on-line curriculum, entrepreneurial/technology training will be provided during a two-week summer camp in Boston and seven other US cities. Computer instructors from eight Boston area community centers have been invited to become NFTE certified trainers; once they have achieved certification, they will take the NFTE curriculum back to their centers to teach to their clients. Children completing the summer camp will be matched with a Microsoft solution provider for a six-week paid internship. CLC funds will help cover the costs of this year’s camp.

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