Microsoft Announces Winners of Connected Learning Community Grants

REDMOND, Wash., May 26, 1999 — Supporting a range of innovative projects that use technology and Internet access as a vehicle for youth and adult learning and skill development, Microsoft Corp. today awarded 18 Connected Learning Community (CLC) grants to public and nonprofit organizations across the country. Most organizations will receive grants of $15,000 each plus software to enhance technology access in their communities. More than $270,000 in cash and $325,000 in software (estimated retail value) will be awarded in this grant cycle.

The CLC program, one of Microsoft’s national grant initiatives, was established in 1996 to enhance learning and communication in disadvantaged communities by expanding access to information technology. To date, more than $1 million in cash and an estimated $5 million in retail-valued software have been awarded to 93 organizations by Microsoft’s regional sales offices across the country. Grants are awarded three times each year (in January, May and October) and Microsoft employees continually volunteer their time to projects.

“At Microsoft, we believe in the capacity for technology to improve people’s lives, especially because it expands lifelong learning opportunities for children and adults,”
said Barbara Dingfield, director of Community Affairs at Microsoft.
“The innovative, results-oriented programs designed and undertaken by CLC grant recipients are living proof of this concept.”

The majority of grants will be used to support technology training and computer labs that will benefit adults making the transition from welfare to work, and students learning basic technology skills. While the individuals and groups served by CLC grants are remarkable in their diversity, most share a lack of technology resources and access. Of the 18 grant recipients, 13 will use the grants to support technology training. One such organization, Byte Back, in Washington, D.C., has worked with other local organizations to establish six learning centers throughout the district – with an additional five slated to open this fall – that will provide computer skills training to low-income youth and adults. The grant of $30,000 plus software, a combined grant from Microsoft’s Mid-Atlantic and federal sales offices, will be used to build a wide-area network that will link all the learning centers.

Other projects focus on bringing technology into classrooms for the purposes of teaching computer skills as well as bringing learning opportunities into the lives of children who otherwise would not have access to them. Zoo Atlanta, for example, will use the grant to support its Virtual Explorers program, which will bring the zoo experience to children who live in rural communities outside Atlanta. Children will be able to observe animals in real time via remote cameras as well as meet zoo scientists. Students will undertake research projects and create Web sites to share their findings with other students.

Following is a complete list of new CLC grant recipients. A full description of each funded project is available at . For more information on Microsoft giving programs, see .

  • Project Transition Inc., Oakland, Calif.

  • The Computer Museum of America, La Mesa, Calif.

  • Fulfillment Fund, Los Angeles

  • Marc Center, Mesa, Ariz.

  • PACER Center Inc., Minneapolis

  • St. Louis Public Schools, St. Louis

  • A.S. Johnson High School, Austin, Texas

  • New Beginning Career Development, Dallas

  • Touch the Future (Tools for Life) Inc., Atlanta

  • Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta

  • Holy Angels Inc., Belmont, N.C.

  • Reid Park Community Development, Charlotte, N.C.

  • Byte Back, Washington, D.C.

  • The Morino Institute, Reston, Va.

  • TechWorld Public Charter School, Washington, D.C.

  • Philadelphians Concerned About Housing, Philadelphia

  • Tech Corp New Jersey, Trenton, N.J.

  • Goodwill Industries of Springfield/Hartford, Springfield, Mass.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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