Microsoft Announces $1.2 Million Matching Grant To Navajo Education Technology Consortium

PHOENIX, Aug. 4, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today will announce a $1.2 million grant to the Navajo Education Technology Consortium (NETC) to support software and technology training resources for teachers throughout 12 Navajo school districts in Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah. The grant helps match a five-year, $7.6 million national Technology Innovation Challenge Grant awarded earlier this year to the NETC by the U.S. Department of Education. Arizona Gov. Jane Hull will present the grant at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol Building.

The NETC’s grant proposal, formally known as the Education Technology Improvement Plan (ETIP), aims to support professional development for teachers in the use of technology in the classroom. The NETC currently serves 2,750 teachers and 45,000 students on Navajo reservations in the Four Corners region. Using a
“train the teacher”
model, teams of staff members and parents will receive technology training at four training centers and return to their respective schools to train other teachers. Microsoft will provide software and training resources for the four centers and 50 of the schools involved in the program.

“Computers, software and the Internet open new worlds for children, allowing them to learn and explore in new and exciting ways; however, it takes trained, talented teachers to really enrich the experiences of students using technology as a learning tool,”
Hull said.
“Microsoft understands the importance of teacher training and the power of public and private partnerships. Their matching grant allows the district to have not only the technology but also the critical training resources they need to successfully implement a program that truly benefits the students.”

To support the initiative, Microsoft will donate 30 licenses of each of the following titles to each of the 50 schools involved in the program: Microsoft® Office, the Microsoft FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool, the Encarta® Deluxe multimedia encyclopedia and BackOffice® Server. In addition, Microsoft will supply BackOffice Server with 30 client access licenses for each of the four training centers.

“Microsoft’s contribution will allow teachers to have access to the latest technology for their training at the labs and back at their home schools,”
said Larry Shaw, ETIP project director.
“Technology infrastructure at the nation’s Indian reservations has long been neglected. These grants will go a long way to ensure that our students and teachers are on an equal playing field in terms of access to technology and the training necessary to advance themselves academically and professionally.”

“Arizona should be proud of the tremendous leadership here that is dedicated to meeting the continuing challenges of education,”
said Gary Willman, general manager of Microsoft’s Southwest District.
“Starting with Governor Hull, who has spent most of her career in the field of education, to Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, Arizona’s leadership is fully committed to obtaining the federal funding the state needs for education. Together, they have built a public sector foundation that gives private corporations like Microsoft the confidence to be a strong partner.”

Microsoft’s support for the NETC Challenge Grant is part of the company’s continuing efforts to help schools create a Connected Learning Community in which all students and educators have access to technology and information online to support learning today and for a lifetime. For more information on Microsoft’s education initiatives, visit the Microsoft in Education Web site at .

About Microsoft

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.

Microsoft, FrontPage, Encarta and BackOffice are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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