Microsoft Awards Connected Learning Community Grants to 21 Organizations Nationwide

REDMOND, Wash., March 15, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. recently announced the first round of Connected Learning Community (CLC) grants for 2001, supporting technology access projects at 21 nonprofit organizations across the country. The CLC grant program awards cash and software on a local level, with the goal of enhancing learning and communication with information technology for disadvantaged communities.

“Microsoft’s local sales offices have worked to identify 21 outstanding nonprofit organizations during this CLC grant cycle,” said Bruce Brooks, director of community affairs at Microsoft.

In addition to the donations of cash and software, Microsofts local employees are also committed to providing ongoing support and volunteer work to CLC grant winners to ensure that these programs reach their full potential.”

Microsoft funds and software will bring new opportunities for at-risk youth across the country to improve their technology skills, use computers to assist with their homework and help prepare them for the college application process. For example, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Boys and Girls Club in Carrollton, Texas, will use their grant to work toward completing Project Connect, which is intended to provide every club member with daily access to current technology, equipping them with skills that will serve them both in school and in the workplace.

In Chicago, Gads Hill Center, a community-based family resource center serving the low-income population of Chicagos Lower West Side, has established the
“Teen Connection,”
an after school and weekend college preparatory program that gives participating teens the necessary resources to prepare for a college education. Microsoft funds will support the creation of a computer lab with seven Internet-accessible computers.

Two organizations that assist clients with disabilities are also among this years recipients. St. Vincent De Paul Rehabilitation Service provides vocational training, education and employment for disabled populations in Oregon and Washington State. Microsoft’s grant will support the service’s vocational training program, which uses the most current technology applications to teach skills that enable disabled students to become promising candidates for employment in many area companies. Similarly, Pine Castle Inc, a nonprofit organization providing services to mentally handicapped adults in the Northeast Florida area, will use the Microsoft grant to create and develop a work-training program that will provide their clients with the necessary skills to obtain employment in their community.

“The grant enabled us to create and equip a state-of-the-art computer lab for our clients,”
said Jon May, executive director of Pine Castle.
“Learning new skills gives our clients a great sense of independence and dignity and helps prepare them to enter the workforce.”

Microsoft’s regional sales offices work with public and nonprofit organizations to develop grant requests for up to $15,000 per project, most of which also include software donations. Begun in 1996, the CLC program has awarded a total of $2.2 million in cash and an estimated $7.7 million in retail-valued software to 166 organizations in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The program is just one facet of Microsofts giving efforts; last year, Microsoft gave more than $34.3 million in cash and $200 million in software to nearly 5,000 nonprofit organizations, helping to enrich peoples lives through advanced technology access, strengthen nonprofits through technology, expand and diversify the technology work force and build vibrant communities.

Following is a list of recent CLC grant recipients.

  • St. Vincent DePaul Rehabilitation Service Inc, Portland, OR

  • OpNet-Community Ventures, San Francisco, CA

  • BreakAway Technologies, Los Angeles, CA

  • Rocky Mountain Mutual Housing Association, Inc., Denver, CO

  • Sojourner Center, Phoenix, AZ

  • Lighthouse Foundation, Lincoln, NE

  • Gads Hill Center, Chicago, IL

  • Dallas Urban League, Dallas, TX

  • La Escuela Rice, Houston, TX

  • College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO

  • Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus OH

  • Carrollton B & GCA, Carrollton TX

  • Lakewood Community Development Corporation, Charlotte, NC

  • KIDTECH, Inc., Hampton, VA

  • The Philadelphia Housing Authority-Tenant Support Services, Philadelphia, PA

  • Pine Castle Inc., Jacksonville, FL

  • Georgia Alliance for Children, Atlanta, GA

  • Recreation Wish List Committee, Washington, DC

  • Westchester Education Coalition, Inc., Elmsford, NY

  • United Way of North Essex, Montclair, NJ

  • Springfield Home for Friendless Women and Children, Springfield, MA

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