Connected to Learning Nationwide

REDMOND, Wash., June 5, 2001 — Microsoft Community Affairs today announced the second round of the Connected Learning Community (CLC) grants, designed to boost access to technology in communities where Microsoft maintains offices in the United States.

Twenty-two grants, totaling $310,000 in cash and over $1 million in software, were made to non-profit organizations that help connect the underserved to technology in communities from Oregon to Connecticut.

For more information, please visit the Microsoft Community Affairs Web Site .

Following is a detailed description of each grant recipient.

West Region


Worksystems, Inc., Portland, Ore.: $12,800 cash and $113,500 software

Worksystems Youth Opportunity Center is one of 36 sites across the nation established to bring together public, private and nonprofit resources to increase the long-term employment of youth that live in high poverty areas. This grant will support five Portland-area resource rooms and computer labs with upgraded desktops and state-of-the-art resources to help youth become better readers and writers, and offer courses in web design, graphic design and multimedia production. By providing opportunities to disadvantaged youth to improve their technical skills, Worksystems hopes to help decrease the staggering 55 percent high school drop-out rate and to assist graduates in obtaining employment.


Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County, Chico, Calif.: $15,000 cash and $19,600 software

The Hmong Cultural Center provides educational services, social services and cultural programs for the Hmong population of Butte County, Calif., which is home to the largest concentration of Hmong People in California. This grant will fund the creation of The Digital Center computer lab, which will provide after-school tutoring, Hmong/English language classes, Hmong music classes, citizenship classes and a senior outreach effort among the Hmong people in the region.

Roseville Science and Technology Access Center, Roseville, Calif.: $15,000 cash

Located in a small, rural community, the Roseville Science and Technology Access Center (STAC) was founded in early 2001 to provide this low-income community with hands-on science and technology discovery. The Center provides free and low-cost training programs and drop-in access to technology resources. This grant will support a technology access summer camp for 100 youth that will teach basic computer skills and Internet instruction.


Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, Indio, Calif.: $15,000 cash and $40,900 software

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (CVHC) builds affordable housing for the low-income community of the Coachella Valley region of Southern California, targeting farm workers and low-income families. Funding from this grant will provide residents of the Villas Oscar Romero housing project with a personal computer in each of the 50 units in the complex. The goal of the program is not only to provide affordable housing and a safe place to live, but also to provide the opportunity to enhance quality of life through the development of computer and education literacy.


Denver Public Schools, Denver, Colo.: $10,000 cash and $449,000 software

The Denver Public Schools Learn and Earn program is designed to build technical literacy, enhance academic success and increase technology resources for low-income students and their families. This grant will support the Learn and Earn program, which provides 500 predominantly low-income students with 40 hours of training that includes basic computer hardware knowledge, as well as troubleshooting, computer and printer set-up, and Internet use. Students receive their own refurbished computer upon completion of this program.


Computers on Wheels, Las Vegas, Nev.: $15,000 cash and $27,100 software

Computers on Wheels (COWLAB) is a black and white
— a spotted bus equipped with a computer lab that provides technology access to underserved communities in counties across Nevada. Complementing the Classroom on Wheels, a preschool program, COWLAB offers training to the parents of preschoolers — basic computer skills, English as a Second Language, job skills, GED preparation and parenting skills. The Microsoft grant will support a new COWLAB bus and a mobile computer center offering, in addition to what COWLAB currently offers, programs in career assessment and basic life skills.

Central Region


Junior Achievement Central Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa: $15,000 cash and $47,400 software

Junior Achievement of Central Iowa is dedicated to educating and inspiring youth to value free enterprise, business and economics to improve the quality of their lives. The grant from Microsoft will support the creation of
“Exchange City,”
a 30-person computer lab that will be used for several existing Junior Achievement programs and as a community computer-training center. Nearly 36,000 people will use the computer lab annually. It is anticipated that users will range from inner-city school children to business professionals.


RISE Inc., Angola, Ind.: $15,000 cash and $10,700 software

Rehabilitation and Industrial Services Enterprise (RISE Inc.) serves developmentally disabled adults through training and vocational programs. RISE Inc. works to prepare, empower and support persons with developmental disabilities and their families through vocational and Welfare to Work programs. Microsoft funding and software will support six new computers in a lab equipped with a voice activation system for use by paralyzed or physically impaired clients. Programs for RISE clients will include developing computer skills for use in financial management and resume writing with the goal of developing marketable job skills.


Appalachia Educational Laboratory (AEL, Inc.), Charleston, W. Va.: $15,000 cash and $1,400 software

AEL is an educational research and development laboratory with a mission to serve as a catalyst for schools and communities to improve learning through family involvement. With assistance from Microsoft, AEL will purchase hardware and support teachers who will test a pilot program in four schools in rural Kentucky to address the problem of family-school communication. Through PhoneChannel, technology teachers and parents will be able to improve communication by exchanging information from the teachers computer to a family’s television screen.


St. Patricks Center, St. Louis, Mo.: $15,000 cash and $57,200 software

St. Patricks Center is a multi-service center, working with the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in the St. Louis area. St. Patricks mission is to move individuals and families from homelessness to independence. Funding from this grant will support the purchase of computers for use by clients participating in all six of St. Patricks program areas, ranging from a day treatment program to residential housing to a child-care center. The goal is to provide technology access to all clients, no matter what service they are using, so that they begin to build skills that will assist them as they move out of homelessness and into the opportunities provided by education and employment.

South Region


Center for Computer Assistance to the Disabled, Dallas, Texas: $15,000 cash and $30,300 software

Center for Computer Assistance to the Disabled (C-CAD) works to help young people who are blind, paralyzed or neurologically impaired to improve their lives with assistive technologies. With this grant from Microsoft, C-CAD will design curriculum and programs to provide technology assessments and training to youth with various disabilities so they are able to use assistive technologies to communicate on computers. Software from this grant will support the training and programs. This is the second $15,000 CLC grant Microsoft has provided to support C-CADs work.


National Kidney Foundation of North Texas, Dallas, Texas: $15,000 cash and $26,800 software

National Kidney Foundation of North Texas (NKFNT) will use this grant to provide educational material via an online library network being made available to all patients and families in the North Texas area. Computers will be placed in 77 dialysis units and kidney treatment centers so that patients and families can easily access information regarding ailments, symptoms, treatment, nutrition, medications and other comprehensive information about kidney disease.

GULF COAST DISTRICT, Austin, Texas: $15,000 cash is a Web portal that provides culturally relevant content to Austin’s Hispanic and Latino communities to help bridge the “digital divide” by bringing the Internet technologies to Austin’s Eastside. This is being done in two ways. In partnership with the Austin Independent School District, has establish an after-school computer training program, Cyber-Surfer, that seeks to provide economically disadvantaged youth with the technical knowledge required to participate in the fast-growing technology field. Microsoft funding will allow a curriculum writer to incorporate the digital divide lesson plan in the current Austin School curriculum. Funds will also be used to support the Cyber-Community program, which provides Internet access and training to the local community through the placement of computers with Internet access in the storefronts of area businesses.


Downtown Jimmie Hale Mission, Inc., Birmingham, Ala.: $15,000 cash and $23,900 software

The Downtown Jimmie Hale Mission, Jessies Place and Royal Pines assist disadvantaged and homeless men, women and families in achieving self-sufficiency. The Microsoft grant will assist the Downtown Jimmie Hale Mission in the purchase of equipment for two computer labs to be used by residents and visitors to the centers in order to enhance their learning and communication through use of technology.


The Salvation Army, Spartanburg, S.C.: $15,000 cash and $7,800 software

The Salvation Army of Spartanburg conducts after-school programs at computer labs in two poverty-stricken communities. This grant from Microsoft will upgrade the computer labs through the purchase of computers, printers and scanners. Improving the equipment will give the youth better access to technology and enable them to do homework assignments, conduct research on the Internet and create newsletters and Web sites.


WTVI Ready to Learn “Central Avenue Bi-Lingual Pre-School Computer Lab,” Charlotte, N.C.: $15,000 cash and $4,800 software

Central Avenue Bi-Lingual Pre-School works to ensure that students enter school ready to learn by providing quality pre-school curriculum to encourage the growth and learning of every child. The grant from Microsoft will support a technology-based education program that seeks to increase learning skills for the students and their parent. Funds will be used to purchase equipment for a computer lab to be utilized by students, parents, volunteers and staff for computer training, homework assignments and educational programming.

East Region


The League for People with Disabilities; The League Camp at Greentop, Baltimore, Md.: $15,000 cash and $5,400 software

The League Camp at Greentop provides a recreational and educational summer camp for people with disabilities. This funding from Microsoft will support the League Camp in the purchase of additional computer workstations to strengthen the technology infrastructure at the camp. Additional computers will allow more students to have access to technology and educational programs, give staff quicker access to campers records and vital information, and improve the daily communication between the campers and their parents.


National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Pittsburgh, Pa.: $15,000 cash and $34,700 software

NFTE Biztech was developed in partnership with Microsoft and is an online entrepreneurial learning program that teaches young people the basics of entrepreneurship, information technology and workplace readiness via the Internet. Funding from Microsoft will support implementation of the NFTE BizTech program at two Pittsburgh schools to teach low-income and at-risk youth the basics of starting and operating a small business.


Wyandanch Day Care Center, Wyandanch, N.Y.: $15,000 cash and $45,000 software

The Wyandanch Center, on Long Island, provides a range of services including day care, after-school youth programs, as well as programs for seniors, developmentally disabled adults and children, and individuals in search of employment education services. This grant will support the upgrade of a computer lab at the Wyandanch Center as well as assisting in the set-up of a wireless computing environment in the lab. These upgrades will allow the Center to better serve its clients with programs that are enhanced through improved technology.


Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Buffalo, N.Y.: $15,000 cash and $8,100 software

This grant will support the Pediatric Unit at Roswell Park Cancer Institute by assisting in the purchase of hardware to equip a mobile lab that will connect the children in the Cancer Institute to the outside world, via laptop computers and the Internet. The mobile lab will enable youth to enhance their education, continue their schoolwork and communicate with others outside the hospital by utilizing the latest technology.


The Salvation Army, Waterbury, Conn.: $15,000 cash and $5,800 software

This Microsoft grant will support the efforts of the Salvation Army to give preschool-age children the hands-on experience of working with computers and enhance skills that will help them succeed academically. Children and parents will be given training on computer basics and will have access to a wide range of software, including age-appropriate educational software to improve academic skills. This grant will assist in the purchase of hardware for the computer lab, as well as provide necessary software.

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