Microsoft Grants Boost Community Access to Technology Across U.S.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (left) and former Boston Red Sox pitching great Luis Tiant try out a new laptop with Sonia Booker, a grandparent resident of Boston’s GrandFamilies House, one of two innovative New England nonprofits receiving Microsoft grants this week (see box at left).

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 16, 2002 — Microsoft Community Affairs today announced 19 recent recipients of the Technology Enriched Community Grants (TEC) grants — totaling US$285,000 in cash and more than $690,000 in software — designed to boost access to technology in communities where Microsoft maintains offices in the United States. The grants went to nonprofit organizations that help connect the underserved to technology in communities from California to Massachusetts.

TEC grants are made through Microsoft’s U.S. field offices, and allow nonprofit organizations to incorporate technology into their programs or build upon their limited existing technology infrastructure to offer more up to date technologies to their participants. Since 1986, Microsoft has awarded more than $2.84 million in cash and $9.33 million in software via the TEC grant program.

A list of the 19 most recent recipients and the community-technology efforts they support:



The Salvation Army Idaho Falls Corps, Idaho Falls, Idaho

$15,000 cash and $8,140 software

Located in a rural community with limited access to technology, the Salvation Army Idaho Falls Corps serves youth and adults in Bonneville County, Idaho with services ranging from utilities and food assistance to emergency services. The Salvation Army will use this Microsoft grant to upgrade their existing computer system and purchase new computers for their Idaho Falls Youth Center. New hardware, network cabling and software will be installed at the Youth Center.


Rubicon Programs Incorporated, Richmond, Calif.

$15,000 cash and $94,059 software

Rubicon Programs serves people with disabilities seeking to live independently and people seeking economic self-sufficiency, including individuals who are currently or were formerly homeless. This grant from Microsoft will provide software and augment the existing computer access and training programs and support the technical staff. Participants in the programs will have improved access to the Internet for resources and tools to achieve their goals of self sufficiency.


Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, Los Angeles, Calif.

$15,000 cash

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association is developing a distance-learning facility at their education portal, the Children’s Education Discovery Center. The Discovery Center will provide structured and informal learning experiences for zoo visitors and broadcast distance learning lessons to school children throughout Southern California and across the country. Funding from Microsoft will support the development of the Children’s Education Discovery Center.


Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, Mesa, Ariz.

$15,000 cash and $28,165 software

Sunshine Acres provides residential care for children who have been separated from their parents. Sunshine Acres helps to establish long-term relationships with stable parental figures to provide emotional, social, physical, educational and moral character development for the children in order for them to become stable, functional members of society. This grant will support computer labs in Sunshine Acres dorms to provide technology access to residents to enhance their computer skills, complete homework and perform research. New computers and monitors will be purchased and Microsoft will provide software for the labs.


The Denver Street School, Denver, Colo.

$15,000 cash and $94,849 software

The Denver Street School is dedicated to the belief that a quality education is the most effective way of transforming many disenfranchised members of our society into productive citizens. This grant from Microsoft will assist the Denver Street School in updating their computer labs with the most current hardware and software, enabling them to better train and prepare students for what they are likely to encounter in the current job market.



Northfield Senior Citizens Inc., Northfield, Minn.

$15,000 cash and $13,033 software

This grant will provide the Northfield Area Tech Center with 10 new computers, one new teaching projector, Ethernet cards, anti-virus packs and software that will enable program volunteers to provide advanced training in database, spreadsheet and graphics. Program volunteers will work to develop mentoring relationships among different generational, ethnic and cultural groups, and provide outreach opportunities in the broader community through these programs.


Kenosha Achievement Center, Kenosha, Wisc.

$15,000 cash and $8,493 software

Kenosha Achievement Center will use this grant from Microsoft to purchase computers and other accessories for a computer lab for the severely disabled. Volunteer trainers will provide on-site assistance and training so members can learn to use the Internet and use the computers to expand their employment opportunities. Kenosha Achievement Center creates opportunities for personal growth and success of persons with special needs by providing quality services and products in the community utilizing innovative ideas, both in programs and services.


Memphis Center for Independent Living, Memphis, Tenn.

$15,000 cash and $33,002 software

Memphis Center for Independent Living is a community-based nonprofit organization working to facilitate the full integration of persons with disabilities into all aspects of community life. The center will use this grant from Microsoft to expand to four the number of workstations available for use by individuals with significant disabilities. Additionally, three more computers, peripherals and networking hardware will be purchased and set up on the existing network. Software will also be provided.


Ottawa Coalition, Toledo, Ohio

$15,000 cash and $67,207 software

Ottawa Coalition is a union of 45 separate entities serving the West Toledo area. The Ottawa Coalition works to nurture a safe, healthy and vibrant environment for those who work, live, learn and play within a 5-square-mile area of West Central Toledo. Funding from Microsoft will help to extend lab hours at the Ottawa Coalition so that local residents will have greater access to the technology. Ottawa Coalition will set up computer labs in other areas of the district to touch more lives through this program. Software is also included with this grant.



For Love of Children Inc, Washington, D.C.

$15,000 cash and $56,848 software

For Love of Children has worked with DC-area children since1965. Their mission is to transform by example and partnership the area’s response to child abuse, homelessness and educational failure so that children are protected and nurtured, homeless families are financially stable and housed, and high-risk youth are prepared to be responsible and successful adults. Two computer labs will be set up at Hope and a Home’s R Street and the Outdoor Education centers. This grant from Microsoft will be used to purchase computer hardware and educational software in addition to the software donated by Microsoft. The computers will be used to develop literacy and computer skills with the children, as well as GED training and adult-literacy classes.


Capitol Hill Computer Corner, Washington, DC

$15,000 cash

Community members in the Capitol Hill East neighborhood of the District of Columbia are transforming a property that is a public nuisance and source of danger for children into the Capitol Hill Computer Corner. Their mission is to reduce the digital divide by providing young people and adults access to technology and to enhance learning through technology-based curriculum. Capitol Hill Computer Corner has established partnerships with local schools, businesses, nonprofit and government agencies and community members to ensure that youth and adults in the community are technically literate and prepared for the high-tech workforce. Microsoft funding will help move this project forward.


Centro Pedro Claver, Philadelphia, Pa.

$15,000 cash and $60,457 software

Centro Pedro Claver (El Centro) is one of five community-based organizations in Eastern North Philadelphia working with neighborhood residents and institutions to radically change the area of Franklinville into a safe, attractive, and child-friendly neighborhood. This grant from Microsoft will help El Centro upgrade its technology with the purchase of 10 new computers, and integrate technology into all aspects of the programs and services it provides.


Youth Action Programs and Homes, Inc, New York, N.Y.

$15,000 cash and $38,601 software

Youth Action works to build a community of young people and adults committed to taking responsibility for their lives and improving the larger community. Youth Action seeks to provide its students with practical experience and marketable skills so that they will be able to uplift themselves and take on positive roles in the community. This grant will be used to upgrade the computer-learning center and networking system of Youth Action, in addition to the installation of high-quality printing and publishing equipment to create a small publishing center within the computer lab to publish a monthly student newsletter.


YMCA of Greater Rochester, Rochester, N.Y.

$15,000 cash and $32,910 software

Microsoft is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Rochester and other corporate sponsors to create a 20-seat computer lab for their new Teen Center. The YMCA will purchase scanners, CD burners, digital cameras, networking equipment, computer furniture and software which will help the YMCA open a fully functional computer lab to enhance education and access for the teens making use of the Computer Lab in the Teen Center.


City of Boston, Mass.

$15,000 cash and $123,367 software

Boston Community Centers (BCC) offers city-wide programs and services for all ages at 44 neighborhood-based facilities. This donation from Microsoft will assist BCC in expanding the services offered through their Computer Learning Centers. The Computer Learning Centers will upgrade their servers, expand classes offered and provide more advanced technology classes to its members.



H.L. McCrorey YMCA, Charlotte, NC

$15,000 cash and $18,000 software

Microsoft Charlotte and the H.L. McCrorey YMCA have partnered to establish the Mobile Computer Learning Lab for youth, teens, senior citizens and families from low- and moderate- income households in northwest Charlotte. The computer lab will address the digital divide by increasing the access to technology for this predominantly African American, Latino, Hispanic, and Asian American community. Programming for the lab will be designed to help improve the academic performances and test scores of youth, increase access to the internet for seniors and families and enhance the basic computer skills of adults. Microsoft funds will help purchase twelve laptops and three printers.


YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas, Tex.

$15,000 cash and $8,955 software

The YWCA of Dallas draws together members who strive to create opportunities for growth, leadership, and power in order to attain a common vision. TechGYRLS is a program of the YWCA, designed to provide girls from low-income households providing with comprehensive technology training and the opportunity to explore technology. TechGYRLS is in its third year and currently has 16 participants. Funding from Microsoft will be used to enhance the equipment in the computer lab, as well as purchase educational software in addition to the software donated by Microsoft.


Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, Charleston, S.C.

$15,000 cash

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation is working to bridge the digital divide by providing free Web-based training and computer skills to unemployed and under-employed individuals. This program will be targeted at unemployed and underemployed adults, beginning with the parents of children who receive assistance through free or reduced lunch programs. With this grant from Microsoft, up to 200 individuals will receive training in Microsoft operating systems, Microsoft Office applications and use of the Internet.


United Way of Greater Monroe County, Aberdeen, Miss.

$15,000 cash and $5,138 software

The United Way of Greater Monroe County will use this funding to purchase three computers and six special adaptive software programs for the Monroe County Families First Center and the Regional Rehabilitation Center. The Families First Center promotes, encourages, supports and strengthens the family unit. This program will receive three computers and software for children’s tutoring and educational programs. The Regional Rehabilitation Center provides long-term outpatient therapy to physically disabled children and adults at no cost to the client. The Rehabilitation Center will receive six specialized computer programs for its clients.

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