Los Angeles-Area Children Benefit From Software Piracy Recoveries

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a $350,000 donation to the UCLA School Management Program (SMP) to sustain the software company’s Technology Enriched Communities (TEC) program at the Laguna Nueva Elementary School in Commerce, Calif. The donation is the second Microsoft has made to SMP. In December 2000, a $1 million donation from Microsoft helped to transform the elementary school into a model of a technology-based community of learners, connecting educators, administrators, students and parents to improve student achievement. The entire grant of $1.35 million stems from Microsoft®
software piracy case settlement recoveries resulting from Los Angeles-area criminal software counterfeiting activities.

“In a year’s time, the program shows evidence of contributing to student achievement by creating a school community that recognizes the power of technology to advance student learning and increase family participation in education,” said Dr. Dan Chernow, executive director of UCLA SMP. “Microsoft’s additional grant will go toward expanding and sustaining efforts at Laguna Nueva Elementary by facilitating parent technology training sessions and Lighthouse technology classroom projects, and by translating successful practices to the education profession.”

“My students are blossoming within their studies as a result of this program,” said Carlos Valle, technology teacher at Laguna Nueva Elementary. “And many parents have also described personal successes as a result of their new technology skills. We are excited about Microsoft’s continued commitment, and both the company’s and UCLA’s contribution to the Laguna Nueva community.”

Researchers for the Institute at Indian Hill, a nonprofit applied research institute affiliated with Claremont Graduate University, evaluated the first year of the program at Laguna Nueva Elementary School. The evaluation included the following findings:

  • Many students who were “turned off” academically have become highly engaged when allowed to use the computer to create and enhance their projects.

  • Student work in the classrooms exhibits greater depth and an abundance of writing that demonstrates higher levels of cognition and quality.

  • The program has produced improved grades and attitudes at school.

  • Parents spend more quality time with their children as they work together at the computer.

  • Computer training for parents has enabled them to improve their positions in the workplace, look for career changes online, enhance their home-based businesses and shop for much-needed items at greater savings.

Microsoft’s corporate philanthropy focuses on bridging the digital divide by creating greater access to technology in disadvantaged communities in the United States and around the world. Through its products, Microsoft is committed to helping educators use technology to provide anytime, anyplace access to learning through technology solutions and integrate technology into all aspects of classroom learning and school administration.

“Microsoft is thrilled about the positive impact technology is having on the lives of students at Laguna Nueva Elementary and their families,” said Anne Kelley, senior corporate attorney at Microsoft. “We are pleased to further our support of UCLA SMP at Laguna Nueva Elementary and to help turn the negative issue of software counterfeiting into a positive result for the community.”

Microsoft is committed to countering the harmful impact of software piracy. In November 2001, the Southern California High Tech Task Force, including the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Customs Service, the Los Angeles Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service, executed the most significant seizure of counterfeit Microsoft software and components in U.S. history. A preliminary inventory of all seized products, including Microsoft products, puts the estimated retail value loss at $100 million (U.S.). This ultimately affects consumers and the economy.

According to a 2000 study by International Planning & Research Corp., software piracy resulted in the loss of 118,026 jobs in the United States, nearly $1.6 billion in tax revenues and $5.6 billion in wages. In California alone, the software piracy rate of 30.7 percent accounted for significant losses, including 14,869 jobs, $322 million in tax revenues and $869 million in wages.

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