BOSTON, Feb. 25, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B & GCA) today announced the expansion of their Club Tech initiative. The initiative includes the launch of more than 16 Club Techs throughout the greater Boston area and plans for the addition of 600 new Club Tech sites across the country in the next six to eight months.
Bruce Brooks, director of Community Affairs for Microsoft Corp., and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Senior Vice President Bill Regehr will be joined later today by U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and state Sen. Robert Travaglini, D-East Boston, at the announcement. A reception and celebration will follow at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston.
Club Tech is a joint program of Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs of America designed to bring technology access and education to more than 3.5 million children and teens, and more than 3,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, some serving impoverished and underserved communities. Originally announced in December 2000, Club Tech is a five-year, $100 million program aimed at providing software and developing and delivering curriculum, program management and computer training for club staff and members.
To date, more than 850 club professionals have participated in training for technology programs, and 350 of them have attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s inaugural National Technology Conference. Approximately 390 Boys & Girls Clubs have received Microsoft® software donations totaling more than $8.8 million. The launch of the Boston-area Club Techs, and in particular the Salesian Boys & Girls Club, represents a milestone for the overall initiative as well as a nationwide evolution of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Kerry, who is scheduled to attend the celebration at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club, said an overwhelming majority of today’s jobs require some technical training, but roughly half of all single-parent households have a computer.
“If young people are going to be prepared for the world and the workplace, it is essential that they are given the technical experience and training necessary to succeed,”
“The Club Tech program is a great way to bring this technical experience directly to the kids that need it most. I’m thrilled that the program is spreading in Boston and throughout the nation.”
“Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs of America share a vision that technology should be easy and accessible for everyone,”
said Bruce Brooks, director of Community Affairs at Microsoft.
“Through Club Tech, our goal is to level the virtual playing field by giving youth of all ages and circumstances the same resources and skills to help them perform better in school and, eventually, the workplace. We’re happy to announce today that we’ve made great strides toward reaching this goal.”
“When you are able to introduce technology to more than 3.5 million primarily disadvantaged youth, you really are making a difference in the world,”
said Roxanne Spillett, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“Kids no longer simply need a safe place to play. With Microsoft’s support, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is able to provide them with access to technology and therefore access to success.”
About Club Tech: Creating Digital Opportunities
The Club Tech program was established to integrate technology into every aspect of the organization, from the clubs’ overall management to core programs such as educational enhancement, character and leadership development, the arts, sports, and fitness. Skill Tech, an interactive, hands-on curriculum aimed at familiarizing participants with technology, covers topics such as Internet safety and productivity applications. In addition, extensive and ongoing training is provided to club professionals to equip them with the knowledge to introduce technology to club members and integrate technology into the clubs’ administrative workings with, for example, theme-based activities. A national series of programs, including digital moviemaking, digital design, photography, Web design and development, and digital music, is scheduled for later this year, along with T3, a program offering more technical training and programs for cyberteens who have shown a heightened interest and ability in technology.
About Club Tech
In February 1999, B & GCA and Microsoft launched a unique pilot program to bring technology access to the youth service organization. Microsoft funded a $1.6 million program to create new technology centers at 15 clubs across the country. Based on the pilot program’s success, B & GCA developed a comprehensive national technology plan called Operation Connect to expand the benefits of technology to the more than 3,000 Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the United States.
Microsoft has continued to help build the core elements of the Operation Connect program through Club Tech. The Microsoft Club Tech donation consists of $12.3 million in cash and $88 million in software over the next five years to support efforts to bring technology literacy to every Boys & Girls Club in the United States. The joint Club Tech program Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs has developed and is providing clubs with all the program materials, training and initial software for Operation Connect, and aims to bridge the digital divide for the more than 3.5 million youth in Boys & Girls Clubs around the country. The software being provided includes the Windows® XP Professional operating system, Office XP Professional, FrontPage® 2002 Web site creation and management tool, Publisher 2002, Picture It!® Premium Edition 2002 consumer photo-editing software, Encarta® Reference Library 2002, Streets and Trips 2002, Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus® and Creative Writer 2.0.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America comprises a national network of more than 3,000 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving more than 3.5 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as
“The Positive Place For Kids,”
clubs provide guidance-oriented programs daily for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key programs emphasize character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness, and recreation. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. More information on Boys & Girls Clubs of America is located at http://www.bgca.org/ .
About Microsoft Community Affairs
Created in 1983, Microsoft Community Affairs is one of the first philanthropic efforts in the high-tech industry. Today, Microsoft Community Affairs’ Giving is aimed at providing underserved communities with the resources they need to help realize their full potential by supporting innovative programs and projects that enhance technology access, strengthen nonprofits through technology, diversify the technology work force and build the community. In fiscal year 2000-2001, Microsoft gave more than $36.6 million in cash and $179 million in software donations to more than 5,000 nonprofit organizations. Community Affairs’ Employee Giving supports individual acts of giving and the organizations that inspire them by matching, dollar for dollar, employee charitable contributions up to $12,000 per employee annually. More than 20,000 Microsoft employees participate in the program. More information on Microsoft Community Affairs is located at http://www.microsoft.com/giving/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, Windows, FrontPage, Picture It! and Encarta are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Scholastic and The Magic School Bus and logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team for additional assistance.