Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates Announces Expansion of the National Club Tech Program at Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Florida

Kris Thomas, 17, of Orlando, Florida and Microsoft’s Bill Gates at the opening of one of 50 new Club Techs, a joint initiative of Microsoft and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Click image to enlarge.

ORLANDO, Fla., March 13, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B & GCA) today announced the continued expansion of their Club Tech initiative, with the rollout of more than 50 Club Techs throughout the state of Florida that will provide technology access to children and teens across the state. As part of this announcement, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and Bill Regehr, senior vice president of IT for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, will join Florida state and local leaders in a visit to the Southwest Unit of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida (located in Orlando), where they will discuss with club members and executives the various projects and programs that have been enabled through Club Tech.

“Club Tech’s goal is to give kids of all ages and circumstances access to the resources and skills that will help them perform better in school and, eventually, at work,” Gates said. “We’re delighted to announce today that we’ve made great progress toward reaching this goal. With more than 520 Club Techs currently operating across the United States, we’re already seeing kids using the Internet, Pocket PCs and digital movie-editing software to expand their horizons, teach each other and even teach their parents how to get the best out of technology.”

Club Tech is a joint program of Microsoft and the 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. This announcement, along with the recent launch of more than 16 new Club Techs throughout the greater Boston area, represents a huge leap forward in the overall initiative. 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.

“Microsoft is to be commended for its efforts to provide America’s youth with the tools they need to succeed in today’s world,” said Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “Through its partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, it is helping to ensure that children of all backgrounds have access to technology and the skills to use it. The opening of 50 new Club Tech centers in Florida will help us continue to make sure that no child is left behind.”

“The Club Tech program goes a long way in teaching children the skills and building the confidence necessary to operate in a technological world. It’s a stellar example of how Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida are preparing children for a bright and successful future,” said Gary Cain, president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.

“Technology can have an outstanding impact on the futures of today’s kids,” said Roxanne Spillett, president of the B & GCA. “With Microsoft’s support, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is able to provide 3.5 million children and teens, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances, with the skills they need to achieve success in the workplace.”

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 Club Tech program, a joint effort of 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 young people in Boys & Girls Clubs around the country. The software being provided includes the Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional operating system, Office XP Professional, the 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. The Club Tech software is available on the hardware supplied by PowerUP, a consortium of nonprofit organizations, major corporations, and state and federal government agencies ensuring that America’s underserved children and teens acquire the skills, experiences and resources they need to succeed in the digital age.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Boys & Girls Clubs of America comprises a national network of more than 3,000 neighborhood-based facilities serving more than 3.5 million young people annually, 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 .

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 .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.

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