Submitted by Microsoft
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and Boys & Girls Clubs of America President Roxanne Spillett will be joined today by First Lady and Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton as they announce the Club Tech initiative, a joint program of Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs of America designed to bring technology access and programs to more than 3.3 million underserved children and teens through Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.
"Technology has changed the way our children learn. Every child deserves access to this valuable medium, so they can develop the skills that will prepare them for the future," said Gates. "Microsoft is proud to partner with a great American institution like the B&GCA to help bridge the technology divide for over 3.3 million children in the United States."
"Serving the youth of today to build the leaders of tomorrow is a topic close to my heart," said Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of America's Promise and a member of B&GCA's board of governors. "The relationship between Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs will make a significant and measurable impact on our nation's ability to provide a 'level playing field' in technology for millions of young people who need it most."
"Our association with Microsoft is critical to our goal of providing every Boys & Girls Club member with the computer literacy and access to technology needed to succeed in school and later in life," said Spillett. "For many of the 3.3 million youth we serve, there is simply no other option. Club Tech will exert a dramatic impact not only on today's young people and their families, but on future generations that will need technological proficiency to succeed."
About Club Tech
In February 1999, B&GCA and Microsoft launched a unique pilot program to bring technology access to the youth the organization serves. Microsoft funded a $1.6 million program to create new technology centers at 15 Clubs across the
country. Based on the pilot's success, B&GCA developed a comprehensive national technology plan called "Operation Connect," to expand the benefits of technology to all of the more than 2,600 Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the United States.
Microsoft has agreed to help continue to build the core elements of the Operation Connect program via Club Tech. With today's announcement, Microsoft will donate $12.3 million in cash and $88 million in software over the next five years to support efforts to technology enable every Boys & Girls Club in the United States. The Club Tech program, a joint program of Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs, will develop and provide the Clubs with all the program materials, training and initial software for Operation Connect, with the goal of bridging the digital divide for more than 3.3 million youth in Boys & Girls Clubs around the country.
Access to technology and computer-based skills will be essential for children growing up in the new century and are vital to America's social and
economic standing. The U.S. Department of commerce estimates that 60 percent of today's jobs require technical skills. Yet today, less than one-third of single-parent households have a computer.
"Boys & Girls Clubs of America help millions of young people, primarily from at-risk communities, who might not otherwise get a chance to improve
their lives," said U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah). "These kids are our future, and I commend Microsoft for its generous investment in them."
"We've come a long way since I started working on how the government might address the problem of the digital divide that shortchanges thousands of our young people," said U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (Del.), author of Kids2000, the law that establishes a public-private partnership and provides $120 million over six years for computer centers at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the nation. "Microsoft's generosity will help make dreams come true for thousands of children whose families have not had the chance to share fully in the nation's growth and prosperity. With this donation, Microsoft is making a genuine difference in the lives of at-risk kids and helping narrow the gap between the 'digital haves' and 'digital have nots.'"
About Microsoft Community Affairs
Community Affairs manages and administers Microsoft's corporate philanthropy programs. Microsoft and its employees long have recognized the importance of the communities in which we work and live, and since 1983 have been leaders in the high-tech industry in making contributions. Through its giving, Microsoft is committed to empowering people in discovering and
creating a better future.
Last year, Microsoft gave more than $34.3 million in cash and $200 million in software to nearly 5,000 nonprofit organizations to enrich people's lives through advanced technology access, to strengthen nonprofits through technology, to expand and diversify the technology work force, and to build vibrant communities. The company also supports its employees' acts of giving
by matching, dollar for dollar, employee charitable contributions to nonprofit
organizations up to $12,000 per employee annually. More than 20,000 Microsoft
employees participate in the program. More information on the Microsoft Giving
Program is located at http://www.microsoft.com/giving/.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Boys & Girls Clubs of America comprises a national network of more than 2,600 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 3.3 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place For Kids," Clubs provide guidance-oriented programs on a daily basis 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.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft Corp. 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.
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