In the Spirit of the Season, Microsoft Makes $1 Million Donation To Los Angeles-Area Elementary School
Donation Stems From Company's Counterfeit Recoveries
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will donate $1 million to UCLA's School Management Program (SMP) for the implementation of a Connected Learning Community at the Laguna Nueva Elementary School in Commerce, Calif. Microsoft will work with the UCLA SMP to use this donation to transform the elementary school into a model for a technology-based community of learners that connects educators, administrators, students and parents to improve student achievement. The grant, which includes the purchase of new computers and software, will provide the professional development and technological infrastructure to establish community-based learning centers and improve communication between the school and families.
The goal of Microsoft's donation and the UCLA program is to create a school community that uses technology to improve student learning and increase the participation of families in their children's education. To achieve this goal, the UCLA SMP will create an environment within the school to promote effective use of technology and sustain the program on a long-term basis.
"We are excited to be a part of this innovative new program to help students and parents cross the technology gap and learn to use technology to positively affect their lives," said Dan Chernow, executive director of the UCLA School Management Program, the administrator of the grant. "The outcome of Microsoft's grant will provide the vehicle for the Laguna Nueva School community to begin to move significantly in providing a parent-school connection and classroom instructional strategies that will lead to improved student achievement for all children."
Laguna Nueva Elementary School is the most recent recipient of a donation from Microsoft's anti-piracy recovery efforts. In July, the company donated money from its anti-piracy recoveries to the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, Calif., and last year Microsoft announced it would donate half of its anti-piracy recoveries -- estimated to be $25 million over the next five years -- to nonprofit organizations worldwide.
"Microsoft believes the single most important use of information technology is to improve education," said Brad Smith, deputy general counsel at Microsoft. "We're pleased to be able to turn a negative subject like software counterfeiting into a positive thing for the children of Laguna Nueva Elementary. Giving them access to technology helps enrich their lives by encouraging academic excellence and giving them the tools they need to succeed in life and work in today's information age."
Microsoft's corporate philanthropy is focused on creating greater access to technology in disadvantaged communities in the United States and around the world. Through products, programs and partnerships, Microsoft is committed to helping educators use technology to build a modern learning infrastructure, provide anytime, anyplace access to learning through technology solutions, and integrate technology into all aspects of classroom learning and school administration.
"We are pleased that Microsoft has chosen to give us this incredible donation," said Richard L. Adams II, president of the Montebello Unified School District Board of Education. "With this grant, we anticipate student performance will be greatly improved through the use of technology in the classroom and through their families' involvement in the learning process. Microsoft's generosity will help ensure that our children's futures are bright ones."
The money from this grant stems from Microsoft's settlement recoveries resulting from a large Los Angeles-area criminal software counterfeiting case. This particular donation is especially gratifying as it was made in partnership with the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, who headed up the counterfeiting investigation. The case, one of the largest Microsoft counterfeit cases to date, resulted in the seizure of $6.2 million in counterfeit software and more than $3.6 million in cash and the conviction of two individuals. This donation is the largest single Microsoft donation made to date stemming from anti-piracy recovery dollars.
"This generous donation will allow the UCLA School Management Program to benefit many children at Laguna Nueva School by providing new computers and software," said California Gov. Gray Davis. "These students will receive an education enhanced by new technology, which will help lead them to a brighter future. I want to thank Microsoft for this generosity and for the commitment to our schools. Thanks to this gift, we are continuing the fight to leave no California student behind."
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Microsoft's $1 Million Donation to Benefit Laguna Nueva Elementary School
"Just as technology propels the current economic expansion, I believe that providing the necessary technology for education -- software, computers and networks based on a sound curriculum -- will expand educational opportunities to unprecedented heights. Congratulations to Laguna Nueva School, UCLA and Microsoft for setting such a fine cooperative example."
-- Barbara Boxer
"I am excited that Microsoft has chosen Laguna Nueva School to be the recipient of this million dollar grant. In the 21st Century, acquiring basic computer skills is as important to our children as learning how to read and write. Microsoft's generosity will lessen the effects of the digital divide, which disproportionately affects minority children and families, by enabling Laguna Nueva to provide students with the knowledge they'll need to succeed in a technology-based world."
-- Lucille Roybal-Allard
U.S. Congresswoman of California's 33rd District
"We all know how important it is to have teachers and parents working together. Recent educational studies suggest that parent involvement is key to students' academic success. Through this alliance with Microsoft and UCLA, Laguna Nueva Elementary School parents and teachers will have an additional avenue for communication. This initiative will assist the Laguna Nueva School community in reaching our number one goal of raising student performance."
-- Maggie Carrillo Mejia
Superintendent of the Montebello Unified School District
"The Microsoft Donation is an incredible opportunity for Laguna Nueva School, not only for our students to incorporate technology in all aspects of learning, but for parents who will receive new work-related skills and opportunities to excel in the job market. We are proud to be part of the collaborative effort between Microsoft and UCLA, which will realize the 'community of learners' program, and we commend our parents and teachers for their dedication to our children."
-- Gunn Marie Hansen
Principal of Laguna Nueva Elementary School
"Computers make life easier. I'm very happy about having new computers at school. I'm excited. I want to be an architect, but at the same time I want to be like those people that make cartoons that move. They say that it's involved with a lot of algebra and everything and I'm very good at math."
-- Francisco Barcena
Laguna Nueva Student
" It's necessary, as soon as possible for the kids to learn to use the computer to study, because in tomorrow's jobs those that don't know how to use it will get a lesser job or be out in the street.
I would like to see ambitious, intelligent programs that involve the parents, so they understand how to work with a computer and not be left so far behind their kids, [as they continue] to grow. "
-- Celso Barcena
Parent of Laguna Nueva Student
"The children are extremely excited about [the donation] -- it means that someone cares about them. They told me that. It's something magical for them. I think with this grant, we've been talking about it, and they're getting excited because they feel like, 'oh, that means more computer time!' As a school, it's going to mean that our access to the world and bringing it back to the classroom is going to be a little bit easier. The computer is a tool that will help them enhance, grow, research -- keep them learning."
-- Leticia Ornelas-Carlos
"We are so thankful for this contribution that [Microsoft] has given us. This [donation] was my dream. It's a way of sharing in something for a better future. My son and my grandkids have access to [technology] and I myself can begin observing their knowledge and at the same time continue learning and taking part. [Learning about technology is] like a thirst: they get to know something and they want to know more."
-- Esther Toxqui
Parent of Laguna Nueva Student
"I feel very happy [about the donation] because it's going to give a lot of kids more opportunity to work with computers in class. I think this was a great opportunity, one that every school would want. We were so very fortunate to get it -- it's wonderful. I think it's going to be very, very helpful, not only for the students but also for the parents that are involved in the school. I think that's important because it's the year 2000 and everything is in the computer now. It's going to be good for them to know a lot more when they get to college."
-- Nelly Ayala
Parent of Laguna Nueva Student