Microsoft Corp. and Boys & Girls Clubs of America "BGCA" have opened the first Club Tech Center of Excellence, an expansion of the decade-long partnership of Club Tech, a program to bring technology access and skills training to children across the United States.
The first Club Tech Center of Excellence has been opened at the Children's Aid Society Dunlevy Milbank Boys & Girls Club in the Harlem borough of New York, the location where the two organizations first launched Club Tech with Bill Gates (News - Alert) and Hillary Clinton 10 years ago.
Officials with Microsoft said that Club Tech Centers of Excellence represent the latest evolution of Club Tech, a BGCA program initiated by a $100 million donation from Microsoft (News - Alert) in 2000 to provide software, training and development of a digital literacy curriculum.
Currently, nearly 1 million kids and teens participate in the Club Tech program every year at more than 3,600 Boys & Girls Clubs around the world.
Company officials said that the Club Tech Centers of Excellence serve as shining examples of the possibilities of a world with state-of-the-art technology.
They incorporate the latest Microsoft software, freshly designed space conducive for creative and collaborative work, and an expansive Club Tech curriculum such as newly added robotics programming and game development.
'Today's kids are using technology in new ways not dreamed of even 10 years ago when we first launched Club Tech,' said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of business and marketing organization at Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs of King County board member, in a statement.
Roskill said that to engage kids coming into the clubs, the experience must stay relevant, compelling and fun, so the Centers of Excellence represent the next generation of Club Tech.
"In addition, there are still millions of kids who need access to technology, and I am thrilled to help make that possible through our continued partnership with BGCA,' Roskill said.
Boys & Girls Club members will have access to the latest Microsoft technology, including Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, and cutting-edge hardware.
'When Club Tech was launched in 2000, the vision was to help level the virtual playing field by providing disadvantaged youth with the technology resources and skills to help them perform better in school and, eventually, the workplace,' said Cyndi Court, executive vice president of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Court said that members learn critical workforce skills - from creating a resume using word processing to designing websites and restoring computers - that help them perform better in school and expand their future career opportunities.
Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anil's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi