Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Bring 21st Century Technology Skills to America's Youth

Posted by at 9:38 am on May 13, 2010

Microsoft and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) today announced the opening of 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 opened yesterday 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 and Hillary Clinton 10 years ago.

Club Tech Centers of Excellence represent the latest evolution of Club Tech, a BGCA program initiated by a $100 million donation from Microsoft 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.

Boys & Girls Club members will have access to the latest Microsoft technology, including Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, and cutting-edge hardware. The backbone of the Centers of Excellence remains the Club Tech program, inclusive of curriculum, that trains on Microsoft software, and offers experience with Web design tenets, graphic design techniques, digital film editing and digital music composition through the Digital Arts Suite.

In addition to technical skills, the Club Tech program encourages critical thinking, project management and problem-solving skills. To help foster these skills, Boys & Girls Clubs featuring Club Tech Centers of Excellence will include designated and specially designed instructional and exploratory zones:

  • The Instructional Zone is a traditional lab space where youth will learn and master technology fundamentals through classes and individual project work.
  • The Exploratory Zone is a space within Boys & Girls Clubs’ technology centers designed for team project work using advanced technology and skill sets. Use of the Exploratory Zone and its software, devices and tools is an incentive for kids and teens to become experienced technology users.

Additional information about Microsoft’s partnership with BGCA is available at http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/partnerships/boys-and-girls-club-of-america.aspx.

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