SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* is continuing its long history of supporting education in California through an enhanced relationship with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC). AT&T is supporting the FCCC with a "Text to Teach" mGiving campaign and the two parties have an agreement for AT&T to provide mobile broadband services to thousands of students at community colleges throughout California.
In an effort to improve digital literacy in California, thousands of community college students have begun to receive laptop computers through California Connects, a federally funded program designed to increase digital literacy and broadband access among underserved communities.
''AT&T's commitment will provide meaningful opportunities to the thousands of underserved students attending California Community Colleges for years to come," said Dr. Paul Lanning, President and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the grant administrator for California Connects. "Together, we are enabling today's college students with the tools they need to increase their digital literacy for tomorrow.''
Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement (MESA) students at community colleges throughout California will receive laptops and be provided intensive hands-on training to enable them to educate others and ultimately help increase the number of broadband Internet users in California by more than 61,000 individuals by 2013. Already, a total of 3,000 laptops with access to AT&T mobile broadband services have been distributed to MESA students at 33 California Community College campuses.
Additionally, AT&T will support Hands Across California an event on April 17 that will bring Californians statewide together to benefit California's community colleges and their students. Hands Across California is an unprecedented fundraising, media and advocacy opportunity to call attention to the nation's largest system of higher education, create a unified statewide spectacle illustrating the impact of community colleges in the state, and raise funds toward the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment, a permanent scholarship fund that will support students for generations to come. An AT&T-sponsored Text to Teach mGiving campaign running through June 30th, will raise funds for the Endowment. Californians can text HANDS to 27722 to donate $10 to Hands Across California. Contributions will help to fund scholarships so more students can live and learn the California dream, and all net proceeds from Hands Across California will be augmented by a 50% match from the Bernard Osher Foundation, increasing the power of everyone's contributions. AT&T previously made a $50,000 contribution to the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment in 2008.
AT&T has developed unique education programs such as its annual Big Mobile on Campus app development contest, the University Advantage Program which offers special discounts to college students and faculty as well as AT&T Aspire, a $100 million philanthropic program to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness, further demonstrating AT&T's strategic focus on education.
"We invest in education because we need a smart, skilled workforce to be successful in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Investing in education may be the single most important thing we can do to help America remain a leader in a digital, global economy," said Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California.
Learn more information about AT&T's dynamic solutions for education, visit www.corp.att.com/edu.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
About Foundation for California Community Colleges
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official non-profit foundation to the California Community Colleges' Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office and is the grant administrator of California Connects. The Foundation's mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community College system, the largest higher education system in the nation. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation and receives no direct state or public support. For more information, visit www.foundationccc.org.
About California Connects
California Connects is funded by a $10.9 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The project was funded as part of more than $200 million in recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants specifically supporting California.
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