ATLANTA, April 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), in partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, announces the launch of its Faces of the Future campaign (www.facesofthefuture.org), designed to raise awareness about the importance of digital literacy. The campaign features youth from across America whose lives have been positively impacted by the Club Tech program and encourages the public to support technology education.
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While it may seem kids are surrounded by technology, according to the Child Trends Databank, 23 percent of American children do not regularly access the Internet from home. In today's global economy, technology access and know-how has become almost a requirement for success in school and the job market.
"When Club Tech was launched in 2000, we understood how critical it was to help level the virtual playing field by providing children who need us most with access to technology resources and training," said Judith J. Pickens, senior vice president, Program & Youth Development Services, BGCA. "Over a decade later we celebrate our future filmmakers, designers, journalists, music makers and photographers who all were inspired by Club Tech. Faces of the Future is more than just a campaign, it's a declaration that when given the right tools, all young people from various ages and backgrounds can have great futures."
Through Club Tech, Boys & Girls Clubs offer engaging programs that teach youth age 6-18 various technology skills, from word processing and graphic design to music production and filmmaking. Throughout the campaign, the Faces of the Future Showcase will feature artwork, music and films created by youth using the Club Tech digital arts curriculum.
"To be successful in the 21st century workplace, today's youth must become digitally literate. This means more than knowing how to simply use a computer, but it includes a variety of skills that we've seen Club Tech participants develop — teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking," said Andrea L. Taylor, Director of Community Affairs in North America at Microsoft Corporation. "Partnering with BGCA allows us to inspire that next generation through technology education."
Currently, nearly 1 million kids and teens participate in the Club Tech program at more than 3,600 Boys & Girls Clubs around the world. Researchers from the University of Washington's Center for Information & Society found that through Club Tech, members not only learned the fundamentals of computers, but they also learned how to harness technology in a way that made them more literate in current affairs and other topics that spill over from school and home.
"The 'Faces of the Future' campaign is a really exciting and important initiative designed to raise awareness about digital literacy," said Charisse Lillie, Vice President of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation and Executive Vice President of the Comcast Foundation. "Comcast is proud to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support this campaign to help further empower diverse, underserved youth and tell their amazing stories about success."
Club Tech was initiated by a $100 million donation from Microsoft in 2000 to provide software, training and development of a digital literacy curriculum. In 2010, Comcast joined Microsoft as a national sponsor of the Club Tech program, and over the four years ending in 2013 will provide approximately $50 million of financial and in-kind support to BGCA and local Clubs across the country.
As part of its national support of BGCA, Comcast is airing a new a PSA highlighting the 'new language' learned through Club Tech on its cable systems nationwide. The Faces of the Future campaign complements the PSA and will also incorporate several social media elements through blogs, Twitter and Facebook. On BGCA's Facebook fan page, fans will be able to learn more about Club Tech and upload their picture and promise to support technology education in children as part of a larger photo mosaic. Stories of success from Club Tech participants will be shown on a special YouTube playlist.
Visit facesofthefuture.org to learn more.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Club Tech Program
Club Tech was created by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) and Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) in 2000 to technologically enable Clubs worldwide, transforming Clubs from "swim and gym" to "point and click." Partnering with longtime supporter Comcast (www.comcast.com) and Microsoft, BGCA provides technology program access to some 4.2 million youth served through Club membership and community outreach at some 4,000 Clubs. By leveling the virtual playing field, kids of all ages and circumstances now have access to the same resources and skills to help them discover their world, expand creativity, perform better in school, and eventually take their technology know-how into the workplace.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the world's leading media, entertainment and communications companies. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America