I wanted to pause on this #GivingTuesday and reflect on the wonderful work being done by the Blackboard Charitable Giving Program. The program recognizes nonprofit organizations whose outstanding work is helping provide a world with increased opportunity for all through better access to education and technology.

I’d also like to recognize the generosity of our employees who are focused on doing the right thing to positively impact education outcomes – both in the work that they do every day and in activities like our Charitable Giving Program. Over the last year, they have continued to work with previous grant recipients and donated books to needy communities through our annual First Book Virtual Book Drive. This year, employees donated thousands of brand-new books to children living in Killeen, Texas.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the 2016 Charitable Giving Program award recipients and share more about their great work in communities around the world.

ArtWorks 4 ENA, Inc.

ArtWorks 4 ENA, Inc. provides an educational forum and creates opportunities where youth of all ages can experience and exercise diverse artistic expression. The organization seeks to impact children who are underexposed to the arts including youth involved in foster care, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and lower income communities. The grant will directly serve school-aged youth between the ages of 8 and 18 in the Greater Atlanta area and support the organization’s DigiPhoto Group Program.

Byte Back

Byte Back seeks to improve economic opportunity by providing computer training and career preparation to low-income DC residents. They work to meet students where they are, cultivate their desire for technology training, and help them identify a clear pathway to a family-sustaining career that pays a livable wage. As a licensed post-secondary educational institution, Byte Back teaches close to 900 students annually at nearly twenty sites. The grant will help to manage the general operations of the organization.

City Year Washington, DC

City Year Washington, DC is an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to provide support for students at risk of dropping out. They unite AmeriCorps members ages 17-25 from diverse ethnic, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds to engage in a year of full-time service, leadership development and civic engagement. As tutors, mentors and role models, these diverse young leaders are deployed in teams to high-poverty, urban schools to make a difference in the lives of underserved children and youth. This grant will support the Whole School Whole Child program, which is designed to build community-based learning environments that foster the academic and social emotional mind-sets and competencies essential to sustained student performance.

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech provides children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the listening, speaking and learning skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Since its founding in 1867, Clarke has been an international leader among schools teaching deaf children to speak. This grant will serve approximately 1200 children in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida by helping students become technologically literate to improve their overall achievement.

International Minority Hub

International Minority Hub connects services and resources to minorities, immigrants and refugees to enhance their wellbeing and create a stronger community through networking. The organization assists families and youth in New Hampshire. They will use the grant to help support and sustain their current afterschool program established in 2014, which provides comprehensive academic support that ensures minorities, immigrants and refugee students are given the best opportunities for success.

John Knight Curiosity Lab

John Knight Curiosity Lab is a physical space that features innovation, technology and entrepreneurship learning activities, tools and experiences for youth. More than a maker space, more than a computer lab, it aims to encourage learners of all ages to wonder, explore, deconstruct and invent. Learners are encouraged to be inquisitors, researchers, builders, tinkerers, scientists, artists, engineers, re-imaginers and myth busters. The grant will serve learners and educators throughout New England by providing pop-up events.

We are proud to help each of these organizations achieve their mission. To learn more about the Blackboard Charitable Giving Program, please click here.


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