In addition to our vision of a world inspired to learn, we also envision a world with increased opportunity for all, through better access to education and technology.

One way we’re making this vision come to life is through our charitable giving initiatives. We’re able to leverage our unique resources to improve the effectiveness and availability of education by promoting, providing, and supporting educational opportunities globally.

We are excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the second-annual Blackboard Charitable Giving Program. Organizations interested in applying for a grant may visit http://www.blackboard.com/sites/giving/. All applications must be received by 5PM on Friday, August 28, 2015.

As a part of the program, Blackboard has partnered with First Book – a non-profit social enterprise that has distributed more than 118 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities across the United States. Similarly to last year, we’ll be holding a virtual book drive, where employees can donate new books to children in need. Last year, Blackboard employees donated over 3,000 books to seven elementary schools in Somerset, Kentucky. This year’s virtual book drive runs from August 3 – 31.

In its inaugural year, the Blackboard Charitable Giving Program donated more than $200,000 to help foster education and technology programs around the world. Five outstanding organizations received grants last year including:

Circle of Women implements innovative and sustainable solutions to increase girls’ access to secondary education. In partnership with the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women in Indore, India, the organization is building and furnishing a computer room, a classroom and a dormitory for rural and tribal women in India. This project will enlarge BDIRW, allowing them to grow the number of women they serve by 60 percent per year.

First Book provides new books and educational resources for free or at a low cost to schools and programs serving children in need. First Book is using the funds to support a tablet pilot program.

inABLE provides nearly 1,200 blind and visually impaired children in rural Africa with computer assistive technology and library services. With the donation from Blackboard, inABLE is making software and hardware upgrades to the Thika High School for the Blind in Kenya.

Library for All has created a digital library that allows access to culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate content sourced from international and local publishers. The organization is using the donations to develop a monitoring and evaluation program of the digital library at 10 sites in Haiti.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia teaches adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and understanding English to help them participate more fully and confidently in their communities. LCNV is using the funds to modernize their volunteer training systems, incorporating e-learning and interactive online volunteer management tools.

For more information on the Blackboard Charitable Giving Program and to apply for a grant please visit http://www.blackboard.com/sites/giving/.

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