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New York Life Foundation Awards $100,000 To Help Underserved Indian Children Bridge The Digital Divide

Grant Provides Indian Youth Access to Technology By Launching Digital Equalizer Centers In Underserved Schools Across India

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 28, 2007–The American India Foundation (AIF), a leading international development organization charged with the mission of accelerating social and economic change in India, announced today that it has received a one-year, $100,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation. The grant will fund the opening of 32 Digital Equalizer Centers in a number of underserved communities across India, where Max New York Life, New York Life’s joint venture is based. Max New York Life is one of the leading private life insurers in India and currently operates 165 offices in 120 cities.

“This grant from New York Life will provide students with the tools they need to be competitive in the workforce today,” said Lata Krishnan, president, AIF. “These Digital Equalizer Centers will provide technology that will enhance the quality of education offered by the public school system and reach the most marginalized children across India.”

“The New York Life Foundation is proud to fund these new technology centers and support AIF’s mission to improve the quality of education for children in India,” said Christine Park, president, New York Life Foundation. “We are pleased to fund a program that’s proven to be effective and offers long-term economic and social benefits.”

The funds will establish two full-service centers in the city of Lucknow, 15 large-scale centers in the state of Punjab, eight large-scale centers in Bhubaneshwar and seven large-scale centers in Rajasthan..

Digital Equalizer Centers are established in middle and high schools and cater to students between the ages of 12 and 15. Every Center is equipped with eight to 10 multimedia computers (one computer for every 40 students) and students, teachers and school administrators are trained in various program applications. AIF supports each Center for three years and helps the schools develop funding sources that ensure the Centers’ future sustainability.

In 2004, the Taleem Research Foundation, an independent evaluator, assessed the effectiveness of the Digital Equalizer program. Data was collected at 46 schools in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai through questionnaires distributed to students, teachers, principals, school administrators and city coordinators. The findings indicated schools with Digital Equalizer Centers experienced a decrease in school dropout rates, improved exam scores and better teamwork among students.

Since Digital Equalizer’s implementation in 2001, the program has:

  • Implemented over 1500 Digital Equalizer Centers in 13 Indian states
  • Trained close to 7,000 teachers and more than 250,000 students
  • Developed more than 500 multimedia lessons in eight different languages; and
  • Received the prestigious all-India Intel Award for “best integration of technology in education.”

About The American India Foundation (AIF) AIF, which has 501 (c) 3 status in the United States, was formed in 2001 under the leadership of President Clinton, who now serves as its honorary chair. AIF is a leading international development organization charged with the mission of accelerating social and economic change in India. It mobilizes people and resources across the United States to assist with its work in three areas: education, livelihood and public health. AIF is based in the U.S., operating in New York and Silicon Valley, and has offices in New Delhi and Bangalore in India. Please visit the AIF’s Web site at www.aifoundation.org

About The New York Life Foundation The New York Life Foundation is the major vehicle through which New York Life Insurance Company channels contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its Nurturing the Children initiative, the Foundation supports organizations, programs and services that target young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, and educational enhancement opportunities. Since 1979, the New York Life Foundation has donated more than $100 million to national and local non-profit organizations. Please visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.newyorklifefoundation.org

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New York Life Foundation Awards $100,000 To Help Underserved Indian Children Bridge The Digital Divide

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