WorldCom Awards Grants for Community Partnerships

WASHINGTON (05/24/2000) - Global telecommunications company WorldCom Inc. and nonprofit organization Campus Compact awarded 20 grants of about US$80,000 for two years to partnerships between communities and local colleges and universities.

The grants were awarded to partnerships between a college and university and K-12 students that address the needs of low-income and minority children and utilize technology.

"It's all about community improvement and getting college students involved in the communities they live in," said Brooke Beird, associate director of Campus Compact.

The grants are part of $5 million that WorldCom gave Campus Compact, an organization hosted by Brown University that aims to bridge colleges and the communities.

The entire sum will be awarded over five years. The projects that won grants this year can apply for renewals for the remaining three years. During that time, Campus Compact will visit each partnership to help them meet their goals.

The grants were given to projects involved in a variety of activities, including: learning about biological concepts by cultivating a garden and creating a World Wide Web site describing what is learned (Northridge, Calif.); establishing a technology center for families to use the Internet after work and school and on weekends (Lorman, Miss.); and teaching youth Web page design, writing and leadership skills by creating an online and print community newspaper (Amherst, Mass.).

Campus Compact received 164 proposals for the grants, which were evaluated externally on the strenght of each, Beird said.

Campus Compact is a national organization with 670 college and university members. WorldCom's Making a Civic Investment program, which aims to support education through technology, awarded the money to the organization.

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