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May 30, 2006 :: Oklahoma GEAR UP Receives AT&T Foundation Grant to Provide Teachers With Instructional Technology Training


Media Contact: Amy Bruce
Office: 1.405.225.9281
abruce@osrhe.edu

The AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., and the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) recently announced Oklahoma’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) as a grant recipient for its T4: Training Teachers to Transition Technology program. Oklahoma will receive $49,933 to provide teacher training in instructional technologies.

GEAR UP, a federally funded program administered by the State Regents, is designed to better prepare middle and high school students for college through academic preparation programs and scholarships for students, professional development activities for educators and college access information for students and parents.

Through an assessment of classroom technology, Oklahoma GEAR UP discovered a need to address the use of technology for the improvement of teaching and learning. The goal of the GEAR UP T4 program is to offer classroom teachers computer technology professional development that will provide them with the skills necessary to engage students in active learning.

“We are extremely pleased that NCCEP and AT&T have recognized Oklahoma higher education’s efforts to boost education levels in our state through GEAR UP,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “The T4 program is just another example of how GEAR UP uses innovative methods to prepare students for college through partnership approaches.”

“AT&T applauds Chancellor Risser for continuing to make college preparedness programs a budgetary priority,” said Don Cain, president, AT&T Oklahoma. “Most of the fastest-growing jobs this decade will require education beyond high school. AT&T supports GEAR UP because it has proven to be an effective program that provides students with the tools they need to prepare them for lifelong success.”

The T4 project will provide services to 15 teachers, from three school districts, who are certified in one or more of the four core content areas of mathematics, English, social studies and science. Training will consist of a one-week technology institute, followed by six, one-day sessions. These training sessions will be held in partnership with Northeastern State University in Muskogee. After all training is complete, participants will be required to teach a five-hour technology course to at least 10 teachers.

“Research indicates that computer technology can help support learning and is especially useful in developing critical thinking skills,” State Regents’ Chairman Cheryl P. Hunter said. “This new grant will provide Oklahoma GEAR UP school districts with the resources to provide training for teachers on how to utilize technology in the classroom.”

The AT&T Foundation grant awarded nearly $4 million to NCCEP to support a variety of community-focused education initiatives, including after-school and summer enrichment programs in math, science, reading and technological literacy, as well as to help both teachers and students use technology in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning functions and improve students’ academic performance.

For more information on GEAR UP, visit www.okhighered.org/gearup or call 800.858.1840.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma with state GEAR UP grants totaling $20.5 million in August 1999 and $20.6 million in August 2005. The grants have been matched by more than $47 million from state and partner resources. With the addition of the 2005 multi-year, federal grant, Oklahoma's GEAR UP program will ultimately receive more than $45.6 million in federal funds by 2011. GEAR UP receives 49 percent of total funding from the federal government and 51 percent from other organizations.

About the AT&T Foundation
The new AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. The AT&T Foundation will provide more than $60 million in charitable contributions in 2006, placing it among the top five largest corporate foundations in the country. The AT&T Foundation combines more than 40 years and $1.7 billion of philanthropic commitment to communities across the country.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with 55.8 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at www.att.com.