New York, NY. - Samsung's Hope For Education, a distinctive, educational philanthropic program designed to better educate U.S. elementary, middle and high school students via new digital technologies and software, today introduced its new spokesperson, popular national television talk show host, Tony Danza, at its third annual kick off event. In partnership with Microsoft Corporation, the 2006 Samsung's Hope for Education program will provide over $2 million worth of technology and software to U.S. K-12 schools across the country through its Hope for Education essay contest and through Tony Danza's School Makeover Program for need-based schools.
The essay contest recently launched with submissions from many respected professional athletes who understand the need for competitive advantage and want to give their alma maters and community schools a chance to benefit from this unique program. One of those athletes, Osi Umenyiora, defensive end for the NY Giants, attended the event and talked about his nomination emphasizing how technology and software will give the school a competitive edge.
"So many American schools lack the funding to purchase the kind of technology necessary to keep the students competitive with the rest of the world," said Peter Weedfald, Senior Vice President of Sales and of Marketing, Consumer Electronics Division, Samsung Electronics America Inc. "With programs like Hope for Education and The Tony Danza Show's School Makeover program, Samsung and Microsoft have the opportunity to provide relevant and useful tools to support children, schools and communities. As the Hope for Education spokesperson, Tony Danza's passion for education combined with his celebrity status, will help raise awareness for this important cause."
Tony Danza said, "I'm honored to be the first national spokesperson for Samsung's Hope for Education and to help Samsung and Microsoft raise awareness about how important it is to provide public schools with the latest technology. I share their passion and vision for doing whatever we can to make a difference in these children's lives."
As the creator of his show's televised School Makeover programs, Tony Danza encourages corporations to give back to the community. It was Tony who, in 2004, posed the challenge to corporate America on his program to join Samsung's Hope for Education mission. Microsoft embraced the challenge and together with Samsung will contribute 2 million dollars in software and technology to this education initiative, of which a significant portion is allocated to the Tony Danza School Makeover program.
"Microsoft is proud to join Samsung through the Hope for Education program - recognizing deserving schools and creating opportunities through technology for their students," said Anthony Salcito, General Manager of U.S. Education at Microsoft. "We are committed to helping bridge the global technology gap by providing students the tools that will help them realize their potential and prepare them for the future."
The Hope for Education contest began on March 6th and runs to the end of June, 2006. Anyone can enter the contest by going to hopeforeducation.com and submitting a 100-word essay. The winning essays will answer the question, "Do you know of an individual student or teacher, or group of school children, who are missing out on opportunities because they don't have access to technology?"
When the Hope for Education essay contest launched a few weeks ago, NFL athletes kicked it off by nominating schools that they felt would benefit from the opportunity to win thousands of dollars worth of Samsung technology and Microsoft educational software. Some of the nominators include: Legendary quarterbacks, John Elway (Denver Broncos), Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins), Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys), Steve Young (San Francisco 49ers), Boomer Esiason (Cincinnati Bengals) and Tom Brady (New England Patriots) and some special defensive specialists including hall of fame great Ronnie Lott (San Francisco 49ers), newly acquired NY Giants, RW McQuarters and Detroit Lions Dre Bly and Boss Bailey.
Osi Umenyiora and all of these NFL greats are role models from the world of sports who are leading the effort to enhance our children's education through programs such as this. They are encouraging their fellow athletes, regardless of their team affiliation, to get the word out to kids, teachers, moms and dads to support technology in education.
All essays will be evaluated by an independent judging committee made up of professionals from the academic and editorial communities. The committee members, authorities on both writing and technology, come from Cornell University, Wharton School of Business, USA Today, TWICE (a consumer electronic trade publication), PC Magazine and Buena Vista Television.
In addition to participating in the judging committee, USA TODAY also assisted Samsung and Microsoft to spread the word about Hope for Education through their National Education Programs division. "USA TODAY values our collaboration with Samsung on its Samsung's Hope for Education initiative. This program aligns with our mission to provide educators with the instructional resources and support needed to enrich classroom instruction. We applaud Samsung's leadership role in bringing us together to achieve these goals," said Diane Barrett, Vice President of National Education Programs at USA TODAY.
21 schools that enter have the opportunity to win either the grand prize of $200,000 in Samsung technology and Microsoft software or one of 20 first prizes of $60,000 in Samsung technology and Microsoft software. The technology prizes include Samsung's latest, award-winning products, such as Plasma, LCD, and DLP high definition televisions; Ultra Mobile PCs; Multi-function products; PDA Phones; Digital Camcorders; DVD Players, LCD computer monitors, color printers and Microsoft's latest, award-winning software, such as Microsoft Student, Encarta, Office, etc. Anyone who submits a winning entry on behalf of a winning school will be awarded a Samsung Helix XM2go player - satellite radio, MP3 player.
At the conclusion of the launch event, Samsung, Microsoft, Tony Danza and Osi Umenyiora were joined by some very special guests from the Brooklyn Charter School. This K-5th elementary school's dance class gave a spirited performance to express their gratitude to the Tony Danza School Makeover program, sponsored by Samsung's Hope for Education. The makeover segment aired this morning on the Tony Danza Show.
The Hope for Education contest was first announced in 2004 at the opening of the Samsung Experience, a unique and creative technology emporium in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Since the original launch, 202 US schools have benefited from over $3 million in Samsung technology and Microsoft software.