Southcoast Education Compact Awarded $20,000 Verizon Grant For Student Technology Expo

Dartmouth, MA-The SouthCoast Education Compact, a partnership of business leaders, school superintendents, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Bristol Community College, received a $20,000 EdLink grant from the Verizon Foundation to organize the first SouthCoast Education Compact Information Technology Expo. The event will be held March 19, 2004 at UMass Dartmouth.

Dartmouth, MA—The SouthCoast Education Compact, a partnership of business leaders, school superintendents, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Bristol Community College, received a $20,000 EdLink grant from the Verizon Foundation to organize the first SouthCoast Education Compact Information Technology Expo. The event will be held March 19, 2004 at UMass Dartmouth. 

Planned and organized by the SouthCoast Education Compact’s Technology Committee, chaired by Tony Sapienza, CEO of Riverside Manufacturing, the Information Technology Expo (IT Expo) will evaluate students’ development of essential technology skills and provide a competitive opportunity to highlight the importance of technology skills to area high school students. 

“Information technology plays a major role in our everyday lives, whether at home, at work, at school, or during our leisure time,” said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean MacCormack. “Thanks to the Verizon Foundation, area students will further develop life skills that will help them thrive in a world where new technologies and information are part of the fabric of success. ” 

Modeled on the successful regional science fair format, the IT Expo will help students develop necessary communication, analytical, production, technical, and organizational skills. Organizers are also excited to provide constructive avenues for individual expression, innovation, and creativity, as well as motivate students to explore the career potential of information technology. 

Students interested in participating in the IT Expo should contact their high school technology advisor or email Lee Blake, Assistant Director of the Compact at lblake@umassd.edu. 

Participants will be given a comprehensive technology test, a hands-on test, and will give a 15-minute presentation on one of the given categories. Successful completion of the day’s activities will result in an Information Technology Competency Certificate. Students achieving high marks will be awarded special prizes provided by area businesses. 

"Every job in our manufacturing plant has been impacted by new uses of 
technology,” said Committee Chair Sapienza. “Students need to understand the connection between IT and the workplace and companies need students with demonstrable IT skills. The Information Technology Expo will make this connection, and Riverside is eager to support it." 

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, awarded EdLink grants totaling $400,000 to 25 educational and nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts to foster school-to-career programs for students in grades seven through twelve. The EdLink grant program supports initiatives that link classroom instruction and community-based learning opportunities with the workplace. The program is a concrete example of Verizon’s support for education and work force development initiatives in the state. 

Corporate partners for the IT Expo include Precix, Inc., Riverside Manufacturing, New Bedford Chamber of Commerce, Slades Ferry Bank, and the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board. Any businesses or individuals interested in participating in the Expo, or who would like more information on sponsorship opportunities should contact Lee Blake at (508) 999-8545. 

The SouthCoast Education Compact works to collectively address and support issues of education reform in the SouthCoast region. The communities involved in the Compact include Fall River, the Diocese of Fall River, New Bedford, Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Lakeville, Rochester, Somerset, Swansea, Wareham, Marion, Mattapoisett, and Westport. 


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