SAMSUNG, Microsoft, DirecTV And Teen Music Star Jordan Pruitt Award More Than $2 Million Worth Of Technology, Software, Cash Grants And Educational Television Programming Packages To 31 Schools Through SAMSUNG’S Hope For Education Program
Florida School Receives More Than $200,000 Grand Prize
Tallahassee, Fla. – Samsung’s Hope for Education, Microsoft Corporation, and DIRECTV, Inc, along with teen music star Jordan Pruitt, presented Oak Ridge Elementary School in Tallahassee, Fla., with more than $200,000 in technology products, software, cash grants and educational television programming packages at a special assembly today for students, teachers and local dignitaries. Oak Ridge Elementary School is this year’s grand prize winner in Samsung’s fifth annual Hope for Education essay contest. Thirty first-prize schools from across the country will each receive more than $60,000 in technology, software, cash grants and educational television programming packages.
Thousands of essays were submitted through students, parents, teachers and principals looking for their community schools to benefit from this unique program. This year’s essay question addressed the environment, asking entrants, “How has technology educated you on helping the environment and how or why has it changed your behavior to be more environmentally friendly" The grand prize and first prize schools will receive technology from Samsung including its award-winning and energy efficient LCD high definition televisions, laptops, multi-function products, smart phones, digital camcorders and cameras, blu-ray players, LCD computer monitors, and color printers, as well as Microsoft’s latest, award-winning software. The program’s newest partner, DIRECTV, will provide cash grants and the SCHOOL CHOICE® educational television programming package*. The person who submitted a winning entry on behalf of each of the 31 winning schools will be awarded the Samsung Ultra Mobile PC, a handheld multi-media PC which features a 7” LCD screen and built-in keyboard. (Please see below for a complete list of winners, or visit www.hopeforeducation.com.)
“We are honored and grateful to be selected as the grand prize school in Samsung’s Hope for Education program,” said Ms. D.J. Wright, principal of Oak Ridge Elementary School. “The technology, software, cash grants and educational television programming being donated by Samsung, Microsoft and DIRECTV will provide the teachers of Oak Ridge Elementary School with the most up-to-date education tools to help enhance the learning of our students"
In addition to the more than $200,000 in cash and prizes, Oak Ridge Elementary School was awarded a classroom assistance dog at today’s assembly for the school’s special education classroom. Samsung works with the National Education for Assistance Dog Service (NEADS) to provide an assistance dog to the winning school. Since 1976, NEADS has provided specially trained dogs for nearly 1,000 deaf and disabled children and adults. Introduced last year, the "Friends for Life” program was created by Samsung Group in Korea to provide financial support for the training of special service animals to assist those in need lead a better life through the use of a dedicated service dog.
“With programs like Hope for Education, we have the opportunity to help bridge the technology gap that many of our schools face,” said D.J. Oh, president and CEO, Samsung Electronics America. "The students of Oak Ridge Elementary School will certainly benefit from these new products and technology. It will allow them to reach new frontiers via the Internet and through the software, cash grants and educational television programming packages that Microsoft and DIRECTV are providing. In addition, the classroom assistance dog will support the students who need it most.”
“Microsoft is proud to be part of Samsung’s Hope for Education program – recognizing deserving schools that are exploring how technology can make real, impactful environmental contributions to our world,” said Anthony Salcito, general manager of U.S. Education at Microsoft. “The tools we are providing these winning schools will facilitate students’ learning and discovery in new ways.”
“DIRECTV is proud to support this educational initiative,” said Caroline Leach, vice president of Communications for DIRECTV. “Television does not exist in a vacuum, so to us, being a good corporate citizen stretches beyond the living room and into the classroom. We hope this year’s winning schools can benefit from our cash grants and SCHOOL CHOICE® educational television programming package.”
Furthering education and reading is an important initiative for teen superstar Jordan Pruitt. Through Samsung’s partnership with her label, Hollywood Records, the teen sensation helped launch the 2008 Samsung Hope for Education program this spring in New York City with a special performance. She was also on hand at today’s grand prize event to perform for the children of Oak Ridge Elementary School.
“I am so excited to work with Samsung’s Hope for Education program and meet the students at Oak Ridge Elementary School,” said Pruitt. “Receiving the best education possible has definitely helped me achieve what I have in my career and I appreciate the opportunity to work with Samsung, Microsoft and DIRECTV to spread the message about how important technology and education is in our day-to-day lives.”
Samsung’s 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, more than 280 U.S. schools in 43 states have benefited from over $9 million in technology, software, cash grants and educational television programming package.
* SCHOOL CHOICE programming available as long as the prize winning school continues to qualify under the DIRECTV GOES TO SCHOOL program and as long as DIRECTV has the DIRECTV GOES TO SCHOOL program or a similar program.
About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), based in Ridgefield Park, NJ, is a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. The company markets a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics, information systems, and home appliance products, as well as oversees all of Samsung’s North American operations including Samsung Telecommunications America, LP, Samsung Semiconductor Inc., Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Mexico, Inc. As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, the Samsung organization is one of the most decorated brands in the electronics industry. The company was ranked #6 in the Electronics Industry segment in Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired Companies 2008,” and named as one of Fast Company’s “Fast 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2008.” Among popular BusinessWeek rankings, the company ranked #26 in the publication’s “Most Innovative Companies of 2008” and #21 in the “100 Best Global Brands” for 2007. Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd. is also a top patent holder, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2007. Please visit www.samsung.com for more information.
About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2007 consolidated sales of US$105 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of five main business units: Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business, Telecommunication Business and Digital Appliance Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software; services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. For more information, please visit www.microsoft.com.
About DIRECTV, Inc.
DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV), the nation’s leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 17.3 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with more than 130 HD channels - more quality HD channels than any other television provider. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 265 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed all national cable companies for eight years running) and superior technologies that include advanced DVR and HD-DVR services and the most state-of-the-art interactive sports packages available anywhere. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit directv.com. For more information about DIRECTV’s educational programs and other corporate citizenship activities, please visit directv.com/community.
About Jordan Pruitt
Born in Loganville, Georgia, Jordan Pruitt began singing at a very early age – in fact, she began singing in public when she was only four years old and she hasn’t stopped since. Her debut single, “Outside Looking In, was featured in the Disney Channel Original Movie Read It and Weep. Her debut album, No Ordinary Girl, was released in 2007, and her latest album “Permission To Fly” is in limited online release with a full nationwide release to Music Stores coming soon.
About Hollywood Records
The Disney Music Group encompasses all of the Walt Disney Studio’s recorded music and music publishing operations, including Hollywood Records, Walt Disney Records, Lyric Street Records and Walt Disney Music Publishing. Artists include Aly & AJ, Raven Simone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jonas Brothers and more. For more information, please visit www.hollywoodrecords.com
About NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog services Inc.)
NEADS is a non profit organization that trains dogs to assist adults and children who are deaf, physically disabled or who have special needs. Established in 1976, NEADS has placed over 1000 Assistance Dogs nationwide and is considered a leader in the Assistance Dog Industry.
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