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AT&T Awards $29 Million in Grants to Help Address High School Dropout Crisis


Program Is Part of $100 Million AT&T Aspire Initiative to Promote High School Success and Workforce Readiness

Dallas, Texas, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced 172 schools and nonprofit organizations across the country will receive $29 million in competitively awarded grants that are designed to support high school retention programs at national and local levels for at-risk students.

America’s Promise Alliance has noted that nearly one-third of U.S. high school students drop out before graduating — with about 7,000 students dropping out every school day, or one every 26 seconds.

This year’s program includes grant awards of up to $400,000 to support existing high school retention programs over four years and one-year grants, ranging from $25,000 to $35,000, to support capacity building for organizations that need additional time and resources to launch retention programs. The company has committed a total of $48 million for the High School Success grants program over the next four years.

The grants are part of the AT&T Foundation’s signature initiative, AT&T Aspire, which was announced earlier this year and helps address high school success and workforce readiness. AT&T has committed a total of $100 million in philanthropy through 2011 to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on high school retention and better preparing students for college and the workforce.

“High school dropout rates are a serious issue affecting more than 1 million students in this country each year,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re committed to supporting the great work our educators are already doing in our local communities to help kids succeed by preparing them for a global economy. We are lending a hand to build and expand these programs, and we are gratified by the response to the program. We look forward to working with these groups to build a brighter future for our youth.”

The recipient programs of this year’s High School Success grants provide a range of support for students, including academic intervention, academic coaching and mentoring and tutoring services that are focused on improving reading and math skills, reducing truancy and building teen confidence. The recipient programs are managed by a variety of governmental and nonprofit organizations, including school districts, townships and education-serving nonprofit organizations.

As one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to high school retention and workforce readiness, the $100 million AT&T Aspire program supports proven programs that promote educational success, from the classroom to the workplace. In addition to the high school retention program grants, AT&T Aspire is funding initiatives in three key areas:

* A student job shadowing initiative involving 400,000 AT&T employee hours that will give 100,000 students a firsthand look at the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.
* The underwriting of national research that will explore the practitioner perspective (teachers, principals, superintendents, school counselors and school board members) on the high school dropout issue.
* Support for 100 state and community dropout prevention summits, announced earlier this year by America’s Promise Alliance.


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