Monday, January 9, 2012

one laptop per child

A few years ago, I volunteered at a school in Costa Rica for extremely impoverished kids. They'd been working for years at the school to build a computer lab in the hopes that computers would teach the students valuable skills and motivate them by showing them that there exists an entirely different world outside of their shantytown. Through technology and education, they hoped to give these kids a chance. The school in Costa Rica has computers now, I am very happy to report. But millions of children around the world still do not have access to computers or quality education.

You can help put laptops directly into the hands of children around the world by doing something a lot of you may already do every day - buy groceries. Purchase specially-marked packages of Fruit by the Foot, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Gushers and enter the URL code from the box on the Win One Give One website. For every 100 UPC codes entered, Betty Crocker® will donate an XO laptop™from One Laptop Per Child to a child in Africa (up to 1,725 laptops). Apparently, you will also be entered to win a laptop, that's cool.

If, like me, you don't eat Fruit Roll-Ups regularly anymore, I urge you to go and check out One Laptop Per Child and find one of the many other ways you can help. OLPC's mission is to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. Most of the more than one billion children in the emerging world don’t have access to adequate education. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.

OLPC's cool little XO laptop is designed and built especially for children in developing countries. It’s about the size of a small textbook, has built-in wireless, and a unique screen that is readable under direct sunlight for children who go to school outdoors. It’s extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, and fun for the kids. Almost everywhere kids have XO laptops, school attendance increases dramatically as the children begin to open their minds and explore their own potential.

You can give a laptop to a child in the developing world with a donation of $199. You can also donate any other amount you wish and when you donate in someone's name, they will receive a card honoring the donation.

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