WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis., April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Renaissance Learning, Inc. announced today that it has collected nearly 5,000 laptops in response to its AlphaSmarts for Africa campaign, which concluded on March 31.
In an effort to help teach fundamental skills to students in areas where illiteracy rates are as high as 93%, the program will provide schools in Northern Kenya with donated AlphaSmart laptops for use in classrooms, helping to prepare students for today’s high-tech world.
Nearly 400 North American schools and consumers donated their used, older-model AlphaSmart laptops to the cause. In return, Renaissance Learning provided donors with a $50 discount toward a brand-new AlphaSmart NEO or NEO 2 laptop for each donated unit.
“We are pleased to provide this donation in conjunction with our school partners to help improve literacy skills of students in Kenya,” said Greg Wright, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Renaissance Learning’s Electronics Division. “Given Kenya’s lack of reliable electricity, the AlphaSmart laptops are a great fit because of their ability to run 700 hours on three AA batteries.”
Renaissance Learning is currently refurbishing and packaging the donated laptops in preparation for shipment in June. Generation for Change and Growth (GCG), a non-profit aid organization, will then distribute the donated AlphaSmart laptops to Kenyan schools and provide valuable training for teachers on how to use them in their classrooms in mid-July 2008.
About Renaissance Learning, Inc.
Renaissance Learning, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of computer-based assessment technology for pre-K-12 schools. Adopted by more than 73,000 North American schools, Renaissance Learning’s tools provide daily formative assessment and periodic progress-monitoring technology to enhance core curriculum, support differentiated instruction, and personalize practice in reading, writing and math. Renaissance Learning products help educators make the practice component of their existing curriculum more effective by providing tools to personalize practice and easily manage the daily activities for students of all levels. As a result, teachers using Renaissance Learning products accelerate learning, get more satisfaction from teaching, and help students achieve higher test scores on state and national tests. The company’s AlphaSmart laptops help promote valuable writing practice in classrooms across the country. The newest addition to the line is the NEO 2, launched June 2007, which combines the best features of a standard laptop with a classroom response system, and adds keyboarding, writing and assessment software to provide teachers with everything they need in a single, low-cost device. Renaissance Learning has seven U.S. locations and subsidiaries in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom.
The Generation for Change and Growth is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in the United States and Non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kenya. Generation for Change and Growth was founded in November of 2002 to promote health and educational initiatives in Northern Kenya and other East African regions and to provide and expand these services to immigrants and refugees coming to Minnesota from these areas. The GCG’s vision is helping this generation for a better world tomorrow. In pursuing our vision, the GCG seeks to eradicate illiteracy and improve education by working with the community, schools, families and students to strengthen and promote academic success. This increased performance will allow students to embrace life after school more confidently and succeed in professional roles and thus become contributing members locally and globally. For more information about GCG, visit http://www.thegcg.org/.
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Source: Renaissance Learning
CONTACT: Renaissance Learning, +1-715-424-3636, fax, +1-715-424-4242,