Ridgefield Park, N.J. —Samsung is partnering with teen superstar Jordan Pruitt for its 2008 Hope for Education, an educational and philanthropic program designed to minimize the technology gap in the educational system.
This year’s program kicked off today at the Samsung Experience in Manhattan with a press conference and performance by Pruitt, whose new album from Hollywood Records will be released this July. Students, teachers and parents from previous winning schools located in the New York tri-state area were invited to attend.
The Hope for Education contest runs through Aug. 31. Students, parents, teachers, administrators and members of the community can enter the contest by going to www.hopeforeducation.com and submitting a 100-word essay about their school, answering the question: “How has technology educated you on helping the environment and how or why has it changed your behavior to be more environmentally friendly?"
Schools that submit essays are entered for the opportunity to win the grand prize of more than $200,000 in Samsung technology, Microsoft software, a cash grant from DirecTV as well as the School Choice educational television programming package.
From left: Samsung’s SVP, Chief Strategic Marketing Officer, Steve Cook, Microsoft’s Director of Innocation and Business Development, Mary Cullinane, teen pop star Jordan Pruitt, and DIRECTV’s Vice President of Public Relations, Darris Gringeri
In addition, 30 first-prize schools will be awarded more than $60,000 in technology, software and cash. The technology prizes include Samsung LCD HDTVs, Ultra Mobile PCs, multifunction products, smart phones, digital camcorders, digital cameras, DVD players, LCD computer monitors and color printers
The individual who submits a winning entry on behalf of a winning school will be awarded a Samsung Ultra Mobile PC with Windows Vista.
Essay entries will be accepted in English and Spanish.
“We are thrilled to have Jordan Pruitt join the Hope for Education program and Samsung family,” said D.J. Oh, president and CEO, Samsung Electronics America. “She is a role model for young students across the U.S. who Samsung wants to reach and have participate. We are trying to find students who attend schools that lack the funding to purchase the kind of technology necessary to keep them competitive with the rest of the world. With programs like Hope for Education and a partner in Jordan, we have the opportunity to provide relevant and useful tools to support children, schools and communities.”
In the past four years, through a partnership with Microsoft, Samsung’s Hope for Education has provided more than $7 million in Samsung technology and software to K-12 schools in the United States. This year the program will add another partner, DIRECTV, who will provide cash grants and a lifetime of educational television programming to the contest.
Students are also encouraged to become “friends” of the Hope for Education pages on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook where program updates and announcements will be posted.
The Hope for Education contest was first announced in 2004 at the opening of the Samsung Experience here. Since the original launch, more than 250 U.S. schools have benefited from over $7 million in Samsung technology and Microsoft software.
In additional news, Samsung will be working with NEADS who since 1976, has provided specially trained dogs for nearly 1,000 deaf and disabled children and adults to provide a classroom assistance dog to a special education teacher at the grand prize winning school.
Samsung has incorporated the program, created in Korea, that provides financial support for the training of special service animals to assist kids and others who through the use of a dedicated service dog can lead a better life.