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While we can celebrate the linking of the globe in a digital web of communications and information flow, we must also turn our attention to those who have not shared in the promise of the Digital Age. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to sharing the promise of new technologies with all citizens. The Foundation is focusing its efforts in three critical areas:


Whether tucked into a side room of a gas station, or dignified with a grand edifice, public libraries are the ideal place to host empowering technologies. However, some rural and urban libraries lack the financial resources necessary to offer widespread public access. Through the Library Program, the Foundation is partnering with public libraries across the United States and Canada to provide both physical tools  such as computers with Internet access  and the technology training necessary for libraries to become gateways to the digital world for patrons in low-income communities.


Our education system is an immensely important strategic front for forging a future in which all of our children can participate in the opportunities of the Digital Age. In March 2000, the Foundation announced a $350 million, three-year investment in a series of education grants designed to help all students achieve at high levels by improving teaching and learning, and enhancing access to technology.

In 1999, Bill and Melinda Gates made a defining gift of $1 billion to establish the Gates Millennium Scholars program, which will provide scholarships for academically talented minority students who would otherwise not have the financial resources to attend college. Additional scholarships are available for minority scholars pursuing graduate degrees in science, math, engineering, education or library science.

Public Access to Information

The Foundation is developing a variety of efforts aimed at equipping the familiar places of community life with the hardware, software and training necessary to become access points to the Internet and resources for computer-based solutions. This effort will include both grantmaking and internal R&D on technology solutions for informationally disenfranchised communities.


-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), March 16, 2000


Dear Bill and Melinda,

Please send me 100K.I am an academically talented minority student. And even if I wasn't, it would be the thing to do. I am a wonderful person in my own right. Thanks and God bless.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), March 16, 2000.

Thanks for the post Cherri.

-- suzy (suzy@nowhere.com), March 16, 2000.

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