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U.S. Newswire.

Lawmakers Honored as 'Champions for Student Success’
Luncheon Will Highlight $5 Million SBC Grant in Support of GEAR UP
February 23, 2004

Three Congressional Representatives and five Senators will be honored on Thursday, Feb. 26 at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon sponsored by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) and the SBC Foundation in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol.

The luncheon will honor eight prominent lawmakers as NCCEP "Champions for Student Success." The eight legislators being honored are: House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Rep. John A. Boehner (R-OH); Appropriations subcommittee Chair Henry Bonilla (R-TX); Education and the Workforce ranking member Rep. George Miller (D-CA); Senate Appropriations Committee member Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS); Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee member Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY); Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee ranking member Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA); Senate Appropriations subcommittee ranking member Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV); and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA). The event will also feature remarks from William Daley, president of SBC Communications Inc. and Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA).

In addition to honoring the eight lawmakers, the luncheon will also highlight the biggest single private contribution ever made in support of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a $5 million donation by the SBC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications Inc. GEAR UP is a public-private partnership involving parents, educators, business, labor and community organizations that works with entire classes of low-income children, guiding them from middle school through college admissions. The unprecedented $5 million SBC Foundation grant will bolster GEAR UP partnerships in SBC's 13-state service area.


Reps. Boehner, Bonilla, Fattah, Miller (CA)

-- Sens. Brownback, Clinton, Kennedy, Reid, Specter

-- William Daley, president, SBC Communications Inc.

WHAT: NCCEP/SBC Foundation Luncheon

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 26 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: The Mansfield Room, U.S. Capitol

WHY: Honoring 8 Legislators for Work in Education


For further information please contact:

Nicholas Thimmesch (202)549-4237 nick.thimmesch(At)

Or Leslie Sanchez (202)302-3837 Lsanchez(At)


-- SBC Foundation Makes $5 Million Grant to Fund National 'Gear Up' Program; Grant to Address Issue of College Readiness Among Low-Income Students

In the wake of recent research from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research indicating that only 32 percent of all high- school students are ready for college, the SBC Foundation - the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications Inc. - today announced a $5 million grant to the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP). The grant represents the single largest private donation to the federal program Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), and will be used to fund a competitive grant program for initiatives that promote college-readiness for low-income students.

According to Hector Garza, president of NCCEP, the SBC Foundation grant will supplement the highly regarded GEAR UP program in 13 states beginning this month. GEAR UP, enacted as a result of Congress' passage of the Higher Education Amendment of 1998, encourages students in grades 6-12 to stay in school and apply for college. The program currently serves 1.2 million students nationwide and more than 2,000 organizations currently participate in GEAR UP partnerships.

The grant will be presented to NCCEP by William Daley, president of SBC Communications Inc. during a Congressional luncheon today in Washington, D.C. During the luncheon, NCCEP and SBC will honor eight members of Congress - including Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. - as Champions for Student Success.

William Daley, president of SBC Communications Inc., said, "Most private donations go to programs for students already enrolled in college. We believe it's just as important to help students get to college in the first place, so we decided to direct this grant money to GEAR UP to help fund programs that prepare low-income students to complete high school and succeed in a college or university setting."

The $5 million SBC Foundation grant will help train and assist teachers in the use of technology in the classroom; fund technology-based after-school programs to help students in math, science, reading and technology; measure student achievement and program impact; and establish new K-16 partnerships based on the GEAR UP model throughout the 13-state region.

"When Congress enabled the creation of the GEAR UP program, it recognized that if we are to overcome the challenges faced by low-income, first-generation college-bound students, business involvement would be critical," said Garza of NCCEP. "We applaud SBC for meeting this challenge and providing a step forward for an entire generation that will enter the workforce in the next decade."

Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner, R- Ohio, added, "GEAR UP's success is based on leveraging the input and active participation of teachers, parents, schools, colleges and universities, government, businesses and communities. If our nation is to remain strong, secure and competitive, we can no longer afford to remain on the sidelines in our quest to improve public education and support America's poorest students."

Projects funded through the SBC Foundation grant will be awarded on a competitive basis in SBC's 13-state operating area, which includes Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. A Request for Proposal package is now available on the NCCEP Web site,, for organizations with new or existing programs that meet the GEAR UP criteria.

The grant to NCCEP marks the first major donation in the SBC Foundation's 20th anniversary year. Together with corporate giving by SBC Communications, the company and its foundation have given more than $1 billion to various non-profit organizations across the country. According to Business Week magazine's 2003 Special Report on Corporate Philanthropy, SBC ranks as one of the largest providers of corporate funding in America.

The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) serves as the national technical assistance provider, annual conference convener and voice in Washington, D.C., for the GEAR UP program. NCCEP, a non-profit organization committed to creating and sustaining K-16 education partnerships, works to increase academic achievement and access to higher education for economically disadvantaged students. By building broad-based partnerships, linking schools and communities, developing new initiatives, supporting proven programs, and using research findings to create successful frameworks for action, NCCEP aims to invigorate the principle of equal educational opportunity for all, and to help improve K-16 education in the United States. One of the primary objectives of NCCEP is to promote academic achievement and encourage education reform in schools, colleges and universities.

About the SBC Foundation

The SBC Foundation is the charitable giving arm of SBC Communications Inc. The SBC Foundation supports efforts that enrich and strengthen diverse communities nationwide, particularly those with an emphasis on education and technology and those that benefit underserved populations. SBC Foundation- backed programs are designed to increase access to information technologies, broaden technology training and professional skills development, and effectively integrate new technologies to enhance education and economic development. The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Foundation Center have consistently ranked the SBC Foundation among the nation's top five corporate foundations. In 2002, the SBC Foundation launched SBC Excelerator, a multimillion dollar competitive grants program that funds nonprofit organizations in their efforts to digitally connect communities.

SBC Communications Inc. ( is one of the world's leading data, voice and Internet services providers. Through its world-class networks, SBC companies provide a full range of voice, data, networking and e-business services, as well as directory advertising and publishing. A Fortune 30 company, SBC Communications is America's leading provider of high-speed DSL Internet Access services and one of the nation's leading Internet Service Providers. SBC companies currently serve 55 million access lines nationwide. In addition, SBC companies own 60 percent of America's second-largest wireless company, Cingular Wireless, which serves more than 23 million wireless customers. Internationally, SBC companies have telecommunications investments in 26 countries.

©2004 U. S. Newswire



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