Posted by: Jane Broom

Today, Microsoft opened our seventh Microsoft Store, right here in our backyard in Bellevue, Washington. As with each of our previous store openings, we awarded grants to local community organizations as part of the Grand Opening. At a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner presented more than $1 million in technology grants to local Puget Sound organizations to help improve skills and education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for local students. The grants were based on how members of the local community voted on the Microsoft Store Facebook page. The grants include:

Steve Ballmer and Kevin Turner present a grant to FIRST Robotics Washington, one of four local organizations receiving more than $1 million in technology grants at the ribbon cutting ceremony to open Microsoft’s seventh retail store in Bellevue, WA.

  • A $500,000 software grant to the King County Library System for Study Zone, an afterschool program providing online access to tutors in math, science, English and social studies for students grades K-12.  The grant will be used to upgrade all of their Computer Study Rooms. Approximately 3200 students are served each year.
  • A $500,000 grant to FIRST Robotics Washington to further the organization’s goal of providing STEM education experiences that inspire students to fully engage in their science and math learning by participating on competitive robotics teams.
  • A $200,000 software grant to Cleveland High School build out the school’s STEM focused programs via a 1:1 laptop program in two academies: Life Sciences / Global Health and Engineering and Design. Microsoft’s donation will support the laptop program, and the school’s infrastructure will be upgraded to support knowledge sharing, collaboration, communication and online learning.
  • A $200,000 software grant to Bellevue School District for Sammamish High School to assist in its efforts to create a new STEM program to prepare students for 21st century learning, as well as Stephenson Elementary School to upgrade its computer labs.

These grants are not only part of our ongoing commitment to our home state of Washington and to improving STEM educational opportunities, but also our focus on extending Microsoft’s broad-based community commitment through our retail stores. We do this both through support of local organizations and through in-store events and activities for the community. In each of our stores, we offer free technology training courses and open our store up to local organizations like youth groups, schools, adult education and non-profits so that they can use our theater space – whether it’s for a training or a holiday morale event.

Our employees are very passionate about getting involved in local charitable efforts and each of our stores has a Community Development Specialist dedicated to working with local organizations to arrange in-store events and activities. To schedule a class or community event by contacting the store nearest you, go to: http://store.microsoft.com/community.