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AT&T to donate $1.6 million for tech curriculum at city schools

(Credit: Etienne FRANCHI/AFP/Getty Images) The communications giant's donation will go to expanding the software engineering curriculum. Credit: Etienne Franchi/AFP/Getty Images

AT&T will donate $1.6 million to expand software engineering curriculum for students at 12 city schools, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Wednesday.

It will help fund the launch of a new enrichment program for ninth graders, paid summer internships for high school students and boot camp events such as hackathons and app challenges, according to the announcement.

"Over the last decade we’ve shifted the landscape of public education in New York City by creating hundreds of new schools and innovative programs to prepare students for college and careers," Bloomberg said. "This new partnership will provide even more students with computer science and software engineering instruction and also give them the opportunity to be part of the growing New York City tech sector."

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The Freshman Enrichment Program, set to begin next summer, will be a six-week program designed to prepare incoming ninth graders for a tech-focused curriculum. About 100 students across the five boroughs will participate and earn high school credit for completing the course. During the program, students will be able to explore career opportunities and develop their own electronic portfolio and career plan.

"Our economy is transforming and will require a workforce with advanced skills and experience in technology and software engineering," said Marissa Shorenstein, president of AT&T's New York office.

According to the state's Department of Labor, there will be a higher demand for qualified employees with developed skills in software engineering than in other high-tech occupations in New York by the year 2018.

 
 
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