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ESA Foundation Awards Grants for Use of Video Games in Education and Health

Seven organizations granted funding for youth projects

November 18, 2015 – WASHINGTON, DC – The ESA Foundation today announced grants to seven organizations for integrating video games and digital technology in programs that benefit American youth. By utilizing video games, these programs provide opportunities for students to effectively learn more about challenging subjects such as coding, algebra, politics and health.

“Our mission is to support programs that improve lives and expand horizons by tapping into the power of video games to engage youth,” said Richard Taylor, senior vice president of communications and industry affairs. “The work of these grantees responds to current issues facing today’s youth, whether that is lessening the gender gap in STEM fields or helping a child with cancer cope with treatment. These programs provide an undeniable, positive impact to many deserving children.”

The ESA Foundation’s grantees’ programs are expected to reach a total of 507,300 youth in 2016 alone.

2016 ESA Foundation Grantees

Alliance for Young Artists and Writers
The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers works to identify and encourage literary and artistic talent in students. With the ESA Foundation's support, the Alliance will develop eight workshops where students will learn storytelling and video game design. The Alliance will create a category for video games within their Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and train adjudicators to evaluate video games.

Brown University - Bootstrap
Since its start in 2005, Bootstrap has successfully taught thousands of economically disadvantaged students algebra through video game design. By working to leverage students’ excitement surrounding video games, the organization teaches programming that integrates math to continually reinforce algebraic concepts for young learners. With ESA Foundation’s support, Bootstrap will expand its teacher trainings and deliver programing in multiple cities in the U.S.

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
As the world’s largest children’s museum, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences and humanities. Through the ESA Foundation’s support, the museum will create interactive video games that allow children and families to imagine they are part of a team of astronauts abroad the International Space Station. The video games will be available online and on display in the Beyond Spaceship Earth exhibit, which is funded by NASA.

Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals
ESA Foundation will again sponsor the top prize for Extra Life 2015. The ESA Foundation Extra Life Challenge will establish a pool of prize money to be awarded to two participating CMN Hospitals based on the amount of funds gamers raise for each hospital. The challenge seeks to motivate Extra Life participants to maximize their personal fundraising for their local CMN Hospital.

Girlstart
Girlstart promotes young women’s early engagement and academic success in STEM, helping to resolve the gender gap that currently exists in today’s STEM workforce. In 2016, Girlstart will partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to offer summer camps that encourage girls to participate in STEM activities with particular focus on computer science and video game design.

Hopelab Foundation
HopeLab utilizes technology as a tool for improving the health and overall well-being of children. The ESA Foundation grant will be used to grow awareness of Re-Mission 2, an online and mobile game that helps young people with cancer understand their disease and treatments, as well as help commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the Re-Mission game.

iCivics
Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2009, iCivics devotes its work to reinvigorating civics learning through interactive games and resources for students across the country. The ESA Foundation grant will be used to develop a sequel to the popular video game Win the White House focusing on the 2016 presidential election. With support from the ESA Foundation, iCivics will also update teaching materials that will help teachers bring the game into their classrooms throughout 2016.

About ESA Foundation
Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology to create educational opportunities. ESA Foundation is primarily supported by proceeds from its signature annual fundraiser, “Nite to Unite – for Kids” and other charitable initiatives. For more information, please visit ESA Foundation's website or follow us on Twitter.

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