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ESA Foundation Announces Winners of Inaugural Education Challenge Grant

Schools in California, Florida and Wisconsin to Use Video and Computer Game Technology to Enhance Classroom Learning

August 29, 2012 – WASHINGTON, DC – A series of innovative schools in California, Florida and Wisconsin are the first recipients of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation’s Education Challenge Grant. Centennial High School of Corona, Calif., the Diocese of Saint Petersburg of Saint Petersburg, Fla. and the Milwaukee Montessori School in Milwaukee, Wis. will receive grants to implement lesson plans that leverage video and computer games to engage students in critical subjects.

“Video games have tremendous potential to excite and engage students. Our goal is to provide educators with the resources needed to channel that passion for playing video and computer games into positive learning experiences in the classroom that foster students’ creativity and advance academic achievements,” said Jenny Lai, vice president of the ESA Foundation. “The ESA Foundation is proud to support these educators who use innovative approaches and technology to make a difference in the lives of our nation’s youth.”

A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected grant recipients based on their demonstrated ability to incorporate video and computer games into the classroom environment, creating new learning experiences for their students and strengthening existing curricular offerings.

Launched earlier this year, the Education Challenge Grant is offered in collaboration with The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, the Federation of American Scientists, the Association for Middle Level Education and The California Endowment. It is part of the ESA Foundation’s efforts to harness the power of the entertainment software industry to positively impact educational outcomes for children of all backgrounds.

The ESA Foundation was created by the American entertainment software industry to provide opportunities that can make a difference in the lives of America's youth. The Foundation is fully supported by proceeds from their limited edition charity game pack's sales and "Nite to Unite for Kids," its annual fund-raiser, which has raised more than $12 million in the last 13 years. For more information about the ESA Foundation, please visit

2012 ESA Foundation Education Challenge Grant Recipients

  • Centennial High School
    Location: Corona, Calif.
    Project Title: Centennial High School Innovating Algebra
    Students participating in a video game design class will collaborate with students from two special education algebra classes to use Minecraft, a 3D building game, to reinforce algebraic skills and concepts.

  • Diocese of Saint Petersburg
    Location: St. Petersburg, Fla.
    Project Title: Using Games to Engage
    This video game-based program will integrate Microsoft Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii into the classroom to support instruction in mathematics, language arts, science, social studies and physical education.

  • Milwaukee Montessori School
    Location: Milwaukee, Wis.
    Project Title: Digging Peace! Demonstrating Learning in 3D Gaming Environments
    Using Minecraft and The Peace Game, a history and problem-solving game, the program will provide students in grades four through eight with a 3D game environment to demonstrate learning in history, science, language arts and mathematics.


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