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Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals”

Microsoft, Best Buy Children’s Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs’ of America are celebrating the “Digital Arts Festivals” with unique works created by Club members using technology and the arts.

“As we work to bring the benefits of technology to people around the world, we are focusing particularly on the needs, interests and dreams of young people,” says Andrea Taylor, Microsoft’s director of community affairs for North America. “The generation of young people in school or entering the workforce is key to the economic and social health of every nation. Our passion is to empower young people to become innovators, to create new businesses, and to teach and inspire others.”

These festivals include winning products from five individual contests in the areas of photo illustration, digital music making, digital movie making, Web design and graphic design.

Club members use software to create pictures, Web sites, songs and even motion pictures. They enter their creations in local competitions, with winners working their way up to regional, then national judging.

“I had a number of kids who had trouble with attention deficit disorder, had trouble focusing in class, or had trouble keeping on top of regular classroom academic progress,” says Katie Kimple, senior director of Club Tech for BGCA. “But in front of the computer, the world became an equal playing field, and they were suddenly more engaged, more focused, had the ability to accomplish tasks that they weren’t able to accomplish in a more traditional classroom setting.”

The winners of this year’s national contest are in Seattle this week, where contest co-sponsors Microsoft and Best Buy Children’s Foundation will offer an idea of where technology and creativity can take kids in their future careers.

Kudos to each contestant for the courage to use your talent publically. And, best wishes on your next venture. May this experience support your future efforts.

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