Microsoft wants to #UpgradeYourWorld with $500,000 grant
Your vote can bring iFred’s Schools for Hope program to children around the world. Microsoft is celebrating people and organizations who do great things and make a difference every day by awarding a global nonprofit organization with $500,000, along with technology and support. If selected, funds will be used to expand iFred’s Schools for Hope program, a free curriculum teaching kids vital mental health tools for having hope, a skill that can be taught according to research and is crucial for emotional well-being.
To vote, tag @ifredorg on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use the hashtags #Vote and #UpgradeYourWorld. The winning recipient is chosen based on the most public votes received, so each and every vote matters.
The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression launched the program after learning of a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggesting 1 out of 9 students are attempting suicide before high school graduation, a clear sign of hopelessness. That same study found that suicide attempt rates rose steeply at age 12, so iFred initially targeted fifth grade students to reach them before what can be a challenging developmental time. The program was piloted in the United States and Suriname with evidence supporting improved student comprehension of hope concepts after participation. With funding, iFred will also be able to continue its research on the impact of hope on youth globally.
The program is reaching more school districts around the nation this upcoming school year as the word gets out. Educators believe in its importance and plan to continue teaching hope with their students. It is available to any interested school, community group, after school program or nonprofit. It comes with comprehensive instructions that make it easily self-led, so the costs associated with implementation are low. The program is available for translation and in cobranded partnerships with other nonprofits interested in teaching the curriculum to their members.
“I enjoyed teaching the lessons because I think that our students aren’t really in touch with their emotions,” said April Cooksey, a 5th grade teacher at Woodland School. “I believe that this project created a safe place for my students to express their thoughts and feelings.”
You can vote ONCE EACH DAY until August 23 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by tagging @ifredorg and including the hashtags #UpgradeYourWorld #Vote. Help us teach children around the world how to build and maintain HOPE and reach out when they simply cannot find it.
For more information, visit Windows.com/UpgradeYourWorld.