It’s Christmas time, and you’ve definitely been nice all year. Who’s the one person you’d most want to talk to right now?
For three lucky classrooms around the world, their holiday wishes came true when they got to speak on a Skype call to Santa Claus himself, live from Christmas City in the North Pole. Students in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Liverpool, UK; and Brasilia, Brazil got to ask Santa anything they wanted. They had some very tough questions for Mr. Claus, including “How do the reindeer fly?” and “How do you get into a house that doesn’t have a chimney?”
But that wasn’t the only Christmas present for these classrooms. Each of them got a $10,000 Microsoft Store voucher for their schools, which will make a huge difference to future opportunities for these students.
Terry Lehman of the Queen of Angels school in Indiana noted his students had not had any new computers for eight years, and they were constantly breaking. He had a legally blind student who had never had a new computer in school, and simply couldn’t see the screen. The gift, he said, “was a Christmas miracle.”
Lynn Edwards of Cronton Primary School near Liverpool, an area that’s been hard-hit by the recession, was excited to encourage independent learning with her students using tablets; she feels the use of technology is really important for all of her students to achieve great success in life.
The students at the School of the Nations in Brasilia are living Skype’s mission every day of breaking down barriers between cultures and nationalities – they plan to use the technology to introduce the students to other classrooms all around the globe.
It gives us here at Skype such joy to be able to help these students achieve their dreams. We’re proud that Skype in the classroom is part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, a companywide initiative to to create opportunities for 300 million young people around the world over the next three years, focusing on education, employment and entrepreneurship. It’s wonderful to know that these schools will be able to provide their students with the chance to make the world a better place for themselves and their communities.
But of course the best part of the day was to see how excited the kids were when they got to talk to the “real Santa.” Mrs Edwards said, “I can’t take all the children to Lapland, but it’s lovely seeing their faces when they’re talking to Santa.” From Santa Claus and all of us at Skype, Merry Christmas!
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