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Pens Foundation and Connection Partner to Create New Opportunities in Education

By Cindy Himes

Just like The Beatles song “With A Little Help from My Friends,” the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation (PPF) enjoys the success it has had serving the children and families in our community because of our valued corporate partners.  Today’s blog will recognize the immeasurable support we have received from Penguins’ corporate partner Connection.

Last month, the Penguins and Connection teamed up to provide free virtual events focused on technology in the sports industry.  The four-part interactive series featured Penguins Chief Technology Officer Erik Watts with a special guest appearance by Penguins Radio Network color analyst and team alumnus Phil Bourque.  During the event, Connection made a $1,000 donation to the Penguins Foundation’s Technology in Education program, supporting the team’s initiative to bring technology into the classroom and even the playing field for all students, regardless of their economic background.

“Connection and Cisco are valuable partners to organizations like ours,” stated Watts.  “Both play an integral part in our strategy and response plans to ensure business continuity.  The value of their partnership is only exceeded by their generosity to worthy endeavors such as PPF’s Technology in Education program.”

Education is one of PPF’s four pillars of focus and its Technology in Education umbrella program connects all of its technology-based initiatives including:

STEAM Lending Library

A total of 42 school districts in Allegheny County have participated in the STEAM Lending Library since 2015.  Launched in partnership with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3 (AIU3) to create the first of its kind STEAM Lending Library.  The program allows school districts in Allegheny County to borrow the latest in educational technology.  This program has impacted over 400,000 students in grades K-12.

STEM Lending Center

School Districts in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, and Somerset counties have participated in the STEM Lending Center.  Created in 2018, the Penguins Foundation continues to support its mission of stressing the value of education by providing the latest, high-tech educational devices.   The program allows students from the 35 school districts and non-public schools located within the above-mentioned counties to access STEM Learning, impacting nearly 50,000 students.

Future Goals – Hockey Scholar Program

Since 2014, over 87,000 students have participated in the Penguins Future Goals – Hockey Scholar program. It is a unique science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) online resource for students in grades 4-8. This online course has provided over 225,000 hours of education and leverages the exciting game of hockey as a learning vehicle to energize students – at no cost to the schools.

 Over 77 school districts in five counties benefit from PPF’s STEAM/STEM initiatives.  The programs ultimately allow districts the ability to expose their students to technology without being financially responsible for supplying the technology.

The future rests on the shoulders of today’s youth; and, the Penguins Foundation and Connection are helping to provide the knowledge and tools to educate the leaders of tomorrow.  Similar to PPF programming, Cisco supports educational programs that engage students early in their lives, and are focused on improving their academic performance.

Investing in our community, our children and their classrooms – a mission that unites the Penguins Foundation and Connection for the perfect partnership!

Why Choose Connection?

A seamless Partnership starts with a shared vision!  Through our long-lasting customer relationships and expertise with Cisco technologies, Connection is always improving the way we do business together. Their breadth of Cisco knowledge and advisory services can accelerate your competitive edge, help increase production, and improve efficiencies. Connection, together with Cisco, can guide you on your journey to transform your business in the digital era.