AT&T Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant to Mccall's Communities for Campuswide Wireless Computer Network

Agency Provides Services to Oklahomans with Developmental Disabilities/Mental Retardation

Ada, Oklahoma, December 1, 2005

The AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., has awarded a $25,000 AT&T Excelerator grant to McCall's Communities in Ada, Okla., to buy and install a wireless network that will connect computers in 16 buildings across a large campus.

With the grant, McCall's will wirelessly connect computers in 12 cottages and four other buildings, providing them with high-speed Internet and e-mail capabilities, said Nina Honeyman, chief executive officer of McCall's Communities.

"This generous grant from the AT&T Foundation will greatly improve our campuswide communications," Honeyman said. "We're planning to install an innovative wireless canopy network that not only would connect all of our computers but also give us e-mail and high-speed Internet, which is a tremendous technological leap for us. Because of the size of our campus, it's just too expensive to connect all of our 16 buildings with a traditional wired network."

Located east of Ada on 196 acres, McCall's Communities has provided an array of support services to individuals with developmental disabilities/mental retardation for more than 50 years. McCall's teaches life, social, and vocational skills to 142 men and women who live on the campus. In addition to the cottages, the McCall's campus offers a home for medically fragile individuals, a gym/sheltered workshop, a training/maintenance building and a central administration building.

A local Ada company, WPS, will install the required computer server and software and the Motorola wireless Canopy equipment at each building or cottage, Honeyman said.

"Each year, we receive a number of applications for AT&T Excelerator grants, but this one truly stood out as a very worthwhile project that uses technology to have a meaningful impact," said Don Cain, president, AT&T Oklahoma. "We're extremely pleased to be able to help out in some way to improve the communications at McCall's Communities through the use of technology."

Cain also commended state Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, and state Rep. Bob Plunk, D-Ada, for their continued support of organizations such as McCall's Communities and for their work to support efforts that advance technology.

"When you see the work of these organizations, like the McCall's Communities, you realize the critical role that technology plays in improving their capacity to serve and in improving the quality of life of those they serve," Paddack said. "Technology capacity continues to emerge as a key factor in day-to-day operations and outreach, and it needs continued focus."

"Organizations like McCall's make a profound difference in our communities and in the lives of people across the country," Plunk said. "I commend AT&T Oklahoma for its commitment to helping communities at the local level."

AT&T Excelerator is a major philanthropic initiative that connects the nation's neediest residents, including at-risk youth and underserved urban families, to important community resources. The program also empowers nonprofits to use technology to expand the reach of services and to heighten the impact those services have on people in the community.

The AT&T Foundation provided $6 million in 2005 AT&T Excelerator competitive grants to 513 nonprofit organizations throughout the former SBC 13-state region. The competitive grant program is part of an overall $7 million 2005 AT&T Excelerator initiative. Now in its fourth year, AT&T Excelerator has provided $33 million to more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations around the country to build stronger communities and to improve lives through technology infrastructure and service enhancements.

This year, the AT&T Foundation awarded AT&T Excelerator grants totaling $184,150 to 11 Oklahoma organizations. In addition to the grant to McCall's Communities, the AT&T Foundation has awarded 2005 AT&T Excelerator grants to: The Bristow Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Bristow, Okla.; Calm Waters Center for Children and Families, Oklahoma City; the Clinton Association for Rights & Equality, Clinton, Okla.; Latino Community Development Agency, Oklahoma City; Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, Oklahoma City; Oklahoma State University Foundation, Tulsa, Okla.; Omniplex, Oklahoma City; Public Private Partnership for Juvenile Justice Ltd., Oklahoma City; Tulsa Community College Foundation, Tulsa, Okla.; and Youth and Family Services of Washington County, Bartlesville, Okla.

With the development of new applications, nonprofits are finding innovative ways to employ technology to meet their missions, such as distance learning, the digitization of museum collections and telemedicine. But ideas often outpace resources, with many of these organizations facing technological limitations on a daily basis.

AT&T Excelerator technology grants are designed to address the shortfall by providing the funding needed for critical infrastructure, such as communications systems, computer networks, client management databases and Internet access.

The AT&T Excelerator program is the largest special-grants program ever undertaken by the AT&T Foundation, one of the top corporate foundations in the nation, according to The Foundation Center. Since 1984, AT&T Inc. and the AT&T Foundation have contributed more than $1 billion to nonprofit organizations across the country.

The New AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. The new AT&T Foundation will provide more than $60 million in 2006 in charitable contributions, thereby placing it among the top five largest corporate foundations in the country. The new AT&T Foundation combines more than 40 years and $1.7 billion of philanthropic commitment to communities across the country.

About the New AT&T
AT&T Inc. is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high-speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with more than 52 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at www.TheNewATT.com.