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October 30, 1997

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... I challenge the private sector tonight to start by connecting every children's hospital as soon as possible, so that a child in bed can stay in touch with school, family and friends. A sick child need no longer be a child alone.

FEBRUARY 4, 1997

Today, President Clinton and Vice President Gore unveiled and demonstrated Starbright World, an on-line computer network that enables seriously ill children to meet, play and communicate with one another. Starbright World meets the President's State of the Union challenge to the private sector to help connect seriously ill children in hospitals across the country. As the Vice President said today, "the Starbright Foundation ... reflects the very best in our country. And it also reflects the commitment that thousands of Americans made at the President's summit on service in Philadelphia six months ago, that we must marshal the resources of every sector of society to help our children."

The President and Vice President were joined in launching this program by Starbright Chairman Steven Spielberg and Starbright Capital Campaign Chairman General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. Thanks to the Starbright Foundation, 100 children's hospitals will be connected to the Internet in 1998, giving thousands of children the tools they need to keep their spirits up and better cope with the often painful realities of hospital stays. The Starbright Foundation's long-term goal is to expand to homes and schools allowing sick children to keep in touch with their old and new-found friends even after they leave the hospital.

Promoting Information and Communications Technologies -- Networks for People: President Clinton and Vice President Gore have made promoting the Internet and other information and communications technologies a top priority. They believe that the Internet is an engine of economic growth and job creation, and a powerful tool for educating our children and expanding access to health care. Below are just a few of their accomplishments:

  • Created an "e-rate" for schools, libraries, and rural health clinics: Fought for an "e-rate" in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which is providing more than $2.5 billion per year in discounts for schools, libraries, and rural health clinics to connect to the Internet.
  • Proposed a $2 billion Technology Literacy Challenge Fund: Putting the future at the fingertips of our children by connecting every classroom to the Internet by the year 2000, increasing the number of multimedia computers in the classroom, giving teachers the training they need to use technology effectively, and promoting the development of high-quality educational software. Proposed a 5-year, $2 billion Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help states and local communities meet these goals, with more than $400 million in funding in his FY98 budget.
  • Promoted a "family friendly" Internet: Worked to make cyberspace a safe place for children by cracking down on illegal content on the Internet and encouraging the private sector to develop software that can screen out content that is inappropriate for children.
  • Supported grassroots efforts to bring technology to our schools: Supporting and participating in volunteer efforts like "NetDay" and "U.S. Tech Corps."
  • Invested in the Next Generation Internet: Launched an initiative to connect more than 100 universities at speeds that are 100 -1,000 times faster than today's Internet, and to develop the next generation of applications, such as telemedicine, ensuring that the United States remains at the cutting-edge of Internet technology.

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