Apple on Wednesday night will kick off a new program at the company’s retail locations, aimed at local school districts. The inaugural event will be held in seven Apple Stores, with the full program launching on February 4, 2003 in all retail stores. The program also promises to give something back to schools and parents that participate. Apple’s Senior Director for Retail, Allen Olivo recently took some time to talk about the program with MacCentral.
Dubbed ‘ School Night at the Apple Store,’ the new program is designed to give schools a place to show projects that students have completed using Macintosh products. At the launch events tonight, students will showcase science projects made with iPhoto and iMovie; a music presentation using iTunes and iMovie; and one enterprising 12-year-old will show his commercial made with Final Cut Pro.
The kids — ranging in age from 7 to 17 and decked out in school bus yellow “Digital Kids” shirts — will take over the product displays throughout the Apple Store, giving a Science Fair-like atmosphere to the events. The students will be available to answer questions on their projects and how they were made.
Apple Distinguished Educators, local Mac Specialists and Apple Store employees will be on hand throughout the events to answer questions from students, teachers and customers — the stores will not close for business during the school events.
Apple will also offer discounts to parents and a way for the schools to raise money to buy Apple products. In order to take advantage of the discounts, schools must be signed up for the School Night at the Apple Store program and their event must have taken place.
“We are offering parents and teachers US$50 off any Macintosh they buy — for teachers, that savings is on top of their education discount,” said Olivo. “For every Macintosh that parents or teachers purchase, we will give the school $50 off any Apple products they buy. This can become a good fund raiser for schools to raise money for technology.”
Even though the program hasn’t officially launched yet, Apple has signed up 120 schools throughout the United States that want to participate.
“We have had an incredible response from teachers, IT managers at schools, Principals and Superintendents — they are thrilled that they can show off what they do and that there is another way for the schools to raise money,” said Olivo.
The following Apple retail stores will host a School Night kick-off event on Wednesday, January 29 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm: CambridgeSide (Cambridge, MA), Lenox Square (Atlanta, GA), Palo Alto (Palo Alto, CA), Pasadena (Pasadena, CA), SoHo (New York, NY), Tysons Corner (McLean, VA), and Woodfield (Schaumburg, IL).
Beginning February 4, schools can reserve their own School Night at a local Apple retail store.
“We have been committed to education longer than anyone else and we have one of the best known brands in education,” said Olivo. “We are reinforcing our commitment to education and making it easier for parents to buy Macintosh products.”