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ESA Foundation Announces 2017 Grantees

Six organizations granted funding for youth projects using video games

Washington, D.C. – January 31, 2017 – Six non-profits were awarded grants today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation. This year’s grantees are comprised of innovative organizations that are utilizing video games and the technology to address social challenges and build stronger communities: Brown University’s Bootstrap, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Extra Life, iCivics, the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum, and VisionQuest 20/20.

“Our 2017 grant recipients have proven the positive power of interactive technologies to educate, empower, equip and encourage the next generation,” said Anastasia Staten, executive director of the ESA Foundation, the video game industry’s charitable organization. “The ESA Foundation is proud to support the endeavors of the 2017 grantees and look forward to seeing the impact their programs will have on today’s youth.”

For more than 15 years, the ESA Foundation has supported organizations leveraging interactive technologies to create meaningful improvements in communities across our country.

"The ESA Foundation has been a reliable partner that understands how video games can be a powerful resource in the classroom. We and our founder Justice O'Connor are excited to continue working together in 2017 to provide even more engaging civic education to kids nationwide," said iCivics Executive Director Louise Dube’.

"We’re thrilled to be working with the ESA Foundation to mobilize and motivate the gaming community to help kids with cancer and other pediatric illnesses receive the care they need,” Director of Extra Life Mike Kinney. “With ESA Foundation’s support, we’ve been able to grow our impact each year beyond what could have been imagined when we were founded.”

ESA Foundation’s 2017 Grantees:

  • Brown University’s Bootstrap utilizes video games design to teach middle and high schools students core algebraic concepts and computer science. With ESA Foundation support, Bootstrap will continue accessibility improvements and open source their technology so other programs can become accessible to students with disabilities.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America will use ESA Foundation support to develop a STEM Training Track for Club professionals that will ensure their high-quality STEM programs in clubs across the country have the greatest impact on the thousands of kids they serve.
  • Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals fundraising program, organizes video game marathons to raise funds for CMN Hospitals across North America. ESA Foundation’s support is used to offer competitions – like the ESA Foundation Extra Life Challenge – to motive Extra Life gamers to raise even more for their CMN Hospital.
  • iCivics, founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, reinvigorates civics learning through interactive games and resources for school students across the country. In 2017, ESA Foundation is partnering with iCivics to help promote their newly updated game Executive Command, which teaches kids about the powers of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, will utilize ESA Foundation support in 2017 to highlight the historic and revolutionary role video games have played in our society at the third annual Indie Arcade, a two-day exhibit and community event in Washington D.C., featuring influential video games, new technologies, and educational programs, including video game design courses for youth.
  • VisionQuest 20/20 helps protects children and families from the devastating lifelong consequences of undetected vision disorders and preventable blindness by using EyeSpy 20/20, a short video game for children age five and up that assesses visual acuity, color vision, and depth perception. ESA Foundation funding will help screen nearly 25,000 U.S. kids in 2017 and provide the equipment to schools so screenings can continue each year without additional expense, reaching thousands more kids annually.


Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology. ESA Foundation is primarily supported by proceeds from its signature annual fundraiser, Nite to Unite and other charitable initiatives. For more information, please visit ESA Foundation’s website or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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