Microsoft already offers a number of "Spark"-branded outreach programs aimed at bringing new groups of developers and users into the Microsoft fold, including DreamSpark and BizSpark.
On September 20, Microsoft added another Spark to its list: YouthSpark.
YouthSpark is a new program via which Microsoft will partner with other governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses "to help close the opportunity divide for youth," according to a company blog post.
"Through Microsoft YouthSpark, the company will dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to nonprofits that serve the youth population around the world," explained the company in a press release. Those participating in the program will get access to Office 365 for Education, unspecified free technology tools for teachers and students, Skype in the classroom, and "a free global community for teachers to connect their students with others around the world."
The Microsoft Corporate Citizenship Blog post explains:
"We are activating the company around this challenge because that’s how we can have the greatest impact. We will help young people access a wide range of Microsoft programs that share the common objective of supporting and serving young people in their quest for opportunity. This includes, among others, Partners in Learning, Office 365 for Education, Skype in the Classroom, DreamSpark, Imagine Cup, and BizSpark."