Martin Luther King Day of Service 2013

“I’m happy to be involved in such an important project. And so much the better on Martin Luther King Day! Reading through the agricultural surveys was very enlightening. It gave me a rare glimpse into what life is like in remote and isolated parts of the world. For example, just to see that men and women are still farming well into their sixties, without any formal education, and living with ten or even twenty people in the same household really puts our cultural differences into perspective. I wish you all the best in this valuable endeavor. I know you’re changing lives, and it’s humbling and inspirational to be a part of  that.   Jason Fisher, Microsoft Employee

Jason’s sentiments were echoed throughout the day by each of the Microsoft employees who helped with the data entry project during the United Way Martin Luther King Day of Service project on January 21.

Literacy Bridge collected over 1,000 baseline surveys from 18 villages in Ghana in 2012, of which 65 surveys still needed entry into a database. Timing was of the essence when Kathy Osborne, Senior Program Manager & Writer for Microsoft HealthVault, chose the Literacy Bridge data entry project and organized the MLK Day of Service at the Microsoft campus in Bellevue WA. Literacy Bridge needed to begin conducting the midline agriculture surveys because of the farming season in Ghana. “We want to be able to compare the results to confirm our Talking Book program is working as well as it appears to be and learn what type of information is most helpful.” said Cliff Schmidt, Literacy Bridge Founder and Executive Director.

“The Day of Service volunteers did it! They finished entering our remaining surveys, and the stage is now set for the midline surveys. We are extremely grateful to Kathy and Microsoft HealthVault for making this day possible and to all of the Microsoft employees who volunteered their time on this project,” said Cliff. “The results from the surveys will help guide the Talking Book’s audio content production and evaluate Literacy Bridge’s work so that we can better meet the needs of the people we serve.”

A shout-out to the Microsoft Day of Service volunteers: Kathy Osborne (MLK Day of Service team lead), Sam Albert, Gordon Chang, Jason Fisher, Michele Coady, Julia Hungerford, Wendi Okun, Surya Renduchintala, Dorothy Sekabira, Tena West and Krysta Yousoufian.

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