[SugarLabsPR-en] Sugar Labs and Free Software Foundation Celebrate Software Freedom Day, Announce Joint Efforts to Promote the Sugar Learning Platform for Children Worldwide

Public Relations publicrelations at sugarlabs.org
Fri Sep 18 12:57:39 EDT 2009


Sugar Labs and Free Software Foundation Celebrate Software Freedom
Day, Announce Joint Efforts to Promote the Sugar Learning Platform for
Children Worldwide

CAMBRIDGE, MA, September 18, 2009 - Sugar Labs, nonprofit provider of
the Sugar Learning Platform for children, and the Free Software
Foundation (FSF), which promotes computer users' right to use, study,
copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs, have announced joint
efforts to collaborate and promote Sugar on the occasion of Software
Freedom Day, September 19th. The FSF will host an event in Boston
featuring Sugar Labs Executive Director Walter Bender, FSF president
Richard Stallman, and other speakers. Peter Brown, FSF's executive
director, said, "The Sugar Learning Platform is fast becoming an
essential route to computer user freedom for children around the
world. The international free software movement is getting behind
Sugar, and we want to use Software Freedom Day as an opportunity to
help draw community attention, developer resources, and external
funders to the important work going on at Sugar Labs."

The FSF has upgraded its hosting services support of Sugar Labs to
keep pace with its growth. As part of the ongoing relationship,
Bernardo Innocenti, a member of the Sugar Labs Oversight Board, is
working at the FSF offices. Mr. Innocenti stated: "The FSF and Sugar
Labs are pursuing distinct, but interdependent goals; Free (as in
Freedom) Software is a fundamental part of globally accessible
education, and good education enables critical thought, a
pre-requisite for appreciating the value of Freedom."

Sugar is a global project. Translated into 25 languages, it is used in
classrooms in 40 countries by over 1 million children as part of the
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) nonprofit program. Sugar's simple
interface, built-in collaboration, and automatic backup through each
student's Journal have been designed to interest young learners. The
recently released Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) project brings Sugar to even
more children, allowing young learners to keep a working copy of Sugar
on a simple USB stick, ready to start up any PC or netbook with the
child's environment and data. Pilot projects in schools with Sugar on
a Stick are underway in Boston, Berlin, and elsewhere. SoaS is free
software available under the General Public License (GPL) and is
available for download without charge at sugarlabs.org.

According to Walter Bender, "Sugar is running on over 99% of all of
the OLPC-XO laptops around the world because governments prefer its
quality, openness, built-in collaboration, and easy localization to
indigenous languages. Teachers and students are exercising their
freedom by modifying and improving Sugar and its Activities. With
Sugar on a Stick, access to Sugar is even more widespread."

For example, Uruguay has distributed a Sugar-equipped OLPC laptop to
every student in the country. Alexandre Oliva of FSF's sister
organisation Free Software Foundation Latin America
(http://www.fsfla.org) said, "I was amazed when I first saw Sugar in
action in Peru two years ago; shortly thereafter, my daughter tasted
Sugar and loved it. She's going to elementary school next year, and
I'm very happy she can now easily carry Sugar with her, and share it
with her friends. Myself, I'm going to spread its freedom into as many
schools as I can." Karsten Gerloff, President of Free Software
Foundation Europe (http://fsfe.org), added: "Education and Free
Software are both all about sharing knowledge. Through projects like
Sugar, young people around the world can discover the creativity that
freedom makes possible. Together with the political backing that
FSFE's Edu-Team and others are building, Sugar puts Free Software in
its rightful place in education."

Sugar Labs relies on the efforts of software developers who donate
their skills to the project. Mr. Bender continued, "We are looking for
developers with experience in GNU/Linux, Python and/or Gtk+ for
contributing to the Sugar shell and educational Activities for
children. We also need testers, experienced packagers, and educators
willing to contribute their ideas for Sugar in the classroom."

For more information, please contact:

Sugar Labs: Sean Daly, Marketing Coordinator
website: http://www.sugarlabs.org
e-mail: pr at sugarlabs.org
telephone: +1-857-254-1100

Free Software Foundation: Peter Brown, Executive Director
website: http://www.fsf.org
e-mail: campaigns at fsf.org
telephone: +1-617-319-5832

About Sugar Labs

Sugar Labs, a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization, is a member
project of the Software Freedom Conservancy
(http://conservancy.softwarefreedom.org). Originally part of the One
Laptop Per Child project (http://www.laptop.org), Sugar Labs
coordinates volunteers around the world who are passionate about
providing educational opportunities to children through the Sugar
Learning Platform. Sugar Labs is supported by donations and is seeking
funding to accelerate development. For more information, please visit

Sugar Labs is a registered trademark of the Software Freedom
Conservancy. Other names are trademarks of their respective owners.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and
use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating
system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free
software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and
political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites,
located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information
about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at
http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.


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