"Partnerships like MidTown and Acme Express, repeated over and over throughout the country, can make a difference
in urban America." Jerry Sue Thornton, Ph.D., President, Cuyahoga Community College.
Acme Express Inc., is a software developer specializing in web optimized business operations software. Acme Express has teamed with
MidTown since 1993, and in 1997 purchased operating headquarters in the Cleveland MidTown Empowerment Zone. As a property
owner, Acme is strongly committed to rebuilding the inner city. Through its involvement with MidTown Cleveland, Acme has
had the opportunity to work directly with four elementary schools, learn first hand about their pressing technology needs
and propose a creative solution: a web-based school newspaper as a learning tool for young at-risk students. To test this solution, Acme has
secured a $90,000 software donation from Microsoft Corporation and obtained a $50,000 SBIR Phase I grant from the Department of Education,
Office of Education Research and Improvement.
The web-based newspaper permits students to publish their work product and helps them learn computer skills, reading,
writing and critical thinking in a fun way that offers immediate feedback and gratification. This community partnership
teaches young at-risk students valuable skills and at the same time produces a commercially viable product for Acme. The product
will find a ready market well beyond elementary schools, including a broad range of organizations that produce small
newspapers, newsletters and journals.