The National Basketball Association on Tuesday announced a collaboration with Smart Communications Inc., a leading digital services provider and official partner of the NBA in the Philippines, in support of School-in-a-Bag, Smart’s flagship education program that provides digital tools and content to support distance learning in public schools and communities across the Philippines.
Through NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, the NBA and Smart will assemble and distribute School-in-a-Bag packages to 20 schools across 16 cities and provinces in Luzon (Batanes, Benguet, Bulacan, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Nueva Ecija, Palawan, Pampanga, Pangasinan and Romblon), Visayas (Biliran and Siquijor) and Mindanao (Agusan del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Surigao del Norte and Zamboanga del Norte). Each package will include a Smart LTE Pocket WiFi, laptop and tablets, both of which will have preinstalled educational content including Smart’s proprietary #LearnSmart apps, featuring alphabet and number exercises, short stories, and games in native languages and dialects. The bags will also feature NBA-branded baller bands and notebooks.
The announcement was made by NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy and PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio during a virtual ceremony earlier today.
“Education in the Philippines has changed dramatically as schools across the country continue engaging with students remotely,” said NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy. “Through NBA Cares, we’re proud to support our valued partner Smart and their School-in-a-Bag program, which delivers an innovative and sustainable approach to enhancing the distance learning experience for Filipino youth.”
“The Smart School-in-a-Bag is our way to provide students and teachers access to the wealth of knowledge through digital learning tools, so that no learner is left behind,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, President and CEO of Smart. “Our collaboration with the NBA allows us to give more children in remote communities more opportunities to pursue their passion and purpose, and a fighting chance for a better future.”
The School-in-a-Bag program underscores the commitment of Smart and its partners to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, specifically by providing access to quality education in the Philippines.
The collaboration builds on Smart and the NBA’s existing partnership in the Philippines to operate NBA.com/Philippines (the official online NBA destination in the Philippines), distribute NBA League Pass (the league’s premium live game subscription service), and livestream NBA TV Philippines (a localized version of NBA TV – the league’s dedicated 24/7 channel) through its newly launched video streaming app, GigaPlay.
NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues such as education, youth and family development, and health-related causes. NBA Cares programs and participants have provided more than 5.9 million hours of hands-on service and created more than 1,775 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in communities around the world.
Fans can visit www.smart.com.ph and follow Smart Communities on Facebook to learn more about the School-in-a-Bag initiative and other ways to be involved in the program. Fans can also visit www.nba.com and follow NBA Philippines on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates, scores, stats, videos, and more.