This year we had a number of major accomplishments with AJ McGuire, including establishing a new course at the Social Justice Academy called Committee, that has added a core of projects for teens to complete in after school. After school projects for example, are incorporating Action Research principles that allow students to examine issues such as Global Warming and it’s impact on energy consumption and lifestyles, and equity in education in the Boston Public Schools and at the Social eeJustice Academy. The after school Mosaic program screened their videos for the entire student body in March, and we continued to make connections with new teachers and students both during school and after school. We have increase the number of teens participating in After School to 17. Our program has expanded to three full days per week. Two of our teens from the Social Justice Academy After School continued to work in our Summer Intensive at the Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) in the Mall of Roxbury, where AJ was the lead program developer. Working in teams of 5 with three other team leaders, AJ helped to develop the curriculum, developed a web site workspace where projects could be posted and created a web based project tracking system based on the Drupal programming language.
Both of our VISTAs have been very dedicated and resourceful in supporting the media lab after school initiatives. They have found themselves being passionate about our mission to help teens develop creative, multidisciplinary media and education projects that foster teamwork and communication skills, community building, insight into critical issues, and ways to express those issues to others.
At the English High School Kevin Palmer helped develop the curriculum for the after school and worked in school workshops to three full days.
Kevin increased the number of teens participating in after school to 30 and cemented our relationship with Xavier Rozas, the media teacher at the school. We have developed a new curriculum, created a prototype blog and self paced instructional web site, with project and management support for volunteers and have introduced new technologies such as Live Type, into the after school lab space.
We have also initiated a new internship program for our teens which will begin this Fall at the Schattuck Hospital and we have developed internship agreements with Harvard University and Emerson College. Our e newsletter contacts have increased by 1,000 names. Kevin completed a manual for new employees and volunteers at HOME, Inc. to help new volunteers and VISTAs to more easily integrate themselves into the programs at the media labs. Both of our VISTAs have been very dedicated and resourceful in supporting the media lab after school initiatives. They have found themselves being passionate about our mission to help teens develop creative, multidisciplinary media and education projects that foster teamwork and communication skills, community building, insight into critical issues, and ways to express those issues to others.
Jessica McCoy focused on creating opportunities for people from underserved communities to access and become active users of multimedia technology. She was brought into Center for Digital Storytelling to support a number of projects that focus on those goals. The two major employment objectives were to support the storiesforchange.net site CDS organized together with MassImpact in Boston, and to make our curriculum more youth friendly. Her other responsibilities included learning the digital storytelling methodology to support workshops in underserved communities.
The first objective, developing the Stories for Change Website was greatly successful in helping distribute digital storytelling videos and curriculum to trainers and participants. The website is now currently live and growing, with many resources collected and uploaded by Jessica, in addition to coordinating a large number of trainers that, until now, were unorganized. In regard to the second objective, making the curriculum more youth friendly, Jessica stepped in a gathered the needed resources to successfully complete the project. She drew on her own experience working with youth. She also brought CDS staff with additional youth and curriculum development experience into ongoing planning meetings.
•curriculum development (in coordination with the Multimedia Instructor)
•volunteer recruitment and management
•development of outreach networks and relationships
•student instruction/discussion facilitation
•development of program documentation
•participation in program evaluation
•developing a resource library for students on a variety of topics (gender, multimedia, education, etc)
•Website development in coordination with web design curriculum development.
Girls Get Digital trains women in the use of media; program participants create multimedia resources for local nonprofits and other clients. GGD was able to see the fruits of our labor during our pilot year. As in the first half of her year with the program, Kathy was the keystone of our success, though additionally exciting was watching Kathy truly come into her own in her coordination of the program.
A strong curriculum was created in our pilot year. This is under constant review and reconstruction, but curriculum work (including reflection on what worked and what should be changed) in the first year has created a strong foundation for that.
The GGD application and program evaluation documentation was created prior to the first session and has needed very little revision since. Documentation for the rest of the program was created on as-need basis, and has largely followed guidelines by our summer session funder, which provided a standard set of consents, incident reports, etc.
Kathy did a great job conducting outreach in schools, through local social service organizations and in clubs for participant recruitment. Kathy also did great work with a volunteer and the Multimedia Instructor to identify field trip sites.
Kathy’s excellent research and writing skills were a huge asset to the program and resulted in our funding by AfterSchool Matters (for the summer and now the fall GGD sessions) and for our very first foundation funding.
Kathy developed and circulated press releases. The newsletter was tabled for the time being, and is now being developed by our current VISTA staff.
Initial work on identifying local program and online resources for program participants was completed. In a city as populated and large as Chicago, an exhaustive resource library is a Herculean task. Kathy assisted with the foundations for this library and the task is being carried on with staff at this time.
Richard was a crucial part of the Mollie youth video team, providing youth access and exposure to digital video technology during Mollie moviemaking video projects with schools and community groups. Richard was especially instrumental in the use of digital audio technology, integrating audio technology into the Mollie youth projects and other GRCMC departments.
Richard assisted the education department with youth outreach curriculum development efforts, developing innovative ways to expose community youth to digital audio and video technology. He developed interest surveys for school and community info. gathering and assisted with the implementation of an open house for CMC Wealthy neighborhood residents. Richard was a member of the SMART Festival planning team, an international student media arts festival organized and hosted by GRCMC..
A particular story that stands out is the use of audio resources and curriculum developed by Richard: There was a young man named Patrick who was 14 years of age and lived across the street from Media Center with his Mom and 6 brothers and sisters. He would drop by the media center often after school. He learned a variety of video production skills and produced a few short studio productions for air on community television, but nothing seemed to really stick with him. One day we asked him to produce and record a rap that could be used for promotion of the Mollie youth program. You could see the excitement in his eyes at that suggestion. In a matter of weeks he had the rap written out and beats to use with it created on the computer. Using the tools and resources Richard had collected and organized, we were able to both find a passion for this young man and help promote our programs and organization.
Direct Service to PACER Center
A special request came from the PACER center, the Parent Center that works with families of children and young adults from birth to age 22 with a full range of disabilities: physical, mental, learning, emotional, and attention deficit disorders. Carley was asked to provide ten hours, one-to-one support to David, an adult participant of the Pacer Center. Due to the nature of the request and David’s availability, Carley couldn’t link him with a volunteer, so she provided the service herself. Carley assessed David’s computer skills to develop a curriculum that would help him to obtain the basic knowledge he needed to obtain employment.
Accelerated Reader Software
Late 2003, Pillsbury United Communities acquired Accelerated Reader software to help students increase their reading skills. About 95% of the youths that attend Pillsbury Center programs have been assessed with reading skills below their academic grade. In most cases students are two grades below.
Waite House English as Second Language Classes
Our English teacher, John, got the support of Carley to develop an English/ Computer curriculum for our ESL learners. From January of 2004 year up to now, about 45 students have attended our computer classes. Several have developed computer skills
Summary of Accomplishments
• Seven Pillsbury United Communities Technology Centers have improved their infrastructure. Staff was trained to administer their technology Center
• Created a “help” manual for each center including a Universal set of computer lab rules
• Met with Technology Center administrators of each center, to assess individual needs and provide assistance when ever possible.
• Four volunteers have been recruited for Waite House
• Upcoming Web site design class for Pillsbury United Communities Technology Center administrators, so they can teach community members at their particular location. This class will be taught by corporate volunteers.
• Assisted in the creation of an additional lab, or “Business Center” for community members
• Created promotional materials.
• Attended UNCA conference, attended workshop on how to recruit volunteers from Volunteer Resource Center and will attend “Minnesota Trainers or Trainers on Adult Learning” seminar in April.
Several community members were exposed to computers for the first time during our “open Business Center hours” on Wednesday from 11:00- 1:00 pm. Volunteer staff assisted those community members in discovering the world of technology and the advantages of becoming computer literate. About 80% of these new computer users were recruited from Waite House Community café. This Waite House service provides hot meal to low income, working families, and homeless people.
A similar strategy was implemented in the afternoons when people waited to be served by our food shelf staff. Every afternoon from 2:00-5:00 pm at least 20-25 people line up to be served. Carley met with interns from Hamline University to identify potential volunteers who could staff the Business Center during those hours. A Hamline student that wanted to improve her Spanish skills became interested in staffing the business center. She volunteered two hours every Monday from 3:00- 5:00 for ten weeks. Several seniors were provided service during those hours; their most frequent questions were about how to look for services in the Internet.
Carley and David met once a week, two hours for five weeks. David learned to navigate the Internet to do job search. He also signed up with an e-mail provider. He developed basic skills on the use of Microsoft Word. David also developed a resume and cover letter.
Accelerated Reader Software
Carley helped to teach youth workers the use of this software. According to our last quarter report, for September 30th, 2004, two hundred twenty youth are enrolled into the Accelerated Reader program and about 80% of them have advanced one or more reading levels. Waite House alone reports 55 youth enrolled into the program and about 80% of them are now reading at their expected grade level.
Carley assisted the students to sign up with an e-mail provider. John, the teacher, sent assignments via e-mails. The students had to respond the same way. Students have developed skills in MS word, the Internet and a basic understanding of how computer works. At least 15 students, so far, have developed a medium level of proficiency on MS Words.
Thanks to Carley, Waite House English program obtained 15 on line licenses of Rosetta Stone English software for 2004-05. Carley took the initiative to search foundations and came across Rosetta’s foundation. The Market value of these 15 licenses is approximately $1,900.00. Thank you Carley.
The Americorps member serves as a project coordinator, working closely with the Director of Programs in an administrative capacity to coordinate schedules, sites and staff for computer training classes. The Americorps member assists in coordinating presentations to school sites and organizations to register students as part of the program’s existing outreach plan. Americorps members will assess and make recommendations for improving this process. Further, the Americorps member works to increase the organization’s capacity to improve technology literacy among families by serving as a computer training class instructor and assist staff in the development of curriculum and training manuals.
As an Americorps VISTA member, Clarice was an integral part of preparing for the school district’s “back to school registration drive,” at which time, parents and students attend school orientations and register for classes. Through OTX we serve a school district population comprised of 48,000 students and 104 school sites. For the purpose of the home computer component of OTX-West’s computer reuse program, Clarice assisted in the coordination of this effort to reach 41 middle school and high school sites. Her work included creating and organizing information packets, scheduling meetings with school sites and staffing orientations. Due to the extensive outreach effort, we were able to serve 800 middle school and high school students last Fall.
MAFEI currently has six interns representing the traditional high schools in the District, two of whom have returned from the previous year. As an Americorps member, Clarice serves as a liaison with OTX interns, coordinating work schedules and advising them appropriately regarding work responsibilities.
Goal 1: Develop an implementation plan for 50 CTCs, nonprofit, in senior affordable housing communities in southern California.
Goal 2: Help implement Abilities Networks and Abilities for RSC and train CTCs and nonprofits in San Diego and Los Angeles
Goal 3: Help develop an implementation plan for Abilities for RSC in multifamily properties and out-of-state expansion, which includes 5 workshops and a pilot with 20 housing communities
Sue has helped us launch our project nationally, and we know have over 350 affordable and public housing facilities using “Abilities for Resident Service Coordinators” to link low income frail elderly and disabled residents to community services. “Abilities for Resident Service Coordinators” has been endorsed by the American Association of Service Coordinators and is acknowledged by industry professionals as a vital tool in keeping elderly residents in independent living. With the infusion of technology in elderly and disabled resident service coordination, properties are able to keep residents independent, and avoid unnecessary and costly institutionalization. This project is a prime example of using community technology to meet pressing needs, and impact important policy areas.
Sue helped us attend a national conference in San Antonio, Texas, in which we brought 20 laptops and set up a training lab. We taught Resident Service Coordinators how to use technology to link their residents to community services, manage their residmonitor resident and program outcomes with technology.
Sue has been a vital player in helping us develop an implementation plan for CTCs in affordable housing communities in Southern California, as she is at our office early every day to assist with implementation. Her involvement helped us determine that we could expand beyond 50 to now over 200 CTCs.
Sue led the effort at Pangea Foundation to develop the training manual for our users. She has helped develop the 100+ page training manual that is available to users when they log into the system. This is an ongoing effort. She also helps with phone training, and attended our training conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Sue has helped run the show at Pangea with the Resident Service Coordinators. She is the first to receive their calls when they need technical help. She continuously tests the systems. She helped create the training manuals and system forms for printed materials. Sue’s involvement as an AmeriCorp*VISTA member enables our organization to provide these services to the community. To date, this system has over 200 properties using it, which represents service delivered and managed to 20,000 low income elderly and disabled residents across the country.
Our vista member’s accomplishments can be thought of as serving four broad categories, the Community Technology Center (CTC) program, mentoring support for staff and students, sustainability & organizational capacity building, and personal development. Her work in the CTC involved development of curriculum and outcomes for our computer literacy education program and increasing the use of the CTC as an independent learning center. She also assisted with teaching classes and individual learning projects.
As a mentor she supported and empowered our staff, all former program participants, through building their computer skills, and supporting their growth in organizational leadership. Through modeling, working with recruiting and cultivating volunteers, she mobilized and supported student involvement in a variety of activities.
As a result of her work with issues related to sustainability and donor cultivation we were able to consistently produce and distribute our newsletter and double the revenues generated from our annual event. We were able to add a new cultivation event “Lunch on Us” which has resulted in 120 new prospects/donors for our organization. She also organized and laid a system for grant development accumulating appropriate materials which contributed to the efficiency of grant development.
Amanda increased her Spanish language skills and through our leadership development program began to identify and address her own leadership strength and weaknesses.
Amanda Lasik is a remarkable addition to our staff serving as a VISTA member. Her ability to perceive the need and remain flexible is very helpful in our situation. She also has adapted well to our organizational culture providing mentoring and leadership for those we serve. It is a pleasure to work with this bright and talented woman.
Goal 1: Develop a more consistent class structure and formal curriculum for the Technology Center.
Goal 2: Develop linkages with vocational and educational training programs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Goal 3: Work on the development team to create a website of resources for the homeless population of San Francisco, especially families that are homeless.
From the beginning of her placement Yvette has improved the efficiency and the quality of services delivered to clients of the HPP Technology Center. Yvette has a quiet strength that clients and staff respect and admire. This trait has enabled Yvette to work well with all of the clients of the Technology Center (homeless and formerly homeless families) and with the staff.
Yvette’s work has increased the sustainability of the HPP Technology Center. She has assisted in formalizing HPP’s technology training curriculum for staff and clients. Her work on connecting HPP with educational and vocation al programs in the Bay Area will be enable HPP staff to assist clients in becoming self sufficient. Her excellent work on the resource website for homeless families in San Francisco will enable families and service providers to connect with needed resources.
Yvette managed a team of students from the University of San Francisco to create a resource website for homeless families called www.helping-sf.org. Yvette met with homeless families, service providers and staff at the Homeless Prenatal Program to ensure the relevance of the site content. She continues to update the site to guarantee that the material is up to date. She has already received praise from staff at San Francisco’s Department of Human Services and from homeless family service providers. I was recently at a conference were an Executive Director of CTC referenced helping-sf.org as a model to be replicated throughout the Bay Area.
Yvette is an excellent worker who is organized and highly focused. She accomplishes all tasks requested of her. She is an ideal staff member. Without this dedicated VISTA member the HPP Technology Center would not be able to live up to its potential. The technology center under Yvette has flourished and increased the access to technology for numerous homeless and low income families.