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Berkeleyan

New website highlights community service

09 April 2003

While educating students is an important part of its mission, Berkeley is equally committed to serving the surrounding community. And now — thanks to a newly created website — Bay Area parents, teachers, and residents can more easily connect with the public-service programs offered by the university.
The Cal in the Community website (calinthecommunity.berkeley.edu) features a comprehensive and searchable listing of the campus’s numerous academic, cultural, and recreational resources.

“Our staff spent months researching, gathering data, developing, and designing this comprehensive online guide,” says Irene Hegarty, director of Berkeley’s Office of Community Relations. “The wide array of programs and services that the university provides our local communities is truly amazing.”

The searchable site is designed for user-friendly navigation, with each listing containing a brief description of each program as well as contact information. In addition to an alphabetical listing, the resources are also grouped together under a variety of useful headers.

Users who want to know what is offered in their own city or a neighboring community can click on the “Programs by Location” button, then select from specific cities, including Oakland, Berkeley, or Richmond; general regions (e.g., the Bay Area, the South Bay); or even locales beyond the Bay Area’s borders.

Another header displays programs organized by the populations they serve, including people with disabilities, seniors, teachers, and youth. From this page a parent could click on the “Youth: Ages 12-18” link, for example, and find resources for that specific group — such as the Academic Talent Development Program, which offers summer classes to high-achieving K-12 students.

Teachers can click on their link under the “Population Served” category to find programs like “CityBugs,” a web-based tutorial created by the College of Natural Resources that helps instructors prepare classroom lessons on insects.

Users interested in locating specific services can choose the “Programs by Category” header and find many offerings, such as “Athletics and Recreation,” “International Studies,” or “Environmental Programs.” Lectures, employment opportunities, visitor services, and meeting facilities are also listed here.

Of human interest
The site also features stories on campus programs that are “Making A Difference.” Examples of such human-interest tales include the AileyCamp summer program, which introduces Berkeley and Oakland middle-school students to the world of dance and personal development, and the Interactive University Project, which includes a program to teach youth living in public housing to document community and housing issues through digital storytelling.

“It is my hope” says Chancellor Berdahl, “that this online guide will help strengthen the bonds between Berkeley and the community and suggest new areas for collaboration in years to come.”