UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

UC-community partnership programs honored

– Chancellor Robert Birgeneau will honor five joint university-community education programs at a reception Wednesday (Sept. 14) as embodying the public service goals of the campus as they improve the lives of local residents.

"Once again, it is a pleasure to honor these selected community projects. This year, we have focused on all aspects of teaching - from tutoring young children to providing professional development for math, science and history teachers," Birgeneau said. "There are so many ways the campus and community work together, but these are especially close to our mission as a leading public teaching and research university."

The honorees at the sixth annual University and Community Partners reception are programs that promote teacher development in math, science and social science; literacy; improved vision and health for children and urban revitalization.

Birgeneau and his wife, Mary Catherine, will present the awards at 4 p.m. Wednesday at University House.

The 2005 programs being honored are:


  • Growing Learning Communities: This project uses school gardens to help local elementary school teachers increase their knowledge, teaching skills and leadership abilities. The gardens become outdoor science and mathematics laboratories in which project instructors teach math, science, literacy and nutrition. The teachers return to their school sites as leaders and mentors, recruiting new teachers to the program and forming a network among schools and districts. UC project staff from the UC Botanical Garden Education Program and the Lawrence Hall of Science work individually with teachers in the program. Community partners are Cherryland Garden Committee and Parent Group, Franklin Garden Collaborative, Hayward Nutritional Learning Communities Project, Joaquin Miller Hillside Garden Club, Laurel Neighborhood Group, Ruus-Peixoto School PTA, Santa Rosa Lesson Study Team, Snow School Parent Garden Committee, Willard Lesson Study Team, and the unified school districts of Berkeley, Hayward, Newark, Oakland and West Contra Costa.

  • History/Social Science Project - Oakland Unified Collaboration: In this professional development project now in its ninth year, faculty and graduate students from the UC Berkeley history department train history and social science teachers in the Oakland Unified School District in up-to-date methods and curricula, expanding the teachers' skills and improving their classroom performance. In the last year, the program began providing professional development in expository writing for two Oakland elementary schools. The UC Berkeley Department of History is joined by community partners Cleveland Elementary, Montclair Elementary, Thornhill Elementary, Glenview Elementary and Oakland Technical High School, all in the Oakland Unified School District.

  • Summer BUILD Project: Building Healthy Minds and Bodies: This literacy, nutrition and physical fitness program is a multi-partner effort to help low-income children in South and West Berkeley. About 80 UC Berkeley students tutor up to 1,000 children as part of the program. In addition, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health gives the students pedometers and provides health and nutrition information. To measure their progress, communities have posted thermometers noting the number of books read and miles walked by the children. UC's Cal Corps Public Service Center, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Public Health and the UC Retirement Center were joined by community partners Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Berkeley Alliance, several city of Berkeley departments, Bay Area Hispanic Institute for Advancement, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, Extended Day Care at Washington Elementary and Rosa Parks Elementary, Frances Albrier Community Center, James Kenney Recreation Center, R.I.S.E. at Berkeley High and the Young Adult Project.

  • Vision Screening for Berkeley Unified Students: In this project, the UC Berkeley School of Optometry provides the state-mandated vision screening services to the Berkeley Unified School District in exchange for city of Berkeley employees increasing their patronage of the optometry clinic at a 20 percent discount - thus offsetting the cost of delivering the school screening services to Berkeley school children. Joining the School of Optometry are community partners Berkeley Alliance, Berkeley Unified School District, City of Berkeley, Berkeley Arts Magnet at Whittier School, City of Franklin Microsociety Magnet School, Cragmont School, Emerson School, Jefferson School, John Muir School, LeConte School, Malcolm X Arts and Academic Magnet School, Oxford School, Rosa Parks Environmental Science Magnet School, Thousand Oaks Arts and Technology Magnet School, and Washington School.

  • Y-Plan: Design of West Oakland Historic Central Station: In this program and graduate level course, UC Berkeley graduate students in city and regional planning, urban design, education and related disciplines work with local high school student on revitalization projects in their urban neighborhoods. Every year since the program started in 1999, UC Berkeley has identified one project in a low-income neighborhood in the Bay Area. This year, Y-Plan worked with high school students to redesign the West Oakland Central Railway Station, the site of the first black labor union. Joining UC Berkeley's Institute of Urban and Regional Development and Center for Cities and Schools are community partners BRIDGE Housing, Junior Statesmen Foundation, McClymonds High School, Oakland City Councilmember Nancy Nadel and the West Oakland Neighborhood Association.