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Berkeleyan Special Feature

Cal Neighbors

Cal Neighbors: A Word from Chacellor Berdahl

About Cal Neighbors

Developing a Strategic Facilities Master Plan for UC

Working to Build a Safer Campus and Community

UC/Vista Partnership Expands Educational Opportunities

Examining Earthquake Costs to Area

Campus Research at Work

Working Together to Encourage and Support Berkeley Youth

Activist Sylvia McLaughlin Cares for Berkeley

Haas Program Helps Local Entrepreneurs Get on Track

State Bond Measure to Benefit Local Schools

Free (or Almost Free) Things To Do on Campus

UC/City Plan Southside Renewal

Campus Improvements for Pedestrians, Bicyclists




Working Together to Encourage and Support Berkeley Youth

New campus outreach programs -- and the ongoing commitment of UC students -- are helping school children throughout the East Bay. Cal volunteers' caring, personal attention also encourages self-confidence among the students they tutor and mentor.

The Berkeley Alliance
The often-cited expression, "it takes a village…," is exactly what UC Berkeley, the City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School District had in mind when they joined forces last November to form a new partnership called the "Berkeley Alliance."

The campus, city and school district have been working to develop community projects using resources of the three institutions, including academic and technical resources on campus. In April, the university hosted a workshop attended by more than 100 community members and school district, city and campus leaders, who met to develop partnership ideas.

Potential Berkeley Alliance projects now being explored include prenatal-to-kindergarten programs to prepare children for school success, adolescent and pre-adolescent programs to support healthy kids and families, after-school enrichment programs, and "school-to-career" programs linking Berkeley High School students to the work world.

Berkeley young people will offer additional ideas at a youth forum to be held this fall.

The Berkeley Pledge
In his February "State of Education" address, U.S. Education Secretary Richard Riley hailed the Berkeley Pledge as a national model.

Launched by former chancellor Chang-Lin Tien in 1995, the Pledge is a university program committed to sustaining campus diversity by providing early outreach, support and recruitment to local public schools. It particularly emphasizes students most disadvantaged and underrepresented in higher education in California.

In 1996-97, the Pledge adopted "pipeline schools" in four Bay Area school districts -- Berkeley, Oakland, West Contra Costa and San Francisco. It offers academic support programs for K&endash;12 students, professional development for teachers, and help in strengthening the K&endash;12 curriculum. In Berkeley, the pipeline schools are Cragmont-Thousand Oaks, Malcolm X and Columbus elementary schools; Longfellow, King and Willard middle schools, and Berkeley High School.

After one year, K&endash;12 students served in Pledge pipeline schools have shown marked progress in mathematics, demonstrating that even in underserved neighborhoods, children can achieve if the schools have the appropriate resources.

"All children are capable of excelling," says Berkeley Pledge coordinator Anita Madrid. "We have to find a way to replicate what is happening in some of our excellent outreach programs so that the entire school district benefits."

In the next two years the Pledge will explore ways to replicate in other subject areas the improvements it has helped students achieve in math. It will also work for the adoption of a model that partners universities with K&endash;12 schools and hopes to encourage school stakeholders to fund effective outreach programs and provide needed resources and support.

Cal Students Making a Difference
Though it's impossible to determine the exact number of UC Berkeley students who volunteer in the community, a recent campus survey indicated that approximately two-thirds of Cal's 21,000 undergraduates do volunteer work during their four-year college career.

"The community has a reputation for being very active and I think students come to Cal expecting to have volunteer opportunities available to them," says Alex Lonne, program director at Cal Corps Public Service Center, which pairs student volunteers with community projects.

Many campus students choose to focus their efforts on Berkeley, their hometown for at least four years. Recent Cal graduate Jocelyn de Guia is one of them.

As an undergraduate, de Guia volunteered to mentor and tutor at an Oakland junior high school and then joined Americorps, the national service program pioneered by President Clinton, to work in Berkeley schools.

Along with nine other Americorps members, de Guia recruited and managed approximately 100 volunteer tutors over the academic year. This team provided one-to-one reading and writing assistance for several hours a week at Martin Luther King and Willard middle schools and at the James Kenney Recreation Center in west Berkeley.

"When I started mentoring my freshman year, my eyes were really opened to a lot of services that students were lacking," said de Guia. "It made me look at my background and see how privileged I have been. It made me want to give back."

According to Barbara Bowman, director of the Berkeley School Volunteers program, about 1,000 Cal students volunteer in Berkeley schools each year. "The commitment and caring that they bring really makes a difference. And the children love them," she added. .




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