Campus: CSU Northridge -- September 29, 2004
CSUN Students are Helping Elderly Immigrants Become Citizens
Forty Cal State Northridge students are spending this fall working in senior
centers or adult schools throughout the San Fernando Valley, teaching elderly
immigrants the skills necessary to learn English and become U.S. citizens.
The students are taking part in Project SHINE (Students Helping In the
Naturalization of Elders), which was made possible by a $45,000 two-year grant
from the Corporation for National and Community Service's (CNCS) Learn and Serve
America Program. Northridge was one of only four universities nationwide to
receive the grant, which came from CNCS through the Center for Intergenerational
Learning at Temple University.
"SHINE is a great opportunity for CSUN students to not only make a positive
difference in our community, but also to make what they learn in class applicable
to real world situations," said Maureen Rubin, director of Northridge's SHINE
Program, which is being coordinated by CSUN's Center for Community
Students from such disciplines as anthropology, consumer studies, gerontology,
health science and linguistics are working as tutors and mentors to seniors at
eight senior or community centers or adult schools across the Valley, helping them
learn English and other civic skills necessary for passing the citizenship exam.
All SHINE students take a weekly class from English professor Sharon Klein or
health science professor Debra Sheets to sharpen the skills needed to teach the
"Some older learners tend to feel intimidated by normal ESL classes that may be
too fast for them," Rubin said. "However, these particular classes are designed
to provide seniors with an environment that fits their pace and learning needs."
Classes and small group tutoring are taking place at Van Nuys Community Adult
School and ONEgeneration in Van Nuys; Meet Every Need with Dignity in Pacoima;
Guadalupe Center, Hughes Adult Learning Center and Owensmouth Gardens in Canoga
Park; El Camino Real/Canoga Park Community Adult School in West Hills and San
Fernando High School in San Fernando.
Launched in 1998, CSUN's Center for Community-Service Learning aims to inspire,
encourage and support students and faculty in their pursuit of academic excellence
through involvement in meaningful community service.
For more information about Project SHINE or CSUN's Center for Community
Service-Learning, visit its Web site:
www.csun.edu/csl or call (818) 677-7305
to learn about free ESL or citizenship classes throughout the Valley.
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,