Campus: Sonoma State -- February 15, 2006

SSU Receives State Farm Grants

Sonoma State University has received grants in the amount of $91,337 from the State Farm Companies Foundation to support students with disabilities with innovative technologies and fund a service-learning program that assists students in after-school programs in southwest Santa Rosa.

The monies will also be used by the School of Business and Economics and the School of Education for information technology equipment needed for the delivery of professional and educational programs at SSU.

"State Farm has enjoyed a tremendous working partnership with Sonoma State University for several decades," says State Farm Vice President of Operations Shirley Gordon. "We have watched SSU grow and prosper over the years and our ability to philanthropically assist with their educational programs makes for an excellent business partnership."

For students with disabilities, the Rolling AsTech program is designed to suit the technological needs of a growing population of on students on the Sonoma State campus. While the majority of SSU students are able to use the campus's standard computer labs and workstations, students with disabilities often cannot, due to physical limitations or learning difficulties.

Through the $46,641 grant from State Farm Companies Foundation, twelve new mobile workstations with assistive technology will be able to be purchased. In addition to new laptops, the new Rolling AsTech workstations include software which magnifies text for those with visual disabilities, continuous speech software which allows the user to dictate text and software which literally "talks" the user through their computing experience.

Funds amounting to $44,696 for service learning support of the COOL Service program - a partnership between State Farm and the California Institute on Human Services at Sonoma State University - involves college students and local teachers in projects that benefit hundreds of children.

The COOL Service program actively involves 900 students from seven low-performing elementary schools and one low-performing middle school in southwest Santa Rosa in a comprehensive year of service-learning, benefiting their community and augmenting their academic curriculum. The goal of the program is to instill a lifelong ethic of service while encouraging academic and social progress.

Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, at (707) 664-2057.

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