Campus: CSU, Northridge -- October 23, 2000

Middle School, CSUN to Unveil New Community Web Site

Community Charter Middle School and CSUN's Center for Community-Service Learning will unveil a new community Web site developed and maintained by sixth and seventh graders on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The Web site will feature what the students have learned about the November election as well as the results of community and candidate surveys.

Its unveiling will take place at 6 p.m. at the middle school at 1445 Celis St. in San Fernando.

The Web site is the result of collaboration between Cal State Northridge computer science students and middle school students who have been learning computer and Internet skills while at the same time increasing their awareness of election issues.

The Web site will feature what they have learned about the electoral issues and the candidates.

More than 100 families, a number of local politicians and CSUN officials will be on hand for the site's inauguration. The event will feature Ballet Folklorico dancing, refreshments and an opportunity for politicians, local candidates and university and community members to meet the students and their parents.

In the year since its charter was approved, Community Charter Middle School's sixth grade scores well exceeded those of every other middle school in its geographic area, even schools with higher socioeconomic demographics.

The Web site is part of an $80,000 grant CSUN's Center for Community-Service Learning and CCMS received from a WorldCom, Campus Compact, Brown University partnership, called "Making a Civic Investment," to support an educational technology program from youth in under-served communities. Funds for the computer technology were provided by a federally funded charter school implementation grant.

"In addition to the Web site - which will carry general election information as well as the results of community and candidate surveys - the MCI WorldCom grant is being used to integrate Internet resources into social studies, science and language arts curriculum," said Maureen Rubin, director of the Center for Community-Service Learning.

Rubin said CSUN students "work side-by-side with classroom teachers every day to help the middle schoolers locate and take advantage of a new world of learning."

In addition, on nights and weekends, the classroom computers are converted into a community computer lab, where CSUN service-learning students in a computer science class teach basic skills to parents and neighbors.

The mission of the university's Center for Community-Service Learning is to inspire, encourage and support students and faculty in their pursuit of academic excellence through involvement in community service.

Past courses have included CSUN students teaching low-income middle school students and their parents basic computer skills, organizing health fairs that included the vaccinations of hundreds of young children and providing free state and federal income tax assistance to elderly, low-income and disabled citizens.

For more information about the center, call (818) 677-7395.

California State University, Northridge has more than 27,000 full- and part-time students and offers 48 bachelor's and 39 master's degrees. Founded in 1958, it is the only four-year university in the San Fernando Valley.

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