Campus: Office of the Chancellor -- March 26, 2001
CSU Receives Service Learning Grant To Honor Cesar Chavez

$250,000 to be Distributed to Support Systemwide Service Activities for March 30 Holiday

California State University's Office of Community Service Learning has received a $250,000 grant from the California Commission on Improving Life through Service (CILTS) in honor of the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning. The grant will support efforts to engage CSU campuses, school children and community members in service-learning activities that will honor the legacy and values of legendary leader Cesar Chavez.

The $250,000 grant will support partnerships between CSU campuses and community organizations that are celebrating the holiday through service activities between March 30 and June 30. CSU Chico, Fresno State, CSU Fullerton, Humboldt State, CSU Long Beach, CSU Northridge, CSU Sacramento, San Francisco State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU San Marcos, Sonoma State, and CSU Stanislaus, have already received funding. The following are some activities funded by the grant:

CSU Chico
Community Environmental Action Day
This three-day event will engage Chico State and K-12 students from 20 schools in community service by planting trees, cleaning up creeks and parks, and learning about art. Prior to the Environmental Action Days, elementary school teachers will show videos about Cesar Chavez's life, which will serve as an introduction to their service days. This project reinforces Chavez's values for community improvement and conservation in the community.

CSU Fresno
Fresno County Peace Partners Project
Fresno will coordinate a series of events that involve up to 6,000 K-6 students in afterschool programs with a variety of activities. A weeklong celebracion of Chavez's life includes a campus tour for K-6 students, singing, and performances by students about Chavez's life. In addition, Cesar Luis Chavez, grandson of the late United Farm Workers (UFW) union founder, and Roberto Rodriguez, nationally syndicated columnist, will speak on Thursday, March 29, at the Fresno State Peace Garden.

CSU Fullerton
"Si Se Puede" Mentor Project
The aspiration for this project is to share the story of Cesar Chavez's life with young people by working with a local elementary school and a YMCA. Together, they will coordinate a week of service-learning activities for K-12 and college students. In addition, students will visit CSUF to participate in a conservation-based Science Adventure Program and other service activities to learn about respect for the land and environment.

Humboldt State
CESAR-Culture, Education, Service, Arts, Respect
College students will create a lesson about Cesar Chavez's life, vision and legacy for fourth grade students. Together, they will also create artistic pieces and performances to raise awareness of Chavez's life and values, which will be displayed within their school community and at other local schools.

In May, on-going activities will include the creation of six service-learning Peace Gardens. The food grown will be donated to low-income families. Also, Teatro Tortilla, a Fresno State performance group that educates K-12 students on the importance and availability of higher education, will teach the students how to replicate these performances and perform among their fellow peers.

CSU Long Beach
Strathem School Mural/Beautification Project
College students, fourth and fifth grade students and teachers from Strathem Street Elementary School will work together to create a mural commemorating Chavez. In addition, CSU Long Beach students will facilitate discussion with the school children about how the mural symbolizes Chavez' life.

CSU Northridge
CSUN LAUSD Health Fair and Garden Project
CSU Northridge, in partnership with three elementary schools and a Healthy Start, will coordinate two health fairs at local elementary schools. The fair will feature multilingual interactive health games that will connect healthy eating to healthy bodies, and booths from K-12 students, college students, and health organizations that promote a preventive lifestyle. Additional activities include high school students reading to younger students about Cesar Chavez, artistic displays created by children about Chavezís life, and planting a garden.

Gardens for Peace Cooperative
CSUN students will work with K-12 students to create a lesson to teach one of Chavez's values--respect for the land. Middle and high school students, community members, and college students will create an organic garden to learn about urban farming and sustainable agriculture. Families who participate in the cooperative will receive produce grown from the Peace Gardens.

Educating Youth to Empower Communities
Middle school students will participate in a series of workshops to construct a social justice agenda for their community by examining the multiple disparities that exist in communities of color. From this workshop, students will identify a service project that will be implemented in their community.

Cesar E. Chavez: A Legacy Remembered
CSU Northridge students will coordinate a leadership conference for over 500 high school students to celebrate Cesar Chavez's life through film, dance, poetry, and storytelling. High school students will have an opportunity to teach others about Cesar Chavez by showcasing their artwork that symbolizes his life and values.

CSU Sacramento
Communities Engaged in Service & Renewal
CSUS will host a "Community Service Day" on Saturday, March 31, that will involve more than 750 volunteers, including AmeriCorps members, college students, K-12 students, schools and community organizations. Volunteers will work at service sites at various schools and parks in the surrounding community. They will be involved in tree planting, fence repair, pond cleaning, painting, and garden revitalization.

San Francisco State University
The Intergenerational Oral History Project
This project provides an opportunity for young adults and senior citizens from the Bay Area to discuss California's history and issues such as immigration and labor. The students will benefit by having personal contact with seniors who have known Cesar Chavez or has been influenced by his vision. Through several visits, participants will create a book of the seniors' oral histories. AmeriCorps members will facilitate their dialogue.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Field of Dreams: Cultivating the Land of the Central Coast
This program will incorporate a diverse calendar of events and activities to capture the values and ethics of Cesar Chavez. It will combine service activities with educational opportunities to convey the importance of community service. The community gardening events will provide the opportunity for K-12 students and college students to provide service at one of the 20 different sites in the San Luis Obispo County.

CSU San Marcos
CSUSM Cesar Chavez Season of Service & Learning
On the Cesar Chavez holiday, college students, K-12 students, and community leaders will honor Chavez by participating with several community improvement projects that include installing a new playground, neighborhood clean-ups, and community garden conservation projects. In addition, university faculty and staff will train university students and local teachers to present lessons and activities on the life and work of Cesar Chavez to K-12 students. Together, they will present a history walk of Cesar Chavez's life.

Sonoma State University
Joined in Service: A Tribute to Cesar Chavez
SSU and K-12 students will participate in service learning projects that include readings, discussions and service activities that reflect the life and legacy of Chavez. Some of the activities include multicultural book readings, painting maps, gardening, and starting a large-scale ongoing mural project.

CSU Stanislaus
Inspiring Today's Youth, Strengthening Tomorrow's Community
In honor of Chavez's legacy, CSU Stanislaus will explore the impact one person can have in society when dedicated to justice and peaceful problem solving through various service learning activities. Primary grade children will visit convalescent homes to share their art, performances, and recitals once a month based on a theme revolving around "leadership for change."

In addition, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and author-poet Jose Montoya will be the keynote speakers at the sixth annual "Cesar Chavez Celebration," on Thursday, March 29. The program's theme, "Si se Puede," is to teach people about the extraordinary principles exemplified by Chavez by featuring art and displays on his life.

CSU Peace Partners
CSU Peace Partners is a collaboration between the CSU Office of Community Service Learning, 23 CSU campuses, K-12 schools, and various community organizations to provide service learning opportunities that involve children and college students to celebrate Chavez's lifelong dedication to community service and education. Over 12,000 K-12 students and 4,000 college students and community members will engage in service through the statewide program.

CSU Service Learning
For the 2000/01 academic year, the CSU has received a total of $3.5 million from foundations such as the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Radin Foundation, Learn and Serve America, the California Commission on Improving Life Through Service, and the California Governor's Office to support service-learning initiatives. Over 1,000 service-learning courses are offered with an expected increase of over 80 percent in the next four years. More than 135,000 CSU students perform a total of 33.6 million hours of community service annually, which would be a minimum wage value of about $193.2 million.


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