Campus: CSU Northridge -- April 26, 2002
Grant Provides Money for CSUN Students To Work with
Cal State Northridge has received $25,000 to start a new program in
which university students will work with at-risk preschoolers to improve
their school readiness.
California's Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism has tentatively
approved an additional $57,000 in AmeriCorps funding to help finance
the program. The initial money, in the form of a challenge grant, comes
from Jumpstart, a non-profit organization that urges college students
to work with young children in an effort to prepare them for success
"Jumpstart is an innovative and exciting new service-learning model
for CSUN students, " said Maureen Rubin, director of the university's
Center for Community Service-Learning. "It will allow our students
to earn academic credit and gain valuable career experience while performing
meaningful service that will help kids in our community begin their
education on the right track."
Starting next fall, 40 Northridge work-study students will be able to
enroll in two experimental child development classes taught by Senta
Green, a nationally recognized child development expert. The courses
will focus on their in-class curriculum on the child in the educational
setting and on families and community resources.
In addition to their in-class work, the students will earn their work-study
awards, a form of financial aid, by serving 300 hours in one of four
local childcare sites in the San Fernando Valley serving high-risk populations
of preschoolers. Upon completion of their required hours, each student
will receive an additional AmeriCorps Education Award of approximately
Rubin said Jumpstart's literature states that now, more than ever before
in the nation's history, children are entering schools lacking basic
school readiness skills - communication, language and literacy and social
She pointed out that a recent study by the Carnegie Foundation said
teachers reported that 35 percent of American kindergarten children
arrive at school unprepared to learn.
"These statistics are even more alarming for children from low-income
families, where over 50 percent of children start first grade up to
two years behind their peers in preschool skills," Rubin said.
"Since these early inequalities persist and increase with time,
a child's performance in preschool is directly linked to success later."
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.
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130, firstname.lastname@example.org