Campus: CSU Northridge -- August 28, 2002
CSUN Students to Spend Semester Working with At-Risk
Forty Cal State Northridge students are spending this semester working
with low-income children at preschools throughout the San Fernando Valley.
The students, who are all receiving work-study, are part of a new service-learning
program at Northridge called “Jumpstart” designed to encourage
school success in the children by providing them with college mentors.
The CSUN students are enrolled in two experimental child development
classes taught by Senta Green, a nationally recognized child development
expert. The courses focus on children, 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 children’s 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
The childcare sites include Volunteers of America: Children’s
Services Division, Latin American Civic Association, CSUN Children’s
Center and Childcare Resource Center.
“It's so exciting to start a new year with CSUN's participation
in a new service-learning project that will help our students build
school success with young children struggling in preschool,” said
Maureen Rubin, director of CSUN’s Center for Community Service-Learning.
“Our students are meeting a great need—making sure that
every child in our community enters school prepared to succeed.”
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
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.
Contacts: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130