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In the Community

Students Serve Others as AmeriCorps Volunteers
by Dave Reid


from Dateline (January 30, 2003)

student tutoring

Cal State Fullerton students – mostly future teachers – are out in the community and local schools as learning assistants, tutors and volunteer workers in the new California State University Academic Preparation AmeriCorps Program.

They are serving others as tutors in the Collaborative Academic Preparation Initiative (CAPI) Learning Assistance and Precollegiate Academic Development (PAD) programs.

“The launch of this program is a clear indication of our strength as a system to offer quality opportunities for CSU students to provide service in our surrounding communities and to K-12 students, and also to provide incentives for students to become future teachers,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

CAPI participants work as high school learning assistants at Fullerton, Buena Park, Esparanza, Loara and Mission Viejo high schools. “The students act as an extension of teachers by helping lead discussions, facilitating group projects and other tasks,” said Robert Nazar, learning assistant liaison and lecturer in English and comparative literature.

Tanya Shubin, a communicative disorders major, works 14-20 hours a week as one of the CAPI learning assistants at Buena Park High School. She helps both honors and at-risk students as a mentor, giving guidance in generating ideas for essays and expressing thoughts on paper, as well as helping students with life skills. “I especially like to give the really bright students a big push to succeed,” she said. “I love the job and work with some amazing high school teachers.”

PAD program participants at local schools work on a one-on-one basis or with small groups, tutoring students in English. Coordinating the effort is Wendy Duran.

In addition to classroom duties, students receive training and participate in community volunteer activities, such as serving meals in homeless shelters. There are similar programs at each CSU campus.

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