Reach Out! is a UM student-run organization that serves as a link between CUOS/Coalition direct service sites and student, staff, and faculty volunteers. Student organizers named it to reflect its primary goals: (1) to foster access for children to hands-on and discovery-based experiences, and (2) to provide children with opportunities to explore careers within the fields of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering
CUOS provides leadership, office and laboratory space, and moral and financial support to enable university students to pool and maximize their community service activities. Through its committees, Reach Out! endeavors to involve students and organizations in long-term commitments to children, K12 schools, and community centers. A major focus of the group is to publicize and recruit for the volunteer programs of CUOS K12 Outreach. A gratifyingly large proportion of university students seem genuinely interested in performing community service but don't know where to begin. Reach Out! serves as a matchmaker, steering groups and individuals toward projects they would like to participate in. Since Reach Out! provides an on-site coordinator for each of our regular programs, we can also arrange transportation when necessarywhich eliminates a major barrier to student volunteerism at sites that are some distance from campus.
This group facilitates (1) hands-on science activities via science clubs and wandering wizards, (2) direct support for individuals through tutor/mentoring, and (3) career exploration activities. Accomplishing these goals requires such activities as researching, writing, updating and improving lessons; shopping for and building lesson kits; planning and overseeing science clubs at community sites; recruiting and training volunteers; matching individuals with K12 students for tutor/mentoring; maintaining databases of volunteers, activities, and "customers"; soliciting and interviewing career resource providers; and formatting and posting career information on the Coalition Web site.
Publicity and recruitment efforts planned and executed by Reach Out! members include flyers, bus placards, group e-mail, Festifall and Winterfest tables, presentations to university groups, and well-attended mass meetings on both central and north campus.
Programs described elsewhere in this report that receive major help from Reach Out! students are tutor/mentoring at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor and at Chapelle Elementary School in Ypsilanti, and science clubs at Peace Neighborhood Center in Ann Arbor and at Community Church of God Opportunity Center in Ypsilanti. Also, collaborations were fostered between community sites and the Volunteer Computer Corps (VCC) for computer support, the College of Engineering for used equipment sales, and the School of Information for technology needs assessment and usage.
For the first time, in December 1997, Reach Out! organizers planned modest recognition events designed to publicly note and thank volunteers for their efforts at the end of the semester. Two Reach Out! students were recognized and awarded the Martin Luther King Spirit Award last year. Alicia Pinderhughes, Aerospace Engineering major, and Grace Kim, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science major, are undergraduate leaders who were instrumental in the formation of the Reach Out! student organization.
All start-up equipment and infrastructure costs for the organization were assumed by CUOS and the College of Engineering. As Reach Out! began to serve the entire community with volunteers from all areas of the university, it seemed more appropriate to distribute its costs, as well. Members approached the university's Vice President of Government Relations, the Academic Outreach Development Office, Project Serve, and the President's Council for possible funding. The university showed its support by recognizing two Reach Out! founders with the Martin Luther King Spirit Award and by awarding the organization two years of funding ($40,000 total) from the President's New Century Fund for Diversity. This funding primarily ensures work-study student program coordinators, a parent mentor coordinator on site at Pioneer High School, and equipment and materials for science club activities.
|1998 Progress Report|
|A. The Problem|
|B. The Solution|
|A. Organization and Management|
|B. Systemic Initiatives to Build School-Centered Learning Communities|
|C. Coalition Web Site|
|D. Reach Out! Student Organization|
|E. Math-Science Tutor/Mentoring Programs|
|F. Science Outreach Programs|
|G. Coalition Building and Stakeholder Development|
|Appendix A: Coalition Partners List|
|Appendix B: Web-Site Home Page|