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NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge Program
Santa Ana, CA
NetDay Difference
Getting Things Done
NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge members are responsible for increasing computer accessibility maintaining a minimum of 100 computers with at least 85% of computers operational at all times. They teach computer technology skills to a minimum of 20 teachers and at least 50 students. Through surveys, logs, and weekly reports, members measure the success of their efforts.

One-on-One Help at Pio Pico
At Pio Pico, every classroom has a few computers and AmeriCorps Members work with students in small groups or one-on-one, leading activities to support classroom instruction. They set up a lab of new computers and will work with teachers to find resources and plan lessons. As part of an after-school program, members helped students create a short video on safety and conflict resolution.

Technical Support at Monte Vista Members at Monte Vista Elementary have eliminated the two to three week wait for technical support. They fixed the campus video broadcast system and keep computers in classrooms and the PowerUp lab functioning. They provide answers when students ask: What does this do? Or how do I...? Teachers rely on them to find resources for lesson planning and kid-safe sites.

Building a New School at El Sol As a new charter school, El Sol, is testing many new ideas as it grows from a K-2 elementary school by adding a new grade level each year. NetDay has helped the school find computer donations and install them for use in classrooms, the computer lab, and during the M.I.N.D. Institute after school program. Lee Rogers, an El Sol parent and member, is setting up an email pen pal program between El Sol students and a school in her native Australia.

More Than a Job–Member Development
Each project coordinator tailors recruiting strategies for the greatest impact on both the school and in the members' lives. Project Coordinator Barb Hayes recruited heavily in Santa Ana on college campuses, in churches, and through other community centers to draw from the vitality and knowledge of community members. Many of the members are in their early twenties and experiencing their first job.

"We wanted to get a feeling for the community's needs," she said. "I use them as my experts in Santa Ana. They live and work in the community. And they are bilingual. They speak the language and understand what it's like to not have English as a first language."

Each member commits to ten months of service with the opportunity to sign on for a second ten-month period. They receive a living allowance, experience, and four to eight hours of training per month. The principal and coordinator help them develop professional behavior and set boundaries. Two of the current members completed high school and another is working on her GED as a result of their involvement. All 25 members engage in career planning, meet with business mentors, and create resumes.

Strengthening Communities
The selected schools in the Santa Ana program struggle with the challenges of their community: poverty, transient populations, and crime. The NetDay AmeriCorps Bridge Members organize community service events each month to address these needs. Events often involve partners and youth volunteers. The members receive practical experience in planning and implementing public events.

Community Service events during 2002-2003 included:

  • Make a Difference Day, Backbay Cleanup in Newport Beach
  • A visit to Milestone convalescent home.
  • Assembling food boxes for needy families at Pio Pico
  • Donor Awareness Day and Blood Drive with the city of Santa Ana
  • KOCE live broadcast, call-in show as part of a parenting project.

They must register to vote and discuss current issues during monthly training sessions.