Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
June 5, 1998

Computer program targets Des Moines students

Iowa State and the Des Moines Public Schools are co- sponsoring a summer program to help hundreds of Des Moines schoolchildren gain needed computer skills.

"Computer Connection" will provide computer training to improve the academic performance and increase employment opportunities for 400 public school students between the ages of 12 and 18. The program will run from June 15 through Aug. 7.

In classes of about 15, students will learn to use basic computer programs such as PowerPoint, Word and Excel; explore e-mail and the Internet; and study software that assists with tasks such as evaluating job skills, learning to be a leader and exploring careers.

Other program goals include increasing local high school graduation rates; improving students' access to post-high school education and jobs; and creating in them a sense of involvement in their community.

The project also will explore service learning as a way to build the technical skills of ISU students who participate as teachers.

Computer Connection complements the goals of several programs offered in the Des Moines school system, including the New Horizons jobs skills program for youth, and SUCCESS, a family resource and support program. Students involved in these and other programs will be recruited for Computer Connection.

Youth will participate in a day-long workshop every week for eight weeks in Des Moines schools computer labs. Two ISU students, volunteers from the federal VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program and a site facilitator from the Des Moines school district will lead each of the classes.

ISU units involved in the project are extension, student affairs and the computer science department.

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