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Parkland Receives AAUW Community Action Grant

Prestigious grant to support Computer Camp for Girls June 23-25

Thursday, June 12, 2014
The American Association of University Women has awarded a 2013–14 Community Action Grant to Parkland College to support its Computer Camp for Girls initiative, the association announced Tuesday.

Parkland's three-day, nonresidential camp project is aimed at increasing adolescent girls’ interest in technology by fostering positive technology experiences and putting into context the social and educational aspects of computer technology. Specifically, it is designed to help minority and low-income girls in grades 6–8 develop computer literacy, i.e., keyboarding and attaching documents, while using computer programs to express themselves. Instructors experienced in tech support will teach campers one-on-one how to integrate writing with computer technology. Campers will also design personalized web pages.

The camp runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23–25. For more information or to register for the Computer Camp for Girls, please call 410/202-1616 or email rzhao@parkland.edu. Please register early; seats are limited.

Since 1972, AAUW has awarded its prestigious Community Action Grants to hundreds of individuals, AAUW branches and state organizations, and local, community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs that promote education and equality for women and girls. Special consideration is given to projects that focus on girls’ and young women’s achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Projects must be collaborative, focus on women and girls, and bring together AAUW branches, schools, and local community groups and nonprofits. For the 2013–14 academic year, AAUW awarded a total of $3.7 million to 245 scholars, research projects, and programs through six fellowships and grants.

“AAUW Community Action Grants empower recipients to implement innovative ideas and programs. We are thrilled to support initiatives that empower women and girls,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW vice president of fellowships, grants, and global programs."

A number of research studies, including those by the AAUW, suggest that during early adolescence girls begin receiving cultural messages that technology is not for them. This can result in a reluctance among middle school girls to participate in activities they perceive as isolating them from their peers.There is a critical shortage of girls enrolling in computer science at the community college level, according to a release issued by the AAUW.

At Parkland from FY10 to FY12, the total of male Computer Science and Technology (CSIT) graduates, excluding office assistant type programs, was 952, while the total number of female CSIT graduates was 253, the AAUW reported in its release. From 1990 to 2010, there has been a 9 percent increase in the number of girls between the ages of 10 and 14 living in Champaign County. Additionally, Champaign County school districts have a large percentage of poor families.

AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, having awarded nearly $100 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to more than 12,000 women from more than 130 countries since 1888. As part of the 125th anniversary celebration of the fellowships and grants program, AAUW created a new video and interactive timeline, which feature historic photos and documents from the program’s rich history. The materials include photos of Marie Curie and Coretta Scott King as well as documents from an AAUW committee that raised money to help European scholars and university women displaced by World War II.

To find out more about AAUW’s current awardees, visit the online directory or e-mail fellowships@aauw.org.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 165,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, its members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.

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