Cisco and Microsoft Help Us With After School Programs

This September the Media Center will begin to conduct after school activities at a second school in the Ravenswood City Elementary School District. Thanks to grants from Cisco Systems and Microsoft Corporation, the Media Center will begin working at Willow Oaks Elementary School in Menlo Park, where 86% of the students are English-learners. We’ll be making movies with a group of 6th – 8th graders and casting among the entire after school population from 1st grade and up.

Mauricio Rodriguez, Director of the Willow Oaks After School Program was hoping for a movie making partnership after he found the time to recruit kids to make their own version of the movie “Grease” last year. It was a great success that also involved the after school “Project Runway” class that made costumes. The Media Center is currently recruiting a bi-lingual instructor who wants to make a difference in the lives of youth.

The Media Center has been conducting an after school activity at the San Francisco 49ers Academy since 2008. It’s another school in the Ravenswood City District and it has its own mini-TV studio made possible by SF 49er legends Steve Young and Jerry Rice. There, the kids produce a weekly news show featuring anchors with school announcements, a pre-produced feature of the week, and a special interview. The program runs in all the classrooms and on local cable TV.

Thanks to a Cisco 2012 Silicon Valley Impact Grant, we are able to open up the second program and solidify the first one with intern assistants. The grant from Microsoft Corporation provides much needed media production equipment for both programs.

Recently, we attended a presentation for all the new Cisco grant recipients. We were inspired by the company we are keeping with agencies that are tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, bringing math, science, and arts activities to classrooms in innovative ways, and helping Spanish-speaking families get extra support to be successful in K-12 schools. If you have an interest in getting involved as a volunteer with our after school activities, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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