This page contains responses to the agency survey for August 2, 1999.

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Click here to see a list of responding organizations' names together with their location and date of response.

August 2, 1999

Cyberspace Senior/InterAge CyberPals Classroom Project
Organization Name
Cyberspace Senior/InterAge CyberPals Classroom Project
Organization City
Organization's Geographic Service Area
Number of full-time and part-time employees (paid staff)
No Response
Respondent's Name
Martha R. Gore
Respondent's Position
Executive Director
Organization's Web Site Address
Respondent's Role in Working with Volunteers at Organization
1. As executive director, I corresponded with adults who are interested in becoming CyberPals and over see their correspondence with teachers and students in the classrooms.
2. As Classroom Director and Teacher Trainer, I train the teachers to successfully incorporate the IACP Project curriculum and casual correspondence to enhance the students computer writing and language art skills.
Handbooks have been created and are sent by e-mail to the adult CyberPals and Teachers that can be printed by them for complete instructions.
3. I have developed the Curriculum and Casual Correspondence to reflect what the teacher is already using in the classroom. For example, all curriculum based assignments are in the form of games, using such parts of speech as nouns, verbs, etc. The Casual Correspondence relies on a subject selected by the Director that can be shared by the adult CyberPals and students to futher bonding.
How did you hear about this Project?
Idealist contacted you in regard to our needs.
What other staff have involved volunteers virtually at your organization?
Executive Director; Technical Director
Approximately how many of your online volunteers provide technical assistance to your staff or to other volunteers?
Please describe the kinds of activities these technical assistance volunteers provide to your organization:
Maintaine home page.
Answer any questions adults or teachers may be having with sending or receiving e-mail
Approximately how many of your volunteers provide direct support to clients / recipients of service via the Internet?
Please describe the kinds of volunteer activities these direct contact volunteers provide to your organization:
Correspond weekly using curriculum based or casual correspondence during the school year with students in a classroomor computer lab setting.
How did you recruit the volunteers you involve(d) via the Internet?
Many of them belong to Cyberspace Seniors and/or Savvy Seniors, two Lists that I volunteer manage on the Internet. Requests for volunteers have been sent to Lists for teachers, computer organizations, etc. In addition, information about groups have appeared in magazines and newspapers after I sent out press releases. Many
present IACP adult volunteers often recommend the program to their friends.
How did you screen/orient the volunteers you involve(d) via the Internet?
All volunteers fill out a participation form that is carefully evaluated before anyone is accepted as an adult CyberPal. All inquires receive an e-mail response that includes guidelines. when a person is accepted, he/she receives a Handbook spelling out the responsibilites in being a CyberPAl.
The quality of the volunteers is very high with most having at least a BA with good percentage with Masters Degree and PhDs. The volunteers include retired and active teachers, active and retired professors, executives, etc. Since we use a curriculum based program, IACP attracts adults who are interested in furthering the education of students rather than corresponding.
How do you supervise and recognize/reward online volunteers for their contributions?
The adult volunteers in IACP feel their greatest reward in seeing improvement in the writing and language skills of their student.
I send weekly e-mail reports to the adults and also manage a discussion roster (not a List) in which the adults express their thoughts about the Programs successes and failures. I keep in close touch with the adults to make sure they understand how important their contributions are in the lives of these students, some of whom come from rather sad environments.
Have you ever surveyed these online volunteers about their experiences with your organization?
Yes, that is how I learned which classrooms were succeding and which ones were failing or succeding in accomplishing the goals of IACP
What factors in your organization have promoted the success of your virtual volunteering program?
Because I have managed two Lists for older adults on WWW for over three years, I have a good understanding of how e-mail can be used to do volunteer work without the usual money and time costs of on-site orientations, training, etc.
All policies and procedures are in e-mail handbooks that have been updated and upgraded through experience.
What factors in your organization have impeded the success of your virtual volunteering program?
Just one person overseeing 130 adult CyberPAls, 160 students in 6 classrooms (four in Arizona and two in Nevada) has prevented the IACP Project from reaching out to enhance the lives of more adults and students.
It takes one person to just keep that part of the Project going which leaves no time to recruit more adults and teachers for the Project.
Please add any other comments you would like to send to us:
IACP has great potential to make a difference in the lives of many children, especially those in classrooms in lower or lower middle class income areas. That is where the need is the greatest. One of the things I added last year was to suggest that if adults wanted to send gifts to their students, as many wanted to do, those gifts be in the form of books that the students could share with others in the classroom and then take home at the end of the semester. That was very successful and the kids really appreciated the books.

The IACP motto is:
If you give a child a moment of feeling they're special, it can make a difference.

In addition:
Never doubt that a small group of individuals can change the world. It is the only thing that has.

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