UC Links programs take place at various localities throughout California. Programs are designed and operated by university faculty in collaboration with schools and community-based organizations.
In 2019-20, 15 faculty at seven University of California campuses and one private liberal arts college led the operation of 28 UC Links sites throughout the state. Faculty partnered with 16 schools and 10 community-based organizations to collaboratively sustain these programs, serving 3,069 P-12 students, 655 undergraduates, and 39 graduate students.
A literacy program for Grade K-8 students at four private schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Activities involving digital and other multimedia communication tools assist children in learning a range of literacy-related practices, including digital storytelling, film production, and collaborative authoring. These activities help students develop and understand the nature of texts and their multiple and shifting audiences and purposes across varied contexts. We also attempt to leverage game-play, music, video, and performance (drama). PI: Professor Glynda Hull (Graduate School of Education)
A civic action research initiative, Y-PLAN has engaged students at Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy in East Palo Alto, Skyline and Oakland Tech, McClymonds, and Oakland High Schools in Oakland, and Malcolm X Academy in San Francisco as well as thousands of young people and dozens of schools, teachers, and civic partners across the United States and around the world. Y-PLAN is an award-winning educational strategy that empowers young people to tackle real-world problems in their communities through project-based civic learning experiences. See a video of the Y-PLAN Youth Summit in action here. PI: Executive Director Deborah McKoy (Center for Cities & Schools)
A maker program for high school students in Met Sacramento High School with undergraduates from UC Davis. Participants in the Beta Lab investigate the nature of learning that occurs during extended, youth-driven maker projects, and design learning environments and tools to support learning through making. A mobile maker studio expands access to underrepresented and underserved student populations. PI: Associate Professor Lee Martin (School of Education)
The CASE program prepares undergraduates to work with students in local afterschool & summer programs -- in College Park Elementary in the Newport-Mesa School District in Costa Mesa and community organizations such as Kidworks in the city of Santa Ana, Turtle Rock Community Park in the city of Irvine, Girls Inc. in the city of Costa Mesa, and Math CEO which is located on the UCI campus among others. PI: Co-Director of CASE, Professor Sandra Simpkins (School of Education)
Located in historic downtown Santa Ana, CA, El Sol Conexión is a gathering place for the whole community to engage in critical, creative conversations; to enjoy a range of cultural programs, workshops and events; and where teachers collaborate with scholars, artists and others in their field to fully integrate the expressive arts, art history and ethnic studies into the whole school curriculum. PI: Associate Professor Ana Rosas (Department of Chicano/Latino Studies)
Math Community Educational Outreach (Math CEO) engages Latinx middle and high school students in Orange County and nearby communities with university faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students in weekly enrichment sessions focused on fun and challenging math problems. Activities are designed for students to gain both fluency and confidence in literacy and numeracy skills as well as familiarity with college. See a video of Math CEO in action here.
PIs: Associate Professors Alessandra Pantano & Li-Sheng Tseng (Department of Mathematics)
Bruin Club is a dynamic space that brings together 3rd-5th grade children with UCLA undergraduates from diverse linguistic, cultural, social class and educational background experiences to learn through play. Undergraduates learn to support children’s interests, follow their lead, and create room for shifting and shared expertise. Youth are supported in developing multi-modal literacies using language and literacy in a wide variety of ways including exploratory play, letter writing, hands-on STEM activities and video production. PIs: Professor Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, Assistant Professor Ananda Marin, Associate Professor Inmaculada M. García-Sánchez (Graduate School of Education and Information Studies)
A multimedia program at a community organization in San Diego for P-12 age students at the Town and Country Learning Center. Democracy Lab is focused on how to co-design experiences that put tangible, immediate practices for change in the hands of young people and families. PI: Associate Professor Angela Booker (Department of Communication)
La Clase Mágica (LCM), developed in collaboration with UC San Diego Professor Emerita Olga Vásquez and the St. Leo’s community, recently celebrated its 30 year anniversary. Today, LCM is forging a new partnership between La Colonia de Eden Gardens, Inc. and the UCSD Partners At Learning program. LCM engages elementary and middle school youth in a variety of opportunities that support youth engagement with academic and social development including robotics, art, literacy and well-being activities. See a video of La Clase Mágica in action here. PI: Assistant Professor Amy Bintliff (Education Department)
Technology and Cultural Kumeyaay Literacy Education (TACKLE) is a cultural and literacy program designed for Native American K-2 youth in a community center in Valley Center. PI: Professor Emeritus Olga Vásquez (Department of Communication) & Lorraine Orosco (San Pasqual Band of Indians)
Club Proteo is an afterschool digital literacy program that brings UCSB undergraduate students together with elementary students at the Goleta Boys and Girls Club to create interest-based computer and video projects that the youth later present to peers at the Digital Story Festival during the final week of each quarter. The St. George Youth Center is a community organization for 6-12 grade students. Participants in UC Links activities create sophisticated projects in which they express themselves and their ideas using digital tools and murals. St. George Youth Makerspace activities blend art, STEM, and community activism. PIs: Professor Richard Durán and Professor Emerita Mary Betsy Brenner (Gevirtz Graduate School of Education)
The LEAFY (Literacies for Environmental Awareness and Farming for Youth) program engages students in grades 5-7 who are members of the Goleta Boys and Girls Club in activities that include discussions, research and writing practices related to environmental science, poetry, social justice, and community engagement. The Curie-osity Project engages members of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara who are in grades 4-6 in activities designed to learn about and with women in STEM-related professions. Both LEAFY and Curie-osity programs involve weekly sessions located within the university context. PIs: Professor Diana J. Arya and Professor Emerita Mary Betsy Brenner (Gevirtz Graduate School of Education)
The Corre la Voz program seeks to understand how the use of intentional language, asset-based development, and culturally relevant, multi-modal literacy learning are related to individual thriving, relational power, and the capacity for justice in communities. We work in teams with 4th and 5th grade dual-language learners in interactive spaces of reading, drama, games, social research, and digital projects (photo-voice and movie-making). PIs: Faculty Director Leslie López (Oakes College Service Learning) & Cynthia Lewis (Education Department)
The Fifth Dimension is a digital and literacy program for Grade K-6 students at a community organization and an elementary school in Whittier. At the Whittier Fifth Dimension, play and learning unfold through educational computer games, telecommunications tasks, and Internet investigations that require reading, writing, math-ematics, and logical problem solving. CEPI provides learning opportunities to build community and also serves as a parent liaison for the Fifth Dimension. PIs: Fifth Dimension Director Katherine Lazo & CEPI Director Stephanie Carmona (Center for Engagement with Communities)
The Y-PLAN program in CSU San José Works with youth, educators and community partners to design curricula and create learning environments that put youth voices at the center and support them to become informed, empowered and ethical advocates for their communities. The program begins with students' lived experiences and ask how they can develop the digital literacies needed to learn about, discuss, and work to address the problems we face as a society.
The California State University Dominguez Hills Math Community Educational Outreach (Math CEO) program looks to increase access to high quality STEM afterschool programs for underrepresented youth in the Los Angeles and Compton Unified School Districts while acquaint CSUDH undergraduate students with experience in the design, development, and implementation of educational material mainly in mathematics for middle schoolers.
Nuestra Ciencia (NC) is a university-community partnership where Cal Poly college students teach microbiology concepts in Spanish to bilingual elementary students. We designed the program to address microbiology misconceptions and promote science literacy for K-6 students. Additionally, we aim to elevate undergraduates as STEM role models for Latinx children and connect parents and the broader community in learning science in Spanish. Interdisciplinary teams of undergraduates develop experiments and educational resources, and visit classrooms to lead activities in Spanish.
The Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) After School Program promotes critical literacy, civic engagement, community-connection, and stewardship of neighborhood resources in the context of gentrification. Critical literacy is promoted as the key to empowerment, community participation, and liberatory education. The program aims to develop children’s functional skills (reading the written word and symbols, writing and image generation, multimedia creation, oral and visual presentation, and critical thinking), identities as learners, community-minded critical thinkers, and change agents, and place attachment and community connections.