Project Next Generation
It's all about the Kids
Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian, is widely regarded for his commitment to improving the lives of youth in Illinois.
In order to continue these efforts, Secretary White implemented a revolutionary new mentoring program in various public libraries in Illinois. This program, known as Next Generation, was initiated in 2000 to encourage students to become technology-savvy by providing the opportunity for hands-on experience with the latest technology tools.
The goal of Next Generation is to bridge the digital divide by making recent technologies accessible to students who have limited access to computers. At the same time, the program strives to provide a safe and friendly environment filled with positive role models. The mentors involved with the program foster the development of their students by helping them gain technical knowledge necessary for future educational and professional success and to develop self-confidence and pride. This program has been extremely successful and continues to move into new areas of the state each year.
Here's what the kids have to say about Project Next Generation:
Has participating in Next Generation changed the way you feel about school?
- "I'm not as bored in school anymore."
- "It is easier to do my homework now."
- "My attitude about school has been better."
- "I feel more advanced than other kids at school now."
- "I actually want to work on my homework."
- "I have learned that computers are more than just fun, they can help you a lot at school."
- "Geography is not so complicated anymore."
Has the Next Generation program helped you to improve your grades at school?
- "I went from a D to a B in both reading and science."
- "I raised my science grade up from a failing grade."
- "All of my grades have improved by two letter grades."
- "My grades in social studies moved from a B to an A."
- "All of my grades have gotten better."
- "My grades have improved tremendously."
What I liked:
- "I have a lot of fun here. I learn a lot about computers and many other things."
- "I liked working with the digital camera because I could put the outside world into the computer and play with the pictures."
- "I like the computers, I like the people that are here and the mentors are nice"
- "It was fun taking pictures of the emotions and working with the pictures in the computer."
- "Getting to know the mentors was fun."
What I've learned:
- "I have learned to get along with people."
- "I've learned to use the digital cameras, the internet and PrintShop."
- "I learned how to make web pages and how to print."
- "I've learned that I have a good eye for graphics."
- "I learned how to scan pictures and e-mail them."
- "I learned how to find files, open them, and save them."
Comments from Mentors:
- "We feel that we have come a long way in working together and have accomplished academically also."
- "What I really liked about Next Generation was really being able to help the kids."