Microsoft Positively Impacts Give Every Child A Chance

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Give Every Child A Chance
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

We believe every child should be given a chance to be successful. We further believe that community volunteers; working as mentors and academic tutors, together with the school districts, will provide children struggling in school the opportunity to improve academically and become successful lifelong learners. It is our mission to give every child a chance.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Microsoft has been an excellent technological aide to the Give Every Child A Chance GECAC) organization, as it has opened our programs up to a world of opportunities. Every aspect of our organization has benefited. Whether used in our office or to service students, Microsoft is used on a daily basis. Microsoft has expanded GECAC’s horizons and has made it easier to incorporate technology to better expand our programs and outreach to the community. GECAC currently provides free mentor/tutoring instruction to over 3,000 students during the academic school year. Through our One-on-One Mentor/Tutoring, Homework Assistance Program, After School Advantage Program, Computer Assisted Instructional Tutoring, Technical Outreach Program, Reading Program, and Summer Drop-in Program, GECAC positively impacts the lives of families every day. It is our mission to give every child a chance to become life long learners. The majority of our students are from disadvantaged circumstances which include; commuting parents, living at or below poverty level, single parent households, dysfunctional families, and many other circumstances that impact the growth of a child. GECAC would not be able to provide services to our students and the community without the aid of Microsoft. Through the assistance of Microsoft Publisher, GECAC has been able to provide outreach to our students, families, and local communities. We use publisher to create our monthly newsletters and quarterly newsletters. Our monthly newsletters have been a great tool in recruiting new students while disseminating information to parents, school districts, and the communities, of what our programs are doing for the students and the schools. Our quarterly newsletters, which are site specific, go out to over 3,000 families and donors, expounding on the progress we have made over the previous 3 months. Additionally, every year we hold a recognition dinner for our hundreds of volunteers that donate their time, and this year we upgraded those certificates with the use of Publisher.

PowerPoint has been an excellent tool, staff and students have utilized, to make presentations. PowerPoint allows our students to be creative when it comes to student’s projects. Additionally, prior to using PowerPoint in our trainings, the trainers would present without the use of visual aids or props. Working with mostly young adults, this form of training was not very effective. Once we began using the PowerPoint program, staff became more engaged in our trainings. We credit this change to the visual aids. Staff now looks forward to coming to trainings and viewing the new presentations. Because of the use of PowerPoint in our trainings, we have been able to provide a better program for our students.

When we opened our doors, we utilized a program entitled File Maker Pro for our record keeping. We found that program difficult to understand and unable to do many of the functions we found necessary to expand our services. A board member introduced us to Excel, as a method to assist our organization to run more smoothly and to keep better records of the student’s files. Today, Excel is used both for the program component of our services and for the administrative components. Currently we utilize Excel to complete monthly reports, keep track of daily attendance, budget creation, fiscal accounting, grant record keeping, and to organize the GECAC donor base. Prior to our using Excel, we had a database that was inconsistent and difficult to update. Through the use of data formulas, formatting, auditing tools, charts and tables, Excel has made our work easier. The ability to combine the Excel program with Microsoft Word, has also expedited our ability to create a set of documents that are essentially the same, but where each document contains unique elements.

When GECAC first opened with only 13 students and a handful of volunteers it was easy to keep track of all of our student's and volunteer's information. That is no longer the case; we now serve over 3,000 students and over 450 volunteers annually. We realized we needed a more efficient way to keep track of all of our students and volunteers. Access has allowed us to provide services to a larger population. It has allowed us to service a greater number of students and volunteers in a more proficient way. Access has literally saved our office staff countless hours of searching and tracking student/volunteer information. By using Access we have been able to create an easy to use database which allows us to harness more student/volunteer information, track a larger student/volunteer enrollment, and access their records in a more efficient way. This program has also allowed us to track valuable information such as student progress and grades, as well as the number of years a volunteer has served. Access allows us to use and reference past program information which has helped our program not only to expand our services, but to make suggestions for improvement. We have enhanced our consistency, efficiency, and productivity with this program. We look forward to learning more about this program in hopes to continue the expansion and bettering of our program.

GECAC’s Technological Outreach Program (TOP) provides computer aided instruction to students at each of the 19 elementary schools in Manteca Unified School District. Operating out of a refurbished school bus equipped with Wi-Fi connection, 10 laptops and powered by 8 solar panels. The solar panels installed on the TOP bus are very beneficial. Not only do the solar panels allow the bus and its technological components to operate without having to be plugged into a power source, but the panels are also a way for GECAC to do its part in the effort to be green. Through the wonder of technology, the students are able to learn about web design and proper internet use, as well as utilize other Microsoft programs. They practice their keyboarding using the Word program, they use paint to draw pictures and build their computer skills.

GECAC has become a very successful non-profit, to which we owe some of our success to Microsoft. Microsoft has allowed our organization to better ourselves and branch out to different communities throughout Northern California. Without the assistance of Microsoft we would not be able to serve nearly as many students and volunteers as we do now. GECAC and the students we serve owe a great debt of gratitude to Microsoft and everything it has brought to our organization.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery