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Monday, April 12, 1999 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

The Gevirtz Research Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara Graduate School of Education has received $50,000 from Edison International to further its Homework Project, now in its second year.

To commemorate the occasion, an award presentation will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 13, in the Chancellor's office conference room, 5123 Cheadle Hall.

Edison International and Southern California Edison officials will present a check to UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang and the benefactors of the research center, Marilyn and Don Gevirtz.

Also attending the ceremony will be John Wiemann, vice chancellor, Jules Zimmer, dean of the Graduate School of Education, Vishna Herrity, director of the Gevirtz Research Center, and Roger Himovitz, center board member.

Peabody School Principal Pat Morales, whose campus is one of three sites participating in the project, will be available with a student and parent to share their experiences."We are grateful to Edison for recognizing our efforts and joining in as a partner," said Yang. "Corporate partnership is vitally important to the success of the Gevirtz Research Center to continue inspiring those students who need proper help for higher education."

Edison's New Era Award for Excellence in Higher Education program is a yearly competition for post-secondary schools administering projects that encourage innovative collaborative efforts to motivate and prepare at-risk students for higher education. Rosemead-based Edison International is the parent company of SCE.

One of the center's inaugural research endeavours, the Homework Project placed an afterschool homework program on three Santa Barbara Elementary School District campuses --- Franklin, Peabody and Washington schools. Each program was staffed by a certificated teacher and an instructional assistant who assisted participating students with their homework assignments and bolstered their study skills.

After the first year, the students did better in mathematics and were more likely to complete their homework. They also believed their parents were more interested in their schoolwork even though they no longer sought as much homework help from their parents.

The award money will finance the last two years of the project, which began in Spring 1998. A portion of the grant will be used to add a new component to the evaluation of the three homework programs, which will focus on the process of implementing the programs at the school sites.

Known formally as the Gevirtz Research Center Committed to Outreach for Educational Excellence, the center was established in 1996 after the Gevirtz's donated $1 million to the Graduate School of Education to research and develop ways of increasing the enrollment of under-represented and disadvantaged students in the University of California system.