At Y2Kids.net, the Youth Action Calendar Guide is a seven-month interactive calendar of activities including basic survival skills, camp stove cooking, gathering edible plants and links to other helpful web sites like the Red Cross and school-based community Y2K programs.
'We are praying the schools will become a focal point to rally around the Y2K issue,' said Jeanette Thomas, creator of the site. A former business executive, Thomas is now involved in alternative education in Massachusetts.
The site provides links to schools around the country that have been most proactive in educating their students and communities about potential service glitches at the turn of the century. In Wisconsin, for example, Virginia Hirsch of the Milwaukee public school system is training people to help her continue a series of popular Y2K workshops begun last year for students, parents and community members.
Lynn Singer, a computer technology teacher in Pittsfield, Mass., who designed the Y2Kids site, is worried that schools themselves have not made enough preparations. She recommends that parents request a copy of their child's grades and any other records kept on computer.
'I certainly would not trust any public school system to totally be up-to-date in compliance since budgets are always way too tight for even day-to-day functioning,' she wrote in response to a reporter's questions.
In mid-September, schools participating in the Newspapers in Education program will receive Y2K teacher's guides and references to helpful resources like Y2Kids.net thanks to The President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion. Thomas noted the goal is to have kids fully versed in Y2K issues and then bring the message home.
'It's necessary for parents and grandparents to participate in school solutions,' she said. 'Y2K is a community issue.'
Contacts: Marta Flores, secretary of Virginia Hirsch, facilitator of Y2K workshops, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, Wis., 414-475-8183. Jeanette Thomas, creator, Y2Kids.net, Becket, Mass., 413-623-5895. Lynn Singer, teacher, Pittsfield public schools, Pittsfield, Mass., 413-743-9378.
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