Schools Double as Y2K Preparation Centers

Students, parents and teachers who want to prepare together for any
Y2K glitches can use schools as a hub and make use of a free,
community-oriented calendar on the Internet.

At, 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

‘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 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

‘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,, Becket,
Mass., 413-623-5895. Lynn Singer, teacher, Pittsfield public
schools, Pittsfield, Mass., 413-743-9378.

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