chapter  8
Teachers, Mentors, Friends?: Undergraduates' Engagements With Latino Children in an After-School Program
Pages 19

Increasingly, researchers and educators are making efforts to enhance children’s learning by providing them with access to a variety of educational and recreational activities outside of school. Examples of such efforts are the “University/Community-Links” After-School Programs (UC-Links, often referred to as the “Fifth Dimension”), initiated at UC San Diego by Michael Cole and Olga Vásquez in 1996. In these after-school programs, which have been expanded across the United States and to other countries, undergraduates engage with low-income/minority children in various after-school activities, many of them computer related. The informal learning context of the after-school programs provides both children and undergraduates with many opportunities for collaboration. As K. Brown and Cole (2002) suggested, the “Fifth Dimension is organized to create an institutionalized version of the form of interaction that Vygotsky (1978) referred to as a zone of proximal development for participants” (p. 227).