The 5th Dimension is one of the most popular activities at the Escondido Boys and Girls club, in Southern California. The program is run in collaboration with California State University San Marcos, and headed by Professor Miriam Schustack.  On days that the Fifth Dimension is in operation, kids can be found looking for their name on the long waiting list outside the computer room.

Barbara Fronczkowski

5thD Site Coordinator

Student, California State U San Marcos:

    There's so many children who want to get , each session. So we have a list made up every day that the session is open. They write their name down, or they check their name if it's already on the list.  And basically, the reason why it's so long -- I think it's up to about thirty -- is because as soon as a child leaves, even if they don't plan on getting in the next session, even if maybe they don't want to, they hurry up and put their name right back on so they have the opportunity in case they are there.  So they put their name, then I'll check the list when I come at quarter to three.  I ask the children to wait in line, whoever's interested, in the order that they put their check next to their name, and they can come in.  As one leaves, one comes in.

 

Danny Sherlock

Director, Escondido Boys and Girls Club:

    At this particular location, we're located at South Escondido.  We're directly across the street from an elementary school.  Seventy percent of the children that go to this elementary school qualify for free or reduced lunches, which means we're dealing with primarily a low income population.  We look forward to this program because it provides an advantage for kids who might be financially disadvantaged to compete with other kids, kids that have more resources.  So we think it's a great program.

 

Cory Graham

5thD Wizard's Assistant

Student, California State U San Marcos:

    We act as a brother or a sister to the child.  We don’t give them the answers to the games, we just assist them like we’re playing along with them.  And if they have any questions about the computer games that they’re playing, we’re sitting right next to them to help them out, and if they get stuck, and need a little encouragement or a little help in finding certain answers, I’m there to help them along. 

 

Darold Brown

Student, California State U San Marcos

    I've learned a lot about working with kids. You think of kids maybe before you've been in something like this, or before you've had a lot of little kids you've worked with, you maybe think of them as being all at one level maybe, and maybe underestimate what they're capable of.  But since I've been here, I'll see them working on a game that they're new to for the first time, and they don't understand.  And I'm up here, of course, thinking in my mind, thinking the kid should do this to win the game.  And sometimes the kid will come up with a different solution to the game, so you can see that they can do things you weren't aware of.