The 5th Dimension of Whittier, California, located in East Los Angeles, is a collaboration between Whittier College and the Whittier Boys and Girls Club just a few blocks away.  The Whittier site is supported in part by the McCabe Foundation, a local philanthropic organization that provides funds for undergraduates to work as paid staff at the club.

 

Donald Bremme

5thD Site Director

Professor, Whittier College:

    We have a team of 15 students who have special scholarships and work study money to work in the 5th Dimension  They work there three or four afternoons a week, and they spend time rotating coordinating responsibilities.  Two of the students each take responsibility for doing the things that I think site coordinators do at other sites.  That is, they line up the attendants, and troubleshoot problems and so forth.  And two or three students have responsibility for maintaining equipment and materials: the adventure cards, and constitutions and envelopes for new kids and all that sort of thing.  And three students each two weeks take responsibility for writing to the children on behalf of the wizard.  And one person also has responsibility for two weeks for writing field notes to share with the consortium of other 5th Dimension sites.

 

Lisa Rodriguez

5thD Wizard's Assistant

    Student and McCabe Scholar, Whittier College:

I just really enjoy working one-on-one with kids.  I believe it is very important not just to work with groups of kids but to have that individual attention, that focus on working with them and building their esteem and finding things that interest the kids themselves.  I really like to use my own methods as well as the ones that I've learned from my courses at Whittier in working with the kids, in finding ways of asking them probing questions so that I'm not telling them: "This is what you have to do.  This is what comes next.  This is what comes next." 


Sonia Quezada

5thD Wizard's Assistant

    Student and McCabe Scholar, Whittier College:

Well, I'm a WA, which is a wizard's assistant and every two weeks we alternate jobs, and this week, I'm the coordinator, and my duty is to sign up kids, and pair them up with a student from the college.  And I just travel around the rooms to see is anyone needs help if maybe there is a new game that they can't play, and announcing the transformations and the hall of heroes stuff.  But as a WA, it's my duty to give each child one-on-one individual attention, and help them play a game, and just make it fun for them or motivate them to keep on going to the harder task, and that's basically my duty.


 

Donald Bremme

5thD Site Director

Professor, Whittier College:

    An opportunity to actually play a role as leaders, to make some decisions, to make some choices, based on the kinds of things they've been thinking about and talking about in their courses.  It involves making decisions about the 5th Dimension.  It involves running the summer program.  It involves coordinating, just standing up and organizing, attendance and talking to other undergrads from a position of authority.-- "You got to work with him.  Here's how you do it.  Go over here.  Do it." -- when some of them are kind of less certain about what to do.  And that's a different role for people.