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GAERF Provides Support for Three Initiatives in 2007

Press release from the issuing company

RESTON, VA, January 5, 2007 -- Three major initiatives have received continuing funding in 2007 from the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF). These programs aim to excite high school students about careers in graphic communications, extend career information and opportunities to the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and expand a thriving nationwide web portal for graphic communications teachers and students. All three projects have previously received awards from the Foundation to support their planning and development, and the additional assistance will be used for implementation, field testing, or continuing expansion. The International Printing Museum, Carson, CA The GAERF grant to the International Printing Museum will subsidize the second year of a three-year project. Phase one included the research and development of interactive learning modules that teach historical graphic communications processes to high school and post-secondary students, ranging from paper-making to typesetting to historical approaches to color reproduction. In phase two, the monies will be used to develop the hands-on lab at the International Printing Museum that will teach the learning modules, and to create the mobile graphic arts lab that will enable these same modules to be taught “on the road” to students who cannot visit the museum. “Our goal is to supplement what teachers are already doing,” says director Mark Barbour. The museum's previous experience indicates that students are extremely excited by the chance to work with historical machinery and materials. “This is like Velcro, attaching the kids to our industry,” Barbour adds. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester, NY In 2006, GAERF provided the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with financial backing to create, test, and evaluate an interactive web site targeted toward deaf high school students that provides career exploration in graphic communications. Thomas Raco, faculty member and director of the graphic communications program at NTID notes that the continuing funding will allow for the public deployment of the web site, creation of several videos profiling deaf/hearing-impaired industry professionals, and organization of a large library of links. “We hope to be able to test the program by next fall, with selected high schools that have significant populations of deaf students,” says Raco. The site will provide extensive information about the industry and its career offerings, together with an interactive link that will enable visitors to connect online with a career counselor. “We're now looking for appropriate deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals to be in our videos, which we hope to begin shooting in January,” Raco says. GRAPHIC COMM CENTRAL, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Blacksburg, VA “For the GRAPHIC COMM CENTRAL (GCC) project, this year marks the end of a decade of service to the graphic communications profession as the education portal for educators, students, and those in the industry wishing to 'connect' with the education sector,” says project director Mark Sanders. Sanders noted that the web portal has expanded almost continuously in recent years, and now offers curriculum materials, discussion groups, and thousands of links to industry resources. “This past summer, the GCC Project upgraded from the WebSTAR server application that we used successfully for about eight years to Apple's OSX server application,” Sanders says, explaining this major technology migration will enable GRAPHIC COMM CENTRAL to manage its extensive contents more effectively.

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