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Building Websites for Charity

(ARA) - Learning doesn’t just happen inside a classroom. For The Art Institutes, learning is also creating opportunities for students and faculty to take their talents and skills outside the classroom, into the community, to help others.

This year, The Art Institutes will hold its second national “webraising” event, with schools throughout North America participating. Based on the Amish concept of a barnraising where neighbors gather together and build a barn in one day, webraisings build websites for nonprofit organizations in one 24-hour period.

Webraising is just one of dozens of volunteer efforts that some 5,000 students from The Art Institutes take part in each year, contributing more than a quarter million hours toward improving the communities in which they live and attend school.

For a webraising event, students and faculty of the Multimedia and Web Design departments of The Art Institutes work closely with nonprofit organizations several weeks in advance, conducting research, learning about the organization and the population it serves, and the purpose of its Website. They then work for a period of 8 to 10 hours to meet the launch deadline date.

"Webraisings are a unique opportunity for Multimedia and Web Design students to put their skills to work creating a critical marketing and communication tool for these non-profit organizations that they otherwise might not have the resources to create for themselves,” says Dr. Ameeta Jadav. She is coordinating the current effort underway.

In fact, many students who have participated in webraising events have continued to be involved with the organization as volunteers and Web site managers.

For Art Institute of Atlanta student Robert Horton, the experience of helping to raise a Web site for a local arts organization was overwhelmingly positive. “I liked the whole experience working with my team members and the organization representative,” says Horton. “My participation means a lot to me; it says that I'm a part of something that's productive."

“While the goals of the event are to develop a strong partnership among students, schools and their communities, and provide our students with professional hands-on experience, perhaps most importantly, we hope to instill in them a life-long commitment to volunteerism,” adds Dr. Jaday.

For more information on careers in Multimedia and Web Design and The Art Institutes, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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