Overview of Program
What is PC Pals?
PC Pals is an email-based mentoring program. Students are paired with Intel employees/retirees during the school year, exchanging emails once or twice per week, with the teacher determining what types of topics to cover and using the program to augment what they are doing in the classroom.
The program offers an opportunity for students to:
- Develop their writing and communication skills
- Receive mentoring and feedback from a local business person
- Receive encouragement and support for their schoolwork and the lasting impact of a good education
PC Pals stresses the importance of school for future success and supports what teachers do in the classroom through encouraging students to commit to working toward a successful school year.
PC Pals also offers financial support for the school. Through Intel’s volunteer matching grant program, the school earns $10 per hour that employees volunteer for education and non-profits. A class participating in PC Pals can earn up to $15,000 for the school year!
Why do schools participate in PC Pals?
Schools participate in PC Pals for a variety of reasons, including:
- The opportunity to teach students how to use technology responsibly
- Broaden students’ perspectives into the community
- Give students the chance to meet and interact with an adult in the local business community
- Augment classroom learning by using the program to practice reading and writing skills, creative writing and storytelling
- Some schools have used the program for students to share their projects and get feedback from their mentors
What is required of the school?
The school must agree to the program and sign the school commitment form. The Intel employee team lead is responsible for recruiting and matching up volunteers with students and kicking off the program. The teacher will monitor emails and notify the Intel team lead of any issues. The teacher has the option to establish themes or programs with the students and Intel team around his/her curriculum in ways that can uniquely enhance learning.
There are strong security and privacy protections in place. Intel volunteers are required to complete an online background investigation form and students are required to have parental permission. No communication is allowed outside of the school/work email exchange and sharing of personal email, phone and address are strictly prohibited, as well as the sharing of any internet links or personal photos. The teacher is copied on and asked to monitor all correspondence.
How do I volunteer?
Interested Intel Retirees can contact the following Intel Community Engagement Managers, depending on location:
- Folsom: FMPCPals firstname.lastname@example.org
- Santa Clara: Rita Holiday email@example.com
- Arizona: Theresa Niemeyer firstname.lastname@example.org
Before the school year starts, the Community Engagement Managers will work with you to find a school. Please specify if you are looking to engage in a certain city (i.e. Sacramento/Folsom/Carmichael) and grade level (i.e. elementary, middle or high school). We ALWAYS need additional volunteers for this program!