AmeriCorps Members are Getting Things Done in Mississippi
Volunteer Mississippi awards AmeriCorps State grants to organizations throughout the state addressing Mississippi’s greatest needs. AmeriCorps (AC) programs offer individuals a unique opportunity to improve communities through service. State-administered AmeriCorps programs offer skills training, continuing education and other benefits that enable members to better serve local needs while gaining valuable work experience.
AmeriCorps members devote a year of their lives to make a difference; they’re serving in schools and after-school programs as tutors and mentors, providing resources and nutritional education to address food security issues and healthy living lifestyles, cultivating school gardens, completing 20 rehabilitations of affordable homes, and connecting veterans and family members of active military personnel to available resources. Members create lasting change by recruiting local leaders and volunteers, and training them to enact change in their own neighborhoods.
In the 2015-2016 program year, 500 AmeriCorps members are serving in 10 programs to Get Things Done for Mississippi:
Eighty-seven (87) AmeriCorps members serve as reading tutors for low-academic performing kindergarten through third grade students in 30 public elementary schools and early education centers across Mississippi. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for helping 60% of tutored students to achieve significant growth in reading skills equal to or greater than would be expected for 1 year as evidenced by student scores on the Renaissance Learning – STAR Reading Assessment.
Ten (10) AC members increase vulnerable children’s knowledge of, engagement with, and access to healthy food, at three local partner organizations in Mississippi. At the end of the program year, after delivering food and nutrition education, cultivating school gardens, and sourcing and promoting local food for K-12 students in communities of need, beneficiaries will measurably improve their attitudes toward fruits and vegetables, setting them on an enduring path toward maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
GRENADA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Contact: Gwen Woodson | 662.226.1606
Twenty-nine (29) AC members tutor 1,000 K-8 students in reading and math within the Grenada Elementary and Middle Schools, participate in local and national days of service in the Grenada community, and reinforce tutoring through reading initiatives at the local library.
Contact: John Victorian | 601.842.6073
Twenty (20) veterans serving as AC members are connecting veterans, their family members, and family members of active duty military service members to available resources.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 1 (SR1) – COOL Project
Sixty-four (64) AC members are providing innovative tutoring and mentoring to 300 economically-disadvantaged k-12 students through the Community Oriented Opportunities for Learning (COOL) Education Project. This results in improved academic performance by 5 points, promotion to the next grade, and improved academic engagement.
CITY OF JACKSON AMERICORPS
Contact: Linda Caldwell | 601.960.0746
20 full time AC members serve as healthcare navigators to 150 clients in targeted communities, provide nutritional information, and prepare/distribute a monthly food box to 300 low-income senior citizens and individuals. AC Members also create and maintain at least 3 community gardens.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI: UM COLLEGE CORPS
Contact: LaTanya Dixon | 662.915.2006
One hundred twenty-two (122) students, serving as AC members at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University and Mississippi University for Women, serve economically disadvantaged children by delivering an enhanced pre-K curriculum, by providing sustained after-school tutoring, and by supporting a summer learning program. Members also provide food and referrals to economically disadvantaged children and families.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI: CAMPUS LINK AMERICORPS
Eighty (80) AC members provide in- and after school tutoring to 300 economically disadvantaged 4th – 8th grade students in South MS. Mentoring and tutoring provided by AC members will assist in decreasing dropout rates and increasing academic engagement among the participating students.
Thirty-three (33) AC members are trained on the use of the Money Smart financial literacy curriculum and work readiness. AC members then provide financial literacy training to 600 individuals with disabilities, 25% of whom will gain knowledge for money management and financial independence.
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT
Contact: Marsha Taylor | 601.545.2137
The Workforce Development Division of the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD) will provide skills training in the construction field, enabling the 27 AmeriCorps members to repair and rehabilitate 20 homes of economically disadvantaged families in Forrest and Lamar counties. Ten of the members, recruited post graduation from the Mississippi (MS) National Guard Youth Challenge Academy, will also be engaged in one-on-one personal development of an Education/Career Pathway Plan for their educational advancement beyond the high school equivalency diploma.
AmeriCorps is an Opportunity
Joining AmeriCorps is a way to put idealism into action. AmeriCorps members help make the world a better place by helping children learn, protecting the environment and bringing needed services to a low-income community
There are opportunities in AmeriCorps for anyone who is willing to do something special, something unique, something exciting.
AmeriCorps is an Experience
AmeriCorps is a real-life education and work experience wrapped into one. Members learn teamwork, leadership, responsibility and other essential skills that will help them for the rest of their lives. Members also gain the personal satisfaction of taking on challenges and seeing results.
AmeriCorps Offers Tangible Benefits
Most AmeriCorps members receive student loan deferment, and training, and may receive a living allowance and health insurance,. After members complete their term of service, they also receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to help pay for college, graduate school, or vocational training or to repay student loans.