A Collection of 52 of the Most Innovative 
AmeriCorps Programs in the United States 
Transforming Communities through Service:  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A report by  
America’s Service Commissions and Innovations in Civic Participation 
June 2010 
 
 
             



Acknowledgements:
ASC and ICP would like to thank the Advisory Committee for their time, effort and guidance in developing this
publication. Thank you also to state service commissions for nominating programs, answering all of our questions and
your support. Thank you to ASC Board Chair Bill Basl, Executive Director Tom Branen, and Public Policy Manager Joe
Gersen, ICP Executive Director Susan Stroud and interns Caitlin O’Donnell and Sara Danver for their efforts in preparing
this report.

Project Coordinators:
Christy Venable, America’s Service Commissions (ASC)
Colleen Hammelman, Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP)

Advisory Committee:
Rachel Chadderdon, Executive Director, ServeWyoming
Maryalice Crofton, Executive Director, Maine Commission for Community Service
Lisa Frederick, Program Director, Massachusetts Service Alliance
Bryan Guiot, Assistant Director, Nevada Volunteers
Kristin Honz, Program Officer, Iowa Volunteers
Brian Lock, Assistant Director, Washington Commission for National and Community Service
Circe Olander, Assistant Director, CaliforniaVolunteers
Jim Snell, Executive Director, Volunteer Tennessee
Gene Sofer, Susquehanna Group
Audrey Suker, Executive Director, ServeMinnesota
Chuck Supple, former Director of California Service Corps
Gregory Webb, Executive Director, New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism


About Innovations in Civic Participation

Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) is a non-profit
organization supporting the development of innovative
high-quality youth civic engagement policies and
programs both in the US and around the world. ICP is
a leader in the global movement to promote sustainable
development and social change through youth civic
engagement. We embrace a positive view of young
people that recognizes their potential to create
beneficial and lasting social change in their
communities through active participation in service
opportunities.




Innovations in Civic Participation
1776 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 201
Washington, DC 20036
202-775-0290
www.icicp.org

About America’s Service Commissions

America’s Service Commissions (also known as the
American Association of State Service Commissions -
ASC) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization
representing and promoting state service commissions
across the United States. State service commissions are
governor-appointed public agencies or nonprofit
organizations made up of more than 1,110
commissioners. The nation's 53 state service
commissions operate at the state and local level
granting more than $260 million in AmeriCorps funds
while matching these federal dollars with over $32
million from state and local sources to support citizen
service and volunteerism in America.



America’s Service Commissions
1875 K St NW 5th Floor
Washington DC 20006
202-729-8179
www.statecommissions.org





Transforming Communities through Service:
A Collection of 52 of the Most Innovative
AmeriCorps*State Programs in the United States


A report by America’s Service Commissions and Innovations in Civic Participation
June 2010






i | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e




 


Table of Contents 

Foreword ii
Introduction iii
Program directory by focus area v
Program directory by state vi
Program profiles 1
Education 1
Environment 29
Health 49
Public Safety 59
Human Need 69
Multi-Focus, Other 91












 
The AmeriCorps Pledge
I will get things done for America -
to make our people safer,
smarter, and healthier.

I will bring Americans together
to strengthen our communities.

Faced with apathy,
I will take action.

Faced with conflict,
I will seek common ground.

Faced with adversity,
I will persevere.

I will carry this commitment
with me this year and beyond.

I am an AmeriCorps member,
and I will get things done.
| ii

Foreword 

Dear Friends of National Service,

Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) and America’s Service Commissions (ASC) are proud to share the 2010 edition of
“Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of 52 of the Most Innovative AmeriCorps Programs in the
United States.” With a recent surge of interest in national service, many existing AmeriCorps*State programs have been
lauded as highly successful and innovative. Yet, this information is not widely shared. State service commissions have
therefore relied on word of mouth or chance workshops to learn how to create similar programs in their states.

To address this, ICP and ASC are highlighting 52 innovative AmeriCorps*State programs from 39 states in this
publication. State service commissions from Alabama to Wyoming shared their tremendously creative and meaningful
AmeriCorps*State programs that are making a difference in the lives of Americans. We hope you will review this
powerful tool and use it to educate others on AmeriCorps’ role in transforming communities nationwide through service.
By sharing information about innovative programming, we hope to support the role of states as laboratories for service
and to foster new strategies for addressing a variety of social issues.

The breadth, creativity and contribution of these programs in communities throughout the US demonstrate that
AmeriCorps Members are meeting a wide array of critical needs in effective and innovative ways. Whether a program
recruits mentors, preserves our environment, helps children read, empowers persons with disabilities to serve, or
provides direct assistance to at-risk, low-income seniors, AmeriCorps is “getting things done.”

ICP and ASC would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Advisory Committee, as well as to the ICP and ASC
staff who worked diligently to bring you this publication. We welcome you to read it, use it, share it, and let these
innovative program examples inspire you and your work.

Sincerely,


Susan Stroud
Executive Director
Innovations in Civic Participation




Tom Branen
Executive Director
America’s Service Commissions




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Introduction 

The call to service is growing louder throughout the United States. From the passing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve
America Act and the White House’s United We Serve initiative to AmeriCorps application rates that significantly exceed
available positions, it is clear that in 2010 the national service movement in the US is gaining attention and making an
important difference in people’s lives. It is with this enthusiasm that we revisit our 2005 publication of innovative
AmeriCorps programs to highlight some of the most innovative AmeriCorps*State programs tackling varied community
needs and “getting things done.” Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) and America’s Service Commissions (ASC)
have gathered information about some of the most innovative AmeriCorps programs in the United States. By sharing this
information with practitioners, policymakers, donors and the general public, we hope to highlight the innovative work of
AmeriCorps Members nationwide, to create an educational tool and to encourage program replication.

The Landscape of Successful AmeriCorps*State Programs in 2010
AmeriCorps was founded in 1993 as an innovative way to meet local community needs. AmeriCorps was designed to
work from the bottom up and as such channels most of its funds to state service commissions, appointed by Governors,
which award grants to groups meeting locally-determined needs in locally-determined ways. AmeriCorps Members help
expand these groups’ reach and impact, but they don’t dictate how to provide services or achieve the organization’s
mission. AmeriCorps also sought to strengthen communities and to improve the lives of members themselves, in part by
offering AmeriCorps Education Awards to help those who serve pay for college or to pay off college loans. Over the years,
grants have been made to thousands of organizations in every state of the union, as well as to Native American tribes and
to groups in US territories. The breadth and diversity of programs supported is astounding. Each year AmeriCorps
engages more than 70,000 Americans through service to more than 3,000
community-based organizations and public agencies.

In 2005, ICP and ASC highlighted 51 programs from 38 states. As with
this edition, the programs highlighted spanned a breadth of innovative
programming across focus areas such as education, environment, health,
public safety and unmet human needs. Of those 51 programs, 43 are still
active AmeriCorps programs, although only seven programs highlighted
in 2005 have returned in the 2010 publication. This illustrates that many
innovative AmeriCorps programs are sustainable and that AmeriCorps is
able to adapt and change according to today’s needs. The programs
identified in this publication are responding to critical needs in 2010 that
include helping communities be more energy efficient, teaching
technology literacy skills to adults and young people in Minnesota, and
motivating kids to be active and learn about healthier eating habits in
Ohio, to name a few examples.

Each of these AmeriCorps projects utilizes service and volunteerism as a critical strategy to address community needs.
This volunteer force multiplier approach enables many programs to be sustainable even during periods of economic
downturn. A very critical element of this approach is the design of projects that purposely engages the talents and
abilities of community volunteers so they can also contribute to the overall success of these endeavors. Most importantly,
service and volunteerism enables all individuals to live up to the ideals of our founding fathers who believed that this new
participatory form of government could rely on the support of an active citizenry to enable it to properly function. This
renewed call to service helps bring in people of all ages and backgrounds to help solve our most critical issues of the day.
These programs, some new and some old, are meeting real community needs and creating a lasting impact on
communities and the AmeriCorps Members who serve.

Throughout this publication, we share stories of success from the programs. We asked program nominators about the
secrets to the programs’ success, and while each program is unique, there are some common characteristics across
successful AmeriCorps programs. Many nominators pointed to the commitment of the AmeriCorps Members and
program staff to the programs and the communities they serve. For example, Kitsap Community Resources (KCR)
AmeriCorps in Washington engages former-military officers and former-senior enlisted as AmeriCorps staff members in
its program focusing on education and human services for former members of the military and their families. As such, the
program staff is committed to the community it serves, which is critical to the program’s success.
“Programs like these are a force multiplier;
they leverage small numbers of members
into thousands of volunteers. And we will
focus their service toward solving today’s
most pressing challenges…. And it (the Serve
America Act) is just the beginning of a
sustained, collaborative and focused effort
to involve our greatest resource -- our
citizens -- in the work of remaking this
nation.”

- President Barack Obama at the signing of
the Kennedy Serve America Act, April 21,
2009
| iv


Another characteristic that many of the programs highlighted in this publication attribute to their success, including
KCR AmeriCorps, is being grounded in the communities they serve. Many successful programs recruit their AmeriCorps
Members from the communities they serve allowing them to share an important perspective, to break down barriers in
connecting with communities and to further their own development. For example, in Idaho the AmeriCorps Accessible
Transportation Network develops and implements innovative strategies for inclusive and accessible transportation. The
majority of its AmeriCorps Members has a disability and is personally impacted by a lack of accessible transportation in
their communities. As such, their personal experiences ground the innovative solutions they develop and regularly create
an exceptional commitment to the program’s success.

Finally, several innovative programs received grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
to expand or adapt their programming. In Massachusetts, the Youth Star program launched a Young Moms Corps in July
2009 with the support of an ARRA AmeriCorps grant. The Young Moms Corps engages young mothers who provide
information on health care access and health benefits programming serving the vast health care needs in their
communities while also building important job skills and leadership training. The successful Young Moms Corps will
continue in future years as it is folded into the Youth Star program when ARRA funding ends. These are just some of the
keys to success for programs highlighted throughout the pages of this publication. We invite you to get to know all of the
programs highlighted to learn from their success and to be inspired by their important community service.

Our Method
The following pages showcase 52 remarkable AmeriCorps programs in 39 states. Programs are grouped by the focus areas
in which they serve and along similar lines of AmeriCorps’ priority focus areas identified in the Serve America Act. These
areas include education, health, environment, human need, public safety and multi-focused programs. A program
directory listing by state is also provided - although not every state was able to submit a program. Each profile provides a
brief description, key innovative elements, contact information and examples of the program’s success stories. The
program overviews provide a brief snapshot into the activities of the innovative programs profiled. They are not intended
to be fully comprehensive descriptions of the programs or all of their activities. We invite you to visit the programs’
websites and/or contact them to learn more about their initiatives.

Each state service commission was asked to nominate at least one, but no more than two, of their most innovative
programs. Each application was reviewed by at least three readers from the Advisory Committee. Traditionally,
innovative is defined as something that has never been done or experienced before. This project utilized a more open and
inclusive definition. A program could be innovative in that it is so successful, innovative in developing new service
delivery strategies, innovative in its use of funding, innovative in its different partnerships. Each program includes at least
two of the following elements:

• Lasting impact on Members, community, or state
• Meeting its outcomes/delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional and/or unique partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication in other states
• A strong record of compliance
• Cross-program connections (i.e. AmeriCorps working with Senior Corps, AmeriCorps working with non-
national service volunteer programs, etc)
• Outstanding volunteer and/or resource generation
• An active alumni group
• Creating systemic change in their area of work

The variety and impact of the programs included in this publication is awe-inspiring. From mentoring children to
patrolling public parks, national and community service programs are providing opportunities for citizens to play an
active role in addressing community needs. We hope that practitioners will use the information in this publication to
strengthen their own work, that policymakers and donors will be moved to increase their support for the field, and that
everyone who reads these profiles will be inspired by the extraordinary tales of ordinary citizens transforming their
communities through service.
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Program directory by focus area 
Education
1
Pima Adult and Family Literacy Program (AZ) 2
Urban Education Service Corps – City/DPS
Collaborative (CO)
4
Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County
(FL)
6
Community Technology Empowerment Project
(MN)
8
Minnesota Reading Corps (MN) 10
America Reads – Mississippi (MS) 12
KEYS Service Corps - AmeriCorps (PA) 14
Amarillo Independent School District
AmeriCorps (TX)
16
College Forward (TX) 18
Vermont Youth Development Corps
AmeriCorps*State Program (VT)
20
VCU AmeriCorps and America Reads (VA) 22
North Olympic AmeriCorps Program (WA) 24
Schools of Hope Project (WI) 26


Health
49
Mid Delta Community Consortium (AR) 50
Project LINC (MS) 52
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (OH) 54
Early Childhood Home Visitation Program
(TN)
56

Public Safety
59
California JusticeCorps (CA) 60
Emergency Service Corps (DE) 62
Albany Police AmeriCorps (GA) 64
RISE AmeriCorps (NE) 66

Human Need 69
Hope for the Homeless (CA) 70
AmeriCorps Accessible Transportation
Network (ID)
72
Each One Reach One AmeriCorps (IA) 74
SUCCESS Corps (KY) 76
VSA arts of New Mexico (NM) 78
Oklahoma Serves (OK) 80
Foothills AmeriCorps (SC) 82
Project TLC (TN) 84
Alternatives, Inc. – Peninsula AmeriCorps
Serve and Support (VA)
86
Wyoming Advocate Corps (WY) 88

Multi-Focus, Other
91
Employer’s Child Care Alliance AmeriCorps
(AL)
92
Latin American Youth Center (DC) 94
Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community
Development (IL)
96
Civic Works Service Corps (MD) 98
Volunteer Maryland (MD) 100
Massachusetts Legal Assistance for Self-
Sufficiency Program (MA)
102
Youth Star (MA) 104
Young Adult Service Corps (MT) 106
LFS AmeriCorps (NE) 108
Harlem Children’s Zone (NY) 110
Project Heart/WellnessCorps (NC) 112
Kitsap Community Resources AmeriCorps
(WA)
114

Environment
29
Green Crew (CT) 30
Georgia Sea Turtle Center AmeriCorps (GA) 32
Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps (HI) 34
Green Iowa AmeriCorps (IA) 36
Huron Pines AmeriCorps (MI) 38
Grace Hill AmeriCorps Trail Rangers (MO) 40
Nevada Conservation Corps (NV) 42
AmeriCorps Conservation Team (OR) 44
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
AmeriCorps (VT)
46
| vi

 
Program directory by state 

Alabama
Employer’s Child Care Alliance AmeriCorps 92

Arizona
Pima Adult and Family Literacy Program 2

Arkansas
Mid Delta Community Consortium 50

California
California JusticeCorps 60
Hope for the Homeless 70

Colorado
Urban Education Service Corps - City/DPS
Collaborative
4

Connecticut
Green Crew 30

District of Columbia
Latin American Youth Center 94

Delaware
Emergency Service Corps 62

Florida
Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County 6

Georgia
Albany Police AmeriCorps 64
Georgia Sea Turtle Center AmeriCorps 32

Hawaii
Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps 34

Idaho
AmeriCorps Accessible Transportation
Network
72

Illinois
Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community
Development
96






Iowa
Each One Reach One AmeriCorps 74
Green Iowa AmeriCorps 36

Kentucky
SUCCESS Corps 76

Maryland
Civic Works Service Corps 98
Volunteer Maryland 100

Massachusetts
Massachusetts Legal Assistance for Self-
Sufficiency Program
102
Youth Star 104

Michigan
Huron Pines AmeriCorps 38

Minnesota
Community Technology Empowerment
Project
8
Minnesota Reading Corps 10

Mississippi
America Reads – Mississippi 12
Project LINC 52

Missouri
Grace Hill AmeriCorps Trail Rangers 40

Montana
Young Adult Service Corps 106

Nebraska
LFS AmeriCorps 108
RISE AmeriCorps 66

Nevada
Nevada Conservation Corps 42

New Mexico
VSA arts of New Mexico 78




vii | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

New York
Harlem Children’s Zone 110

North Carolina
Project Heart/WellnessCorps 112

Ohio
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities 54

Oklahoma
Oklahoma Serves 80

Oregon
AmeriCorps Conservation Team 44

Pennsylvania
KEYS Service Corps - AmeriCorps 14

South Carolina
Foothills AmeriCorps 82

Tennessee
Early Childhood Home Visitation Program 56
Project TLC 84



Texas
Amarillo Independent School District
AmeriCorps
16
College Forward 18

Vermont
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
AmeriCorps
46
Vermont Youth Development Corps
AmeriCorps*State Program
20

Virginia
Alternatives, Inc. – Peninsula AmeriCorps
Serve and Support
86
VCU AmeriCorps and America Reads 22

Washington
Kitsap Community Resources AmeriCorps 114
North Olympic AmeriCorps Program 24

Wisconsin
Schools of Hope Project 26

Wyoming
Wyoming Advocate Corps 88






















*All of the photos in this publication were provided by state commissions or program staff unless otherwise noted. Cover
photos clockwise from left: College Forward (TX), Green Iowa AmeriCorps (IA) and Schools of Hope Project (WI).
Opposite page photo: Harlem Children’s Zone (NY).


Program Profiles 


52 of the Most Innovative AmeriCorps*State Programs in the United States





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Focus Area: Education 





Many AmeriCorps Members serve in educational capacities helping students and communities across the nation improve
their literacy skills and learn needed skills and information (such as the KEYS Service Corps, AmeriCorps Program in
Pennsylvania, pictured above). While all of the education programs highlighted are unique, one common model across
some states is reading corps. Through reading corps, such as those in Minnesota, Mississippi and Virginia, Members in
school and after-school settings tutor students and help them improve their literacy skills. Other programs in this model
engage adult learners or provide education around important issue areas such as technology skills. All of these programs
are successfully meeting the needs that are unique to their communities.



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ARIZONA

Pima Adult and Family Literacy Program

Program Description

The Pima Adult and Family Literacy Program brings English-language
learning including literacy and tutoring to a distressed community area in
Tucson. For 15 years, the program has helped entire families learn. Parents
work toward earning a GED, improving English abilities, acquiring job
skills and improving parenting skills. Parents and their children learn and
attend classes together.

AmeriCorps Members tutor adults in English as a Second Language and
GED preparation, assist Adult Educators, tutor children in after-school
programs, serve as computer assistant tutors, and serve as role models and
leaders in their community. AmeriCorps Members also assist staff and
students, tutor children, and share literacy techniques with parents.

As a result of participation in the Family Literacy Program, parents and
children are increasing their literacy skills, adults pursue GEDs and
parents gain skills in interactive literacy with their children. A 2009
evaluation of the impact of AmeriCorps Members on the program showed
that Members effectively contribute in important ways to the program’s
success.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
The Pima Adult and Family Literacy Program is creating a lasting impact
on the community it serves and the AmeriCorps Members that serve in the
program. In the community, program participants are enabled to pursue
their GEDs and continue on to college or vocational training. In one
example, a participant received her GED and was then certified as a para-
professional. She was later recognized as a national student for the
National Center for Family Literacy in 2009 because of her success that was bolstered by participation in the Literacy
Program.

AmeriCorps Members in the program received extensive training in life skills, organizational skills, problem solving,
team building, esprit de corps, leadership development, communication, conflict resolution, family literacy, scientifically-
based reading instruction strategies, tutoring techniques for children and adults, public speaking, school protocol,
mentoring skills, community resources, career-link interests, and establishing lifelong volunteering. This training
prepares them to meet the needs in a classroom while also preparing them for future careers in education.

An active alumni group
An active alumni group stays connected to the program and supports recruitment of new members from the community
the Literacy Program Serves. The program tries to recruit its AmeriCorps Members from its Family Literacy and Adult
Education classrooms and in many instances, children of former students and AmeriCorps Members are now serving
with the program. In 2009, the Family Literacy Program had three Members who were children of former adult education
students and/or former AmeriCorps Members. In 2010, an aunt and sister of a former Member are serving in the program.
This makes it easier for alumni to stay connected to the program and they often volunteer at the Literacy Program’s
service projects.


Focus: Education, Human Need
Issue Area: Adult Literacy

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• An active alumni group
• Creating systemic change
• Strong record of compliance

Contact Information
Arizona Commission on Service and
Volunteerism
Bob Shogren, Executive Director
bshogren@az.gov
(602) 364-2248

Pima Adult and Family Literacy
Program
https://pima.edu/adulted/program
s/familyliteracy.shtml
Mary Ann Phinizy
mphinizy@pima.edu
(520) 741-7175

| 3

Creating systemic change
The Pima Adult and Family Literacy Program is making systemic change in its community by enabling participants to
obtain GEDs, go on to college and create brighter futures for themselves and their families. The program has a strong
commitment to building a resilient and healthy community. The Family Literacy Program removes the stigma attached to
illiteracy while assisting community members in overcoming illiteracy. Since 2009, the program has recruited 485
families who have shown important gains in English language and literacy skills. The Family Literacy Program also
teaches parents skills in interactive literacy with their children. Of 150 parents assessed, 97% made gains in their
interactive literacy with their children, which benefits the whole family.

Success Stories

The Pima Adult and Family Literacy Program is particularly successful because it recruits AmeriCorps Members directly
from the communities it serves. Often students of the program go on to serve as AmeriCorps Members and they are role
models positively contributing to their communities. This means the Members have similar backgrounds to the students
they serve, fostering trust between the students and AmeriCorps Members. Students report that their relationship and
trust with the AmeriCorps Members is an important part of taking risks for learning. Through this relationship, students
build more confidence and self esteem.

Some students have expressed the importance of this relationship saying,

“She is one of us. She provides extra emotional support, always asking students how they are doing.”

“She helps me get over my nervousness with GED and tutors me in math. She gives me more confidence to speak
English. We can practice and learn new words. She encourages us to take risks, to speak using different strategies,
like the Wordless Picture Books.”


“She inspires us.”
- Family Literacy Program student about an
AmeriCorps Member
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COLORADO

Urban Education Service Corps – City of Denver/Denver Public Schools Collaborative

Program Description

The goal of the Urban Education Service Corps – City of Denver/Denver
Public Schools (DPS) Collaborative is to increase student enrollment and
attendance at selected Denver Public Schools. The Service Corps also
reduces the drop-out rate and re-engages student dropouts in under
performing schools by increasing parent and family engagement in the
school community.

AmeriCorps Members focus their efforts on increasing student attendance
and retention; increasing student and parent engagement in school
communities; and improving the quality of school choice and enrollment
information. Working in conjunction with the DPS/City Coordination
Project Manager, AmeriCorps Members collaborate with Resource
Advocates who are employed full-time in several school communities to
manage and coordinate community partnerships in schools. AmeriCorps
Members also launched an outreach and school enrollment campaign at
locations in targeted neighborhoods. With funding from the Colorado
Governor’s Commission on Community Service in 2009, the Urban
Education Service Corps has been able to expand services into 32
additional Denver Public Schools.

One innovative way Urban Education Corps Members and staff reach out
to the community is through mobile, multi-site program initiatives. The
programs use state of the art technology by providing a MiFi unit for
AmeriCorps Members, community volunteers and parents to access school
and city services, either from their home computers or by using one of the
laptops at the tent site. Tents are used at special events and are set up in
low-cost housing units, community centers and at partner sites such as
Goodwill and Catholic Charities.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
The schools identified in the Collaborative serve communities that have traditionally been underserved. These
communities include large numbers of non-English speakers, recent immigrants and refugees. Many families in these
communities face economic, linguistic and cultural barriers that may prevent them from enrolling their students in
schools. As a result, these schools face huge challenges in meeting enrollment goals outlined by the Denver Public School
District. These schools are often forced to cut teachers and programming due to low enrollment rates. As such,
AmeriCorps Members serving in these schools meet a real community need and enable the targeted schools to more
rapidly and efficiently achieve their desired outcomes of increased enrollment, steady attendance rates, re-engagement of
dropouts, and greater involvement of parents and families.

Exceptional partnerships
The Collaborative was established in December 2006 as a result of a joint initiative between Denver’s Mayor, the DPS
Superintendent, the Denver City Council and the DPS Board of Education. This unique partnership has enabled the
Urban Education Service Corps to serve high-need communities with the support of various integral stakeholders. The
Collaborative’s structure enables students to experience a fresh infusion of resources, improve their academic
performance and receive support for all aspects of their personal development. Moreover, it is increasing the engagement
of their parents/caregivers in the school and community.
Focus: Education
Issue Area: Student Enrollment
and Attendance

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Colorado Governor's Commission on
Community Service
www.colorado.gov/gccs/
Toya Nelson, Executive Director
toya.nelson@state.co.us
(303) 866-2524

Urban Education Service Corps-
City/DPS Collaborative
http://communications.dpsk12.org
/resource/city-dps-collaborative/
Roxanne Nice, Program
Administrator
roxanne_nice@dpsk12.org
(720) 423-3402

| 5


Additionally, a partnership was established in 2010 with the Denver Public School’s Teacher Residency Program. This
new program component allows first-year Teacher Residents to serve as part-time AmeriCorps Members and further
support the district’s goals to increase parent engagement in school communities. Teacher Residents will earn hours for
projects developed to increased parent engagement in the classroom. Residents will also collaborate with full-time
AmeriCorps Community Engagement Specialists on special projects at school sites. The partnership strives to create an
AmeriCorps experience that carves out a path where Members can explore the field of community engagement and
education during their first-year experience. In the second year, Members who are interested will be encouraged to apply
to the Teacher Residency Program where they can embark on a path of becoming a full-time teacher with the school
district.

Success Stories
The Urban Education Service Corps – City of Denver/DPS Collaborative has
successfully organized parents, students and volunteers to implement
outreach and enrollment and school attendance campaigns; promote the use
and availability of city programs and services in school communities; assist
student dropouts and encourage re-enrollment; organize mobile school
registration directly in communities; and engage families and communities in
school environments. All of these efforts serve to increase student enrollment,
attendance and achievement in Denver Public Schools. The success of this
program is due, in part, to exceptional partnerships and the collaborative
nature of the program engaging various government agencies, families and
communities in the success of students.


6 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

FLORIDA

Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County

Program Description

Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County provides literacy services to
adults, children and youth at 26 locations throughout the Palm Beach
community. Members teach and tutor people of all ages and serve as
graduation coaches in local schools, library tutors and GED prep teachers.
The program has served Palm Beach for two years under a dynamic program
director and with a committed group of 25 energetic college graduates from
across the country serving as AmeriCorps Members.

The program boasts a 100% recruitment and retention rate. The Members
annually serve 350 English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) adults
who are functioning at the lowest levels of literacy, 300 children in after-
school programs and family literacy centers and 250 students at-risk of
dropping out of school. They also recruit, train and support 150 literacy
volunteers and organize Saturday service projects in collaboration with over
30 community organizations.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County is designed to have a lasting
impact on everyone involved. AmeriCorps Members have opportunities to
build leadership skills by organizing community service projects and
coordinating Corps project such as the program newsletter and
teambuilding trainings. Members summarize the impact of their service by
writing articles in the Member newsletter, The Literati. The program also
creates long-term impacts in the community by improving literacy rates
among ESOL adults and at-risk students and children, helping them succeed
in gaining employment and completing school.

Exceptional partnerships
Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County is currently supported by a coalition of eight foundations whose vision
includes helping the organizations they already fund build capacity and extend services to populations that might
otherwise not be served. The program is strongly supported with funding, partnerships and in-kind support from these
foundations including the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, The Schmidt Family Foundation, The Toppel
Family Foundation, the Asofsky foundation, The Quantum Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Palm Beach
and Martin Counties. One of the most impressive partnerships with the program is with local realtors who offer
affordable housing to Members who come into the program from other states. This benefit allows the program staff to
select the best qualified and most committed Members.


Focus: Education
Issue Area: Tutoring

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on
community
• Delivering meaningful
service
• Exceptional partnerships

Contact Information
Volunteer Florida
www.volunteerflorida.org
Wendy Spencer, Executive Director
wendy@volunteerflorida.org
(850) 921-5172

Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach
County
Audrey McDonough, Program
Director, AmeriCorps
audrey@pbcliteracy.org
(561) 265-3579


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Success Stories

The Literacy AmeriCorps Palm Beach County is successfully meeting education needs in its community. An important
contributing factor in its success is strong partnerships with influential foundations that have a vested interest in
ensuring that the program is the best. That support helps open up doors for continued support and the sustainability of
the program. The program also has strong volunteer recruitment and retention rates because of success in using social
networking sites and the National Portal to recruit Members. Almost all of the AmeriCorps Members join the program
from outside Florida and with these tools the program has a 100% recruitment and retention rate.


8 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

MINNESOTA

Community Technology Empowerment Project

Program Description

The Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) AmeriCorps
program places 30 Members in non-profits, libraries and other community
agencies across the Twin Cities to help adults and youth acquire the
technology literacy skills necessary to secure employment and to improve
academically. Partner agencies are located in Empowerment Zone (low-
income) neighborhoods and in neighborhoods with a high concentration of
recent immigrant and minority residents.

CTEP AmeriCorps Members strengthen communities through providing a
direct service teaching technology literacy; building agency capacity
through program development and mobilizing volunteers within the
community; and engaging in member-led group civic engagement projects
related to bridging the digital divide.

CTEP AmeriCorps has two specific Member position types focusing on
economic opportunity and education. Economic Opportunity Members
focus on teaching technology literacy skills to adults as they relate to
obtaining employment and improving civic and social opportunities. These
Members serve in a one-on-one capacity or in a classroom-type setting in
formal train-to-work programs. They teach specific software skills, such as
Microsoft Office, and teach workforce readiness classes geared toward
English language learners using interactive software. In public housing
facilities, Members help adult and senior residents file tax forms,
participate in GED and other degree programs, and fill out online health
care, employment and housing applications.

The other half of CTEP Members focus on education with students in
grades 6-12 in schools and after-school programs. Education Members help
students achieve state and national academic standards by enhancing their learning with technology literacy instruction.
Education Members assist youth with homework requiring technology, online research, and introduce skill-building
programs in subjects such as math, reading and typing. Education Members recruit volunteers to provide one-on-one
mentoring relationships with youth and help develop technological competency by encouraging youth media
programming.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
CTEP is a program of Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, a nonprofit that empowers communities to connect with the
emerging digital culture. Low-income and recent immigrant families as well as residents with disabilities need accessible,
affordable technology programs to ensure access to critical health, education, employment and social service information.
To meet this need, all CTEP Members help partner agencies increase their internal capacity, including program design
and assessment, staff and volunteer training, volunteer recruiting and outreach efforts. CTEP Members begin their service
year conducting a technology assessment at their site, which is used for fundraising, outreach and/or program evaluation.
CTEP is also unique in Minnesota in that it requires all Members to participate in an extended, 75-hour group civic
engagement project, in addition to five one-time civic engagement activities. Each CTEP member participates in a
member-driven small group project that focuses on making a contribution to a community need related to digital
inclusion. Projects have included creating an electronic waste public service announcement that has played on
Focus: Education, Economic
Opportunity
Issue Area: Technology Literacy

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
ServeMinnesota
www.serveminnesota.org
Audrey Suker, Executive Director
audrey@serveminnesota.org
(612) 333-7740

Community Technology Empowerment
Project
www.technologypower.org
Joel Krogstad or Libby Caulum,
Program Directors
info@technologypower.org
(651) 556-1384


| 9

community television stations in the Twin Cities and the refurbishment and distribution of computers to low-income
families.

Exceptional partnerships
CTEP reflects a collaborative, authentic partnership between community residents, local agencies, AmeriCorps Members
and CTEP staff. CTEP’s relationships with partner agencies, donors and city government provide a platform for future
cross-sector (private-public) collaboration. Over the past four years, AmeriCorps Members assisted the City of
Minneapolis to help area residents learn about the City's plans for a high-speed broadband Internet network that will
cover 100% of the city – Wireless Minneapolis. As a result of these efforts, the
city agreed to establish a new Digital Inclusion Fund with funds from US
Internet to help agencies support volunteerism and technology literacy efforts.
The Fund was established with about $500,000 contributed by US Internet in
2007 and 2008 alone. The long-term effect of this private-public partnership will
be that fewer state or federal funds will be needed to support digital inclusion
efforts.

Additionally, in early 2010, a Digital Technology Taskforce was formed to
develop a technology literacy certificate. This certificate will give more
credibility to community members who obtain a certain level of computer
literacy after successfully completing classes at one of the participating computer technology centers in the Twin Cities,
many of which are CTEP partner sites. Ultimately, the Taskforce hopes to connect with corporations and companies in
the area to educate them about what the certificate represents so that community members can get better-paying, stable
jobs. CTEP AmeriCorps Members, partners and staff have been directly involved with the beginning stages of this
process, creating a model for the certificate program and serving on the taskforce.

Potential for replication
Employees of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) working on the National Broadband Plan have singled
out CTEP as a national model for community partnership in teaching technology literacy to low-income communities.
CTEP AmeriCorps Member Alex Kurt was invited to provide testimony before Members of Congress at the Digital
Inclusion Summit in Washington, DC, on March 9, 2010, about his experience teaching basic technology skill classes at
the Rondo Community Outreach Branch of the Saint Paul Public Library. The FCC is currently seeking input from CTEP
program staff on how such a model could be replicated nationally as part of a National Digital Literacy Corps. CTEP has
also been approached by organizations in San Francisco, Denver and Austin, TX, with requests to promote the
partnership model for community technology instruction and capacity building. These cities have expressed an interest
in supporting technology education to build opportunity in low-income communities. CTEP is currently exploring a
model to replicate the program through an AmeriCorps National Direct grant for the 2014-17 cycle, as a way to expand
programming to these areas.

Success Stories

One hundred percent of CTEP partner agencies in the last four years reported an increase in their capacity to serve
underserved residents as a result of the CTEP AmeriCorps Members' service. Since CTEP’s inception, CTEP Members
have created 134 new or expanded programs at partner agencies. These programming accomplishments led to the
achievement of teaching technology literacy to over 20,000 community members since 2004. CTEP Members also
mobilized 1,117 volunteers who have given over 37,000 hours of service to the community. This amount is equivalent to an
entire year of 25 full-time AmeriCorps Members, substantially adding to the impact of the program.

CTEP’s success also comes from its ability to respond to the needs of the communities it serves. In 2007, CTEP hired
evaluation consultants and collaborated with ServeMinnesota to identify intermediate and end outcomes of the
technology literacy instruction. This helped CTEP determine that its focus for the 2010-13 grant will be on workforce
readiness and academic improvement, because these were the leading community technology needs from the data over
the last two years. CTEP is a unique and valuable resource in Minnesota that provides a vital link in addressing the
technology access and literacy needs that exist in the community.
10 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

MINNESOTA

Minnesota Reading Corps

Program Description

Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC) Members serve to increase the literacy
skills of at-risk children age 3 to grade 3 by providing qualified, well-
trained AmeriCorps Members and community volunteers to tutor children
identified below target level who need extra help to improve their literacy
skills. Members serve in Head Start agencies, community-based preschools
and elementary schools.

In pre-school settings, MRC Members work to create literacy-rich
environments and tailor literacy interventions for individual children,
children in small groups and whole classrooms. In Kindergarten through
third grade settings, MRC Members serve as one-on-one tutors and
provide literacy interventions to students who are just below proficiency in
reading. Some Members also recruit and train volunteers to support
literacy efforts within the school they are serving.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
In 2003, with Minnesota test scores indicating that nearly 25% of all third
graders were reading below state proficiency targets, the need was clear:
The state’s youngest students required additional support if they were to
become successful readers by the end of third grade - the age at which
expert literacy educators say children need to “learn to read” in order for
them to “read to learn.” ServeMinnesota recognized the need to step
forward to help Minnesota address this critical and systemic challenge. In collaboration with multiple partners,
ServeMinnesota formulated a new early literacy program initiative. The driving vision was that expandable AmeriCorps
resources could be married with the data-driven science of how children learn to read to uniquely catalyze broad change
at the system level and move the state forward in tackling large-scale childhood literacy challenges.

Exceptional partnerships
In 2003, the Minnesota Literacy Council (MLC) stepped forward as the key member of a partnership to launch and
develop the Early Literacy Corps, which later became the Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC). MLC quickly built
relationships with four local Head Start agencies, the Minnesota Head Start Association, and key literacy consultants to
successfully develop the program. The work of the MRC is also aligned with a wide range of community stakeholders.
The program originated out of a successful alliance of leading literacy organizations including Head Start, the St. Croix
River Education District, Education Evolving and the program’s fiscal host, the Minnesota Literacy Council, as well as
early childhood education experts from the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Public Schools and the University
of Oregon. In 2009, the Greater Twin Cities United Way made a three-year $2.1 million commitment to take the MRC to
scale in St. Paul and Bloomington.

Additionally, ServeMinnesota and MRC secured the support of key legislators, state department of education employees,
and professionals with marketing, public relations, finance and business experience - sufficient to back and nurture the
successful start-up of an ambitious education-focused program with plans for statewide implementation. The
combination of talent and positional influence helped to create a robust public-private partnership that has supported
the steady growth of the MRC during the past six years.



Focus: Education
Issue Area: Tutoring

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Outstanding resource
generation

Contact Information
ServeMinnesota
www.serveminnesota.org
Audrey Suker, Executive Director
audrey@serveminnesota.org
(612) 333-7740

Minnesota Reading Corps
www.minnesotareadingcorps.org
Sheila Piippo, Program Director
spiipo@theMLC.org
(651) 251-9091

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Outstanding resource generation
ServeMinnesota has maximized its more flexible status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to develop a prototype for
securing financial support that includes not only state funding but also financial support from private foundations,
business partnerships and individual contributions. The MRC’s early, evidence-based success, along with an array of
local champions, resulted in the state contributing $600,000 and the private sector contributing $701,000 during the
program’s first three years of development and implementation. In the 2007 state budget legislative session, the state
approved a separate appropriation of $1 million a year specifically targeted to the MRC, and in the 2009 budget session,
the legislature approved an increase in this appropriation to $1.375 million. ServeMinnesota’s efforts also are supported
by private investments. Since becoming a nonprofit organization, ServeMinnesota has raised $3.2 million in private
donations. Foundations have been the largest source of contributions, but last year, the Greater Twin Cities United Way
made a three-year commitment to the commission’s work with the MRC, totaling $2.1 million.

Success Stories

Minnesota Reading Corps has grown to become one of
the largest AmeriCorps State programs in the country. There
are approximately 550 Members serving in over 300 Head
Start centers, preschools and elementary schools throughout
the state. Statewide, 74% of MRC students who were initially
judged to be at significant risk passed the Minnesota
Comprehensive Assessment for reading. This compares to the
overall average pass rate of 78%. In nearly half the school
districts, 90 to 100% of the MRC kids made the grade. In the
most challenging schools, the MRC pass rate exceeds the
average.

MRC has been successful, in part, because it worked with the University of Minnesota to develop a pioneering, research-
based, early literacy program. By using an evidence-based model, MRC was able to garner greater support and implement
the program on a wider scale. MRC implemented a system to measure and aggregate results to clearly demonstrate that
national service investments were returning the greatest value in terms of outcomes for Minnesota’s children.




12 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

MISSISSIPPI

America Reads-Mississippi

Program Description

America Reads-Mississippi (ARM) is dedicated to improving the reading
skills of students, encouraging public awareness and support of literacy,
and helping to increase the number of certified teachers in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s Academic Affairs Office
administers ARM, which has regional offices at five Mississippi
universities: Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State
University, Mississippi State University, and University of Southern
Mississippi.

America Reads-Mississippi’s 350 full-time AmeriCorps Members serve in
approximately 85 school sites across the state. ARM AmeriCorps Members
carry out the program’s mission through the following activities:
• Tutoring PreK-eighth grade students in reading during school and
in extended-day programs
• Recruiting volunteers to assist with reading activities in the
classroom, service projects and homeland security activities
• Helping to increase parent involvement
• Implementing local emergency preparedness and homeland security
workshops and awareness events
• Implementing statewide and local community service projects
• Participating in member development opportunities

AmeriCorps teams at school sites tutor children one-on-one and in small
groups during the school day, before and after school, over school breaks,
and in the summer. Members also recruit community volunteers to assist
with reading activities, implement literacy-related community service
projects in conjunction with the National Days of Service, and coordinate
homeland security and citizenship activities and workshops.
Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
ARM is producing a new generation of educators for the state through its AmeriCorps Members’ service activities and its
extensive member development training. At the end of the 2008-09 program year, 36 ARM AmeriCorps Members
graduated from institutions of higher learning; two passed the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test, six were hired as
certified teachers, 22 were hired as teacher assistants, and one was hired as a music teacher. ARM has consistently
provided outstanding results, meeting or exceeding its performance measures every year. Program data from 1998 through
the 2009-10 grant year has consistently reflected an average of 86-95% of tutored students improving by at least one letter
grade. ARM-tutored students are actively involved in service-learning in addition to receiving one-on-one and small-
group tutoring.

Exceptional partnerships
ARM partners with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross to provide training
and resources for ARM AmeriCorps Members in conducting workshops on safety and emergency preparedness for
participating schools’ students and families. These partners also support Members in developing Jr. Citizen Corps Clubs
at each school site.

Focus: Education
Issue Area: Literacy

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
Mississippi Commission for Volunteer
Service
www.mcvs.org
David Mallery, Executive Director
dmallery@ihl.state.ms.us
(601) 432-6779

America Reads-Mississippi
www.americareadsms.org
Ronjanett Taylor, State Program
Director
rtaylor@mississippi.edu
(601) 432-6380

| 13

Potential for replication
There is significant potential for replication in other states in all of the program areas. Specifically, ARM staff has
presented at national and state conferences to provide models for implementation of the ARM training model and
Citizenship and Civic Engagement Series.

Success Stories

During the 2008-09 program year, ARM AmeriCorps Members tutored 4,213 students one-on-one or in small groups
during school; provided 75,700 hours of tutoring to 18,800 hours during after-school tutoring sessions; and recruited
27,268 volunteers who completed 135,760 hours of service at ARM-sponsored volunteer projects. ARM began in 1998
with 200 full-time AmeriCorps Members, partnered with two universities - Delta State University and Mississippi State
University - and included 18 school districts and 29 school partners. In the 2009-10 school year, ARM is 350 Members
strong, serving in 85 school sites across the state and partnering with five universities.

The success of ARM is due in large part to its strong program management systems and practices. The program regularly
surveys stakeholders and uses the feedback to make necessary adjustments. The program meets its AmeriCorps member
recruitment goals each year and consistently has a waiting list. Also, ARM has collected 100% of its match despite major
state education funding cuts and received high marks from partners and stakeholders. Low-achieving students receive
one-on-one or small-group tutoring, which enables them to catch up, keep up, and sometimes get ahead. ARM Members
successfully connect community members with their schools to assist in meeting numerous local needs. Furthermore,
ARM Members receive extensive training throughout the program year, including guidance on how to use the
AmeriCorps Education Award to become a teacher in Mississippi.

14 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

PENNSYLVANIA

KEYS Service Corps – AmeriCorps

Program Description

KEYS (Knowledge to Empower Youths to Success) Service Corps –
AmeriCorps’ mission is to improve the lives of Pittsburgh-area youth who
are growing up in poverty and to serve where there is a high percentage of
youth performing below expectations in basic academic skills. The
program’s 143 AmeriCorps Members serve at partner schools and
community-based organizations in neighborhoods that have great
educational and economic needs. Members tutor and mentor youth ages 5-
24, and lead them in researching, designing and implementing community
service, service-learning and legacy projects. AmeriCorps Members also
implement large-scale, targeted service projects that address local needs.
During their service year, KEYS Members receive on-going professional
and personal development to enable them to move from unemployment or
under-employment to focused career paths and jobs.

AmeriCorps Members also support KEYS’ Braddock Youth Project (BYP),
an in-house afterschool and summer employment program for teens in
Braddock, PA. BYP focuses the energy and imagination of 14-18-year-old
youth who live, work and socialize in Braddock to restore their
community. AmeriCorps Members advise BYP participants in planning
and implementing service-learning projects, legacy projects and green
initiatives throughout Braddock.





Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
KEYS believes that given the opportunity, means and guidance, youth will make positive contributions. KEYS
AmeriCorps Members propel these positive changes in youths’ lives, as evidenced by BYP. The program is creating a
“capacity-trust.” Young people participating in BYP are individually and collectively developing a set of social and
employment skills that will help them determine their most useful role in their community. The more youth who learn
skill sets from BYP, and the longer the program exists, the more capacity Braddock will have in each new generation.

Exceptional partnerships
KEYS closely partners with Braddock Redux, a non-profit founded by Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, an avid KEYS
supporter. Braddock Redux seeks the overall betterment of the community by fostering the arts, encouraging creative
facility re-use and developing opportunities for local youth. Braddock Redux provides many of the resources and the
connections that allow KEYS to maximize its impact on the community. In return, Braddock Redux is able to leverage
the resources of southwestern Pennsylvania’s largest AmeriCorps program to advance its mission. For instance, Braddock
Redux provides much-needed space to BYP with minimal restrictions. This freedom allows BYP to pursue a range of
activities and to adapt to community needs as they arise. Without Braddock Redux’s support, KEYS would likely be
forced to significantly decrease the size and scope of BYP.

Potential for replication
The KEYS and BYP youth training and employment models are adaptable to other communities. One key component
required for successful replication of the models is a sponsoring organization that can provide the supports necessary to
Focus: Education
Issue Area: Youth Development

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
PennSERVE: the Governor’s Office of
Citizen Service
www.pennserve.state.pa.us
Karen Kaskey, Executive Director
kkaskey@state.pa.us
(717) 787-1971

KEYS Service Corps - AmeriCorps
www.keysservicecorps.org
Helen Wachter, Program Director
helen.wachter@alleghenycounty.us
(412) 350-5227


| 15

allow program staff the ability to focus on program development, resource development and facilities management. It is
also important to hire program staff who believe:
• Young people can succeed in school;
• Young people can change a community for the better;
• Given the opportunity, means and guidance, young people will make positive contributions;
• Volunteers can jumpstart change in a community;
• Legacy projects allow positive thinking to take root and grow; and
• KEYS AmeriCorps Members propel positive change in young people’s lives.

Success Stories

During the past year, KEYS AmeriCorps Members have tutored and mentored 2,303 students and engaged 1,247
volunteers in service. Furthermore, BYP employed 120 teens during the summer of 2009. Of those BYP participants, 99%
completed the program, and 89% stated in post-service evaluations that they had positively impacted their community.

KEYS has created a sound and replicable system for providing
opportunities for young adults to create change and for older adults
to seek new challenges. Since its inception in 1995, over 1,000
individuals have served as AmeriCorps Members with KEYS,
conducting hundreds of service projects and improving the lives of
thousands of Pittsburgh-area youth. KEYS is successful because of
AmeriCorps Members providing the small-group and one-on-one
attention to students that teachers do not have time to provide. The
tutoring and mentoring Members provide extends the reach of the
teacher so that a far higher percentage of students are impacted.
Additionally, KEYS AmeriCorps Members regularly team up with
communities and volunteers to renovate an abandoned building or
an abandoned lot. This concentrated effort by a large number of
committed volunteers acts as a catalyst for ongoing change. In Braddock, a walk through town will reveal this change in
action: an abandoned church was converted into a community center; another abandoned church is being converted into
an art center; plans are in the works for an eight-story office building’s new life; a fruit orchard was planted as the
gateway to the town; and a convent was converted into housing.

KEYS has a supportive parent organization, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS is an
innovator and a nationally recognized organization. In this culture, KEYS is supported and encouraged to try new
approaches. DHS also is able to provide KEYS with links to funding streams, connections with partners and ideas for
innovative initiatives.


16 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

TEXAS

Amarillo Independent School District AmeriCorps

Program Description

The Amarillo Independent School District (ISD) AmeriCorps program
provides one-on-one tutoring to elementary school students to equip them
with knowledge and skills for academic success. The program has a history
of collaboration and community involvement dating back to 1999, when
representatives from the nine elementary schools in the Caprock Cluster of
Amarillo ISD and administrative staff designed an innovative program that
would directly impact at-risk students in their schools.

The current Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps program has recently expanded to
provide tutoring at 14 elementary schools as well as partnering with the
school district’s after-school program to provide tutoring services at four
after-school sites. The AmeriCorps program uses high school students as
tutors who are trained in curriculum, instructional technology, classroom
management, learning styles, teaching styles, assertive discipline, and other
topics to help them become successful tutors. In 2009, the program
expanded to include AmeriCorps Members from the local college and
university as a means to engage Members for a second year of service and to
expand the diversity of the member corps.

The Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps consists of 40 high school seniors and 10
college students. High school seniors are reduced half-time Members, and
college students are half-time Members. The program also recruits
community volunteers to engage in literacy events and to read aloud to
students.


Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Throughout the history of the Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps program’s implementation, student academic success has risen
in the schools served. The program has proven to be effective with at-risk students as they continuously gain one or more
levels on the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), and their Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)
scores steadily increase. In each of the past three program years, 50-70% of the tutored students made academic
improvement as demonstrated through accelerated (faster than their cohorts) grade-level gains by mid-year and 80-98%
by year’s end. Improved core curriculum results were measured through the DRA, the TAKS, locally developed TAKS-
based assessments, classroom grades and performance, and oral reading surveys based on teacher observation. Teachers
and principals alike agree that AmeriCorps tutors continue to play an essential role in their students' success.

An integral part of the Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps program is the expectation for Members to serve at community agencies
that rely on volunteer support. By exposing Members to areas of need in the community, the AmeriCorps program aims
to develop Members to engage in a lifetime of service beyond their member term. Members overwhelmingly report that
they plan to stay involved in their community after their year of service, and frequently, alumni continue to volunteer at
agencies they first became familiar with during their term of service.

Delivering meaningful service
Research shows that children who struggle in reading and math at the elementary level are the ones who drop out and do
not finish high school. Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps aims to increase the skills of these at-risk children in both subjects
Focus: Education
Issue Area: Tutoring

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
OneStar Foundation
www.onestarfoundation.org
Elizabeth Darling, CEO
liz@onestarfoundation.org
(512) 287-2062

Amarillo Independent School District
AmeriCorps
Cheryl Reed, Program Director
cheryla.reed@amaisd.org
(806) 326-1301


| 17

through tutoring. Program outcomes consistently outpace the expectations that have been set for the children’s
performance and acquisition of grade-level reading and math skills by the end of the school year.

A real spirit of service
The program strives to develop a strong spirit of service beyond the service year by teaching Members about the needs in
the community and expecting them to respond in a way that makes a difference to the community agencies and the
clients they serve. Members are very proud of their affiliation with the state and national AmeriCorps movements.

Potential for replication
Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps is easily adaptable to other areas of the country. The necessary elements are elementary
schools, high schools and college(s) in close proximity to the site. While the Amarillo ISD model duplicated elements for
each elementary school, it also differentiated some elements to meet the specific needs of each school. The program is
designed to be easily replicable and has adaptable materials, evaluation tools and training modules.

Success Stories

Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps’ success rate in teaching children to read and to become successful in the pursuit of academics
has been upwards of 95% every year. Each year, a minimum of 350 students who have been tutored by AmeriCorps
Members have caught up to or surpassed their classmates in literacy and math by the end of the school year. This success
is measured by teacher surveys, grade reports and periodic testing of students for academic growth. During the 2008-09
program year, 419 at-risk students received tutoring in literacy, math and/or science. By mid-year, 97% of the students
tutored by AmeriCorps Members showed significant improvement, and teachers reported that 99% of those students
made significant progress by the end of the school year (Science = 100%, Math = 99%, Literacy = 98%; Average = 99%).

Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps’ success is due to the following factors.
• Students receive tutoring from the same member daily, for a total of at least one hour per week. This structure
allows relationships to develop between tutor and student. These relationships are the key to building the
student’s self-esteem and desire to learn. The same relationship factor is critical in getting the tutor to “buy in” to
the student’s success and recognize the difference that consistency makes.
• AmeriCorps Members are well-trained. They receive three weeks of instruction before beginning their tutoring at
schools with at-risk children, and they continue to meet and train several times each week throughout the school
year. The trainings give Members an opportunity to ask questions, receive guidance from a highly-qualified
instructor and feel part of a larger group of volunteers.
• AmeriCorps Members are closely supervised. Teachers, principals and assistant principals at their work site
observe and monitor them on a daily basis. The Members’ instructor observes them at work one or more times
per week, and the program director monitors them on a regular basis.
• AmeriCorps Members are recognized and appreciated on a regular basis. Small celebrations take place in the
training classes, and larger celebrations strive to recognize those Members who have gone “above and beyond”
with extra community service or making above average strides with their at-risk children.
• The program specifically targets at-risk students within schools rather than choosing a school based on overall
performance. This intentional program design prevents at-risk student groups from falling through the cracks in
the education system.


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TEXAS

College Forward

Program Description

College Forward (CF) is an educational nonprofit, incorporated in 2003,
that aims to “change a family in a generation” by offering a gateway to
college for low-income and first-generation students. College Forward’s
mission is to provide college access and college persistence services to
motivated, economically disadvantaged students in order to facilitate their
transition to college and to make the process exciting and rewarding.

College Forward AmeriCorps Members serve to increase the college
enrollment and college graduation rates of more than 1,400 low-income and
first-generation students in Central Texas who would not otherwise have
an opportunity to attend college. Serving as College Coaches or College
Persistence Coordinators, AmeriCorps Members provide intensive, near-
peer mentoring to help students gain admission to, and financial aid at,
colleges, with an emphasis on baccalaureate degrees. The 32 College
Coaches teach 400 hours of bi-weekly, after-school classes to high school
juniors and seniors, as well as programs for parents. The six College
Persistence Coordinators provide both in-person and virtual advising to
students who face the stresses and hurdles of college life, such as
registration, housing, course selection, study skills and financial aid.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
In almost seven years since inception, CF students have compiled an
impressive record of gaining admission to colleges and universities
(99.5%), of enrolling immediately after high school (92%), and of persisting in college (81%) - exceeding state and
national statistics for students of all income levels and backgrounds. CF hired and promoted five of its 12 managers
following their AmeriCorps service. Other AmeriCorps alumni frequently serve as program volunteers. CF also recruits
outstanding student clients to serve as AmeriCorps Members during summer months. As of summer 2010, 30 students
will have started their careers through CF.

Exceptional partnerships
College Forward’s partner high schools and universities are a testament to its long-term relationships. The once skeptical
Del Valle Superintendent now calls CF “one of the best things that ever happened to this high school,” and Austin
Independent School District has become the program’s biggest partner after years of initial “thanks, but no thanks”
responses. In 2008, CF and E3 Alliance initiated the Austin College Access Network (ACAN). Through joint
programming, such as 2009’s “Countdown to College,” ACAN reduces service overlap among member organizations to
maximize each program’s impact.

Potential for replication
Kim Kiely of the National College Access Network calls CF “an example of innovation and inspiration to programs across
the country.” Organizations in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Seattle and the District of Columbia have visited CF to observe its
AmeriCorps program model. The CF curriculum, training modules and other distinct program elements are easily
adaptable and available for use.


Focus: Education
Issue Area: College Enrollment

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
OneStar Foundation
www.onestarfoundation.org
Elizabeth Darling, CEO
liz@onestarfoundation.org
(512) 287-2062

College Forward
www.collegeforward.org
Emily Steinberg, Associate Director
esteinberg@collegeforward.org
(512) 807-3104


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Success Stories

In 2009, College Forward’s client base grew by 61%, and the
program grew to a total of 11 partner schools across seven
school districts. In 2010-11, it will expand by another 36% to a
total of 1,940 clients, including 1,190 high school students and
750 college-age students. Additional program highlights
include:
• Since inception, 99.5% of CF students have applied
and been accepted to college.
• In 2009, six years since its founding, CF celebrated
its first college graduates from St. Mary’s University,
University of Texas at Austin, Texas State
University, and St. Edward’s University.
• CF students improve their ACT scores by an average of 22%.
• On end-of-year surveys, 99% of students state that their College Coaches support their aspirations, and 98%
state they would recommend the CF program to another student.
• CF’s high school clients logged 5,500 community service hours during the 2008-09 school year.
• CF has maintained 100% AmeriCorps member retention since transitioning to a full-time model in 2008.

“Whatever it takes,” is the way College Forward Board Member Jackie Mata explains the secret to the organization’s
success. “Whether it’s coaching a student into the wee hours of the night to meet an application deadline or convincing a
prospective funder to come meet the students and write a check, the staff won’t rest until they make it happen.” Waking
at 5:30am on Saturday to serve breakfast to high school juniors taking the SAT is not unusual. “Students come first,”
explains Director of Programs Betty Harrison. “But the hard work is always balanced with the fun.”

Ever mindful of College Forward’s culture, Founder and Executive Director Lisa Fielder and Associate Director Emily
Steinberg select their leadership team for their passion and personality as much as their experience. Among the 12-person
team, they promote initiative and accountability. Steinberg, who was one of CF’s first AmeriCorps*VISTA members,
originally created and funded three of the agency’s primary programs. Former AmeriCorps*Texas member Daniel Riegel,
now a high school program manager, formulated the 2010-11 plan to serve 180 additional high school students without
increasing staff. Plus, after seven years of continuous growth and 18 months of research and consulting, CF will replicate
the program in a new Texas city. “For every student helped, thousands of other needy kids deserve a chance at college,”
Lisa Fielder explains when asked about College Forward’s continuous growth, adding, “We have the cure, and we want
to share it.”







“For every student helped, thousands of other
needy kids deserve a chance at college. We
have the cure, and we want to share it.”
- Lisa Fielder, College Forward
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VERMONT

Vermont Youth Development Corps AmeriCorps*State Program

Program Description

The Vermont Youth Development Corps AmeriCorps*State Program
(VYDC) works with a network of youth-focused organizations in 14
communities across Vermont to build effective prevention, intervention
and treatment programs that help youth develop strong connections to
their communities and the assets they need to make healthy choices. VYDC
AmeriCorps Members address unmet youth needs such as physical and
emotional wellbeing, employability, academics and community bond.
Members build volunteer systems, procure resources, promote programs in
the community, develop strong relationships with youth, and refer youth to
the site staff for intervention or clinical assistance when needed.

The 20 VYDC Members plan, implement and evaluate high-quality social,
recreational, cultural, educational, and community service programs for
youth. All activities are tailored for the local community, include youth as
partners, encourage youth leadership and promote healthy lifestyle choices.
In addition to providing structured and unstructured times for youth to
discuss issues, Members plan community service projects,
intergenerational events, arts and recreation programs, field trips, youth
concerts, nutrition and cooking classes, gardening projects and civic
engagement discussions. By building high-quality youth programs that
promote academics, job skills, healthy eating, regular exercise and
connection to community, VYDC Members address real community needs
in Vermont.

VYDC invests significant time in cultivating and supporting its sites. This
support ensures that local needs are met within the parameters of
AmeriCorps rules, Members are adequately supported and successfully
finish their service term, and programs developed by Members can be sustained after they finish service. In addition,
VYDC trains its AmeriCorps Members in resource development and grant writing. Each member is required to create a
resource development plan for a program they manage and provide progress updates via quarterly reports. Most sites
have been part of the program for several years, and they report that VYDC Members make significant contributions to
their ability to meet the needs of local youth.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
Programs and resources developed by VYDC AmeriCorps Members create opportunities for Vermont youth that they
would otherwise not have. In an external evaluation in 2007, the evaluator wrote, “The AmeriCorps Members are an
integral part of the ability of these organizations to serve youth. Some of these examples show that there are many youth
in these areas who are not being served adequately by the traditional systems of family, school and social services.
Without the flexibility, caring and individualized attention of AmeriCorps Members, these youth could slip through the
cracks.”

Exceptional partnerships
Each month, VYDC Members meet with Vermont Youth Tomorrow AmeriCorps*VISTA Members for training and
networking. As a result, many VISTA Members have supported VYDC events. VYDC Members also collaborate with
Members from other AmeriCorps*State and VISTA teams when implementing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
events.
Focus: Education
Issue Area: Youth Development

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Vermont Commission on National and
Community Service
www.vtcncs.vermont.gov
Gretchen Berger-Wabuti,
Executive Director
gretchen.berger@ahs.state.vt.us
(802) 241-2135

Vermont Youth Development Corps
AmeriCorps*State Program
www.youthservicebureau.info
Kadie Schaeffer, Program Director
vyt.vydc@gmail.com
(802) 229-9151

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Real spirit of service
VYDC Members participate in comprehensive training that supports them in their service, prepares them for the job
market after service, and promotes esprit de corps and civic engagement. Also, Members write about their service
experiences in journals and participate in reflection activities during monthly member development trainings.

Success Stories

During the 2008-09 program year, VYDC Members provided services to 4,743 youth through afterschool programs, teen
centers, school programs, homeless drop-in centers, mentoring, street outreach, and Boys and Girls Clubs. Additionally,
VYDC Members engaged 1,071 volunteers in more than 6,412 hours of service to their communities.

Throughout its 13-year history, VYDC has paid attention to the
interconnectedness of community issues and assets, theoretical and
practical means of addressing problems or promoting positive
attributes, and the importance of a comprehensive member-training
program in facilitating and sustaining positive outcomes. VYDC works
with communities to identify needs, brainstorm solutions and
determine the skills and approaches necessary for Members to be most
effective. As a result, communities reported in a recent outside
evaluation that VYDC Members’ service was invaluable for developing
creative and effective programs. Additionally, 93% of the youth
participants surveyed reported an increase in skills and knowledge, as
well as an increase in positive attitudes toward their communities.




22 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

VIRGINIA

VCU AmeriCorps and America Reads

Program Description

Established in 1995, the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
AmeriCorps program aims to improve the literacy skills of metropolitan
Richmond, VA, children and families. The AmeriCorps program, along with
the VCU America Reads program, forms the core of a university-based
effort to support literacy and educational achievement at the elementary
school level, America Reads in the City of Richmond and Henrico County
(ARCH). The two programs seek to increase the availability of educational
support services to ensure that every student in the Richmond area reads
well and independently by the end of third grade. This goal is accomplished
through the program’s 57 AmeriCorps Members providing one-on-one and
small-group tutoring and mentoring services for nearly 1,000 children in
first-third grades at 17 elementary schools, spanning three school districts.

VCU AmeriCorps Members also carry out three additional activities to
promote overall student achievement and well-being.
• Members work with students to organize community service
activities at schools to instill a sense of civic responsibility and
citizenship in youth.
• Members encourage students to consider college education as a
future goal, and program staff members arrange tours of the VCU
campus for fifth-grade students.
• Members volunteer at three community-based Boys and Girls
Clubs in Richmond to provide after-school reading support and
life-skills programming to youth ages 5-18 to reinforce literacy
initiatives implemented in school.

The impact of VCU AmeriCorps and the ARCH program as part of a
regional literacy effort has enabled the program to achieve success in
leveraging new resources for the initiative. Each year, new schools request
to become program host sites, bringing with them the collaborative relationships and school support systems necessary
to expand the program with new resources. These resources have provided over $300,000 of financial support since 2007.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on community
VCU AmeriCorps Members work in collaboration with the teachers and staff at 17 local elementary schools to develop a
literacy program for struggling readers that is comprehensive and consistent. Members work within the classroom to
assist whole classroom instruction while providing extra assistance to students who are reading below grade-level. In
this capacity, Members are able to positively impact the entire classroom culture and provide teachers with vital
academic support to take students to the next level. In addition to working closely with the school staff, the program has
developed strong relationships with the school districts it serves and is considered an integral part of the overall literacy
strategic plans for district-wide improvement. This district-level support has provided the program with credibility and
validity, which enables Members to be highly effective at their schools.

Delivering meaningful service
Program evaluations from outside consultants during the past 15 years have shown that, on average, 75% of students
targeted to receive tutoring assistance from VCU AmeriCorps Members have improved academically. Feedback from
classroom teachers and administrators has shown a dramatic improvement in student confidence, self-esteem, grades and
Focus: Education
Issue Area: Tutoring

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service

Contact Information
(Virginia) Office on Volunteerism and
Community Service
www.vaservice.org
Nikki Nicholau, Executive Director
nikki.nicholau@dss.virginia.gov
(804) 726-7644

VCU AmeriCorps and America Reads
www.community.vcu.edu/solutio
ns/americorps/index.html
Erin-Marie Brown, Program Director
burkeem@vcu.edu
(804) 827-1907


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overall attitude towards school. In addition, more than 80% of staff consider the AmeriCorps Members an important part
of the academic success of their students.

Exceptional partnerships
Since its inception, VCU AmeriCorps has benefited from successful collaborations with a number of government
agencies, local service organizations, school systems and colleges throughout the Richmond area. This active
collaboration will continue to help develop an infrastructure to build the capacity of the community to support service
activities beyond AmeriCorps funding. Program efforts focus on collaborations with organizations and institutions that
have the capacity to sustain and enhance program activities.

Success Stories

VCU AmeriCorps strives to ensure that Members become a part of their school's educational support team and are not
viewed as 'just volunteers.' Members are encouraged to take their service to the next level by implementing projects that
will enhance the entire school such as food drives, book clubs and extracurricular activities. As a result, the schools value
the Members not only for the literacy support they provide, but for the positive influence they have on students and other
staff members.

AmeriCorps Members attend two trainings per month, which allow them an opportunity to share best practices and
continue to learn about services they can provide their schools. Additionally, program staff members make
communication with each site a priority through ongoing site visits and meetings during the service year. Issues are
addressed in an expeditious manner, which allows students to continue to receive services without interruption.



24 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

WASHINGTON

North Olympic AmeriCorps Program

Program Description

The North Olympic AmeriCorps Program (NOAP) uses service as a
strategy to enhance the academic achievement of youth, nurture and
mentor at-risk youth, promote the bond between families and community,
and strengthen communities through volunteer service. The program serves
young people in Washington’s North Olympic region, an area heavily
impacted by the downturn in the timber industry. The 24 NOAP Members
serve in the local high school and at community resource centers, providing
services in academic support, mentoring, resource education, and volunteer
recruitment for community projects and social service programming.

Key NOAP initiatives AmeriCorps Members support include:
• PeaceKeepers: a dispute resolution program for teens. The school-
based program helps to nurture strong leaders by giving them skills
in effective communication, anger management and decision-
making. Members conduct trainings, coordinate mediations and
debrief student mediators. To date, AmeriCorps Members have
trained 28 high school student mediators.
• North Olympic Youth Corps (NOYC): a program that engages high
school students in service to their communities. AmeriCorps
Members assist the NOYC teen participants with planning and
implementing a variety of service projects such as cleaning beaches,
removing graffiti from public property, conducting winter clothing
drives, mentoring at-risk children, serving meals to low-income
students and their families, participating in the Relay for Life, and
organizing school beautification projects.
• High School Lettering Program: a program that provides an opportunity
for high school students to earn a letter (equivalent to lettering in
sports) for performing community service. To complete the
program’s mandatory 145 service hours, students volunteer at local
nonprofits and/or coordinate NOYC-sponsored service projects.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on community
NOYC empowers high school students to be the change agents of their own peer community. AmeriCorps Members
facilitate weekly meetings where both member and student explore possible service projects in the community. Students
gain confidence and empowerment to make a difference highlighted by their internal desire to be of service to their
community. In turn, the projects provide meaningful services to community members.

Real spirit of service
The spirit of service is what drives NOAP. Student participants and AmeriCorps Members develop projects that directly
impact the community and truly embody the spirit of service. NOAP captures the student’s spirit of service and then
acknowledges and empowers this drive by providing accessibility to the community to deliver more services. AmeriCorps
Members serve as leadership mentors in the student’s desire to volunteer and serve.

Potential for replication
The NOAP program design is adaptable to communities nationwide. NOAP has replicable systems and tools that can
guide interested organizations in the program’s development and implementation. A primary component to initiating the
Focus: Education
Issue Area: Youth Development

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Washington Commission for National
and Community Service
www.ofm.wa.gov/servewa
Bill Basl, Executive Director
bill.basl@ofm.wa.gov
(360) 902-0663

North Olympic AmeriCorps Program
www.clallamamericorps.org
Jacques Livingston, Program
Director
jlivingston@portangelesschools.org
(360) 417-3697


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program is to engage a teacher or staff member at the desired school to champion the program to administration and
other stakeholders.

Success Stories

NOAP is housed at the Clallam County YMCA and is the center for both volunteers and youth activities. During the
2008-09 program year, AmeriCorps Members engaged over 500 volunteers in service to their communities, which
included tutoring and mentoring youth and serving in member-organized service projects. Of those volunteers, NOYC
participants completed over 6,350 hours of service.

NOAP ties into an important connection between youth civic engagement and lifelong volunteering and philanthropy.
The program’s service projects teach teens leadership skills, enhance teens’ self-confidence and promote a culture of
service. In addition, teens who work with nonprofits learn life skills such as responsibility, accountability and
professionalism. The relationships the teens develop with NOAP AmeriCorps Members and local professionals and the
skills they attain have a significant impact on them, and in turn, their community.






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WISCONSIN

Schools of Hope Project

Program Description

The Schools of Hope Project is a unique collaboration of the United Way of
Dane County, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) of Dane County
and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). Its mission is to
work with school staff to increase the academic performance of minority
and low-income students through tutoring services. From 1998-2007, the
Project functioned as an AmeriCorps*VISTA program, placing Members in
Madison elementary schools to serve as volunteer coordinators. During this
time, the Project developed systems and infrastructure to support the
tutoring program and expanded to two additional school districts.

In 2007, the Schools of Hope Project received AmeriCorps*State funding to
maintain the volunteer systems essential to the program and to expand its
efforts by assigning AmeriCorps Members to provide direct tutoring to
students. Led by a team of AmeriCorps Members based in elementary
schools, volunteer tutors are matched with children in need of additional
reading and math instruction. The Project’s 18 AmeriCorps Members are
responsible for the recruitment, screening, placement, orientation, training,
support, evaluation and recognition of a diverse pool of community
volunteers that includes parents and family members, university students,
businesses, faith communities, local neighborhood residents and older
adults.

During the summer, the Schools of Hope Project supports the MMSD K-
Ready program, which addresses the academic needs of struggling students
entering Kindergarten in the fall. Twenty-eight minimum-time
AmeriCorps Members join the 18 full-time Members to serve as classroom assistants, providing structured academic
support and learning activities to participating children.

The Schools of Hope Project includes the following components.
• Trained one-on-one volunteer tutors for selected elementary students
• Support for MMSD’s summer K-Ready students through placement of AmeriCorps Members in classrooms
• Collaboration with after-school programs
• SPARC (School, Parents And Reading Connection) themed backpacks for students to check out and use at home
with their families
• Elementary Learning Kits that contain books and activities for students to keep at home including bilingual
books and activities
• Literacy Bags filled with sets of books and activities for volunteers to use with students
• Family literacy resources

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
As a result of their positive service experiences with the Schools of Hope Project, alumni have sought out other
AmeriCorps and Peace Corps opportunities where they have continued the mission of service that is embedded in the
Project’s work. The vast majority of Schools of Hope Project AmeriCorps Members are college graduates seeking to
provide a year of service prior to continuing graduate or professional school and careers. Project Members have pursued
careers in education, law, medicine, social work and the Foreign Service. Many alumni have told Project staff that they
Focus: Education
Issue Area: Tutoring

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Serve Wisconsin
www.servewisconsin.wi.gov
Tom Devine, Executive Director
thomas.devine@wisconsin.gov
(608) 261-6716

Schools of Hope Project
www.schoolsofhope.org
Karen Dischler, Program Director
kdischler@rsvpdane.org
(608) 441-7893

| 27

were steered into these sectors as a result of their year or two with the program. The experience they receive in the
public-schooling system has been life altering for many alumni, and some have re-directed their own educational plans
toward pathways that will lead them to careers in teaching, school social work and nonprofit management.

Exceptional partnerships
The Schools of Hope Project benefits from effective collaboration among key partners (RSVP of Dane County, MMSD,
Sun Prairie Area School District, Verona Area School District, and United Way of Dane County) as demonstrated by joint
decision-making, continuous improvement of established institutional policies and procedures, substantial provision of
in-kind staff time and resources, and broad support for local and national replication. Additionally, there is active
participation by area institutions of higher learning (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Edgewood College and Madison
[Area Technical] College) in the provision of research models, evaluation tools and outreach to students, faculty and staff
as volunteers and AmeriCorps Members.

Real spirit of service
The Schools of Hope Project grew out of a local grassroots effort to address educational issues through community
involvement. A dedicated group of community volunteers has provided oversight to the Project since its inception in
1995. These individuals meet on a regular basis to monitor, support and promote the AmeriCorps Members and the three
county school districts involved in the Project. Each community has a leadership team of volunteers drawn from its local
leaders of nonprofit organizations, businesses, governmental bodies and educational institutions. Together,
approximately 100 people in Dane County oversee the work of the Project.

Potential for replication
The Schools of Hope Project receives frequent visits and inquiries from other communities interested in replicating the
program. It has willingly shared organizational best practices, tutoring handbooks and guidelines, management tools,
surveys and evaluation outcomes with school and community representatives from California, Iowa, Michigan,
Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin through site visits and extensive communication.

Success Stories

Each year, the Schools of Hope Project serves over 30 elementary schools and
several after-school programs. Plus, more than 700 volunteers assist nearly
4,000 children in literacy and math on an annual basis. The Project also
annually collects and distributes over 5,000 books to low-income students
and distributes more than 2,000 SPARC bags or Elementary Learning Kits.

The Schools of Hope Project’s design encourages high expectations of
AmeriCorps Members regarding the consistent delivery of exemplary
volunteer management services that encompass the effective recruitment,
screening, orientation, training, placement, supervision, evaluation and
recognition of diverse community volunteers. This high caliber of service
delivery is assured by extensive member orientation, ongoing training, opportunities for meaningful engagement and
steady support of each member. The Project continually upgrades procedures to take advantage of emerging trends and
rigorous standards of care in the coordination of volunteers.

Additionally, there is systematic support for AmeriCorps Members’ individualized professional development plans,
including career coaching, higher-education planning, assistance with resume writing, letters of recommendation, job
shadowing and professional networking. All Project coordinators invest considerable time assisting Members with goal
setting, problem solving and mapping future steps through regularly scheduled site visits, one-on-one conversations,
group retreats and reflection activities.

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Focus Area: Environment 




AmeriCorps programs have been improving and conserving the environment since the Corporation for National and
Community Service’s inception. Today environment-focused AmeriCorps programs are continuing to make important
strides in conservation while also taking creative approaches to new needs such as helping communities become more
energy efficient (such as Green Iowa AmeriCorps, pictured above). Several models presented in this section are
conservation corps protecting and preserving the environment while also adapting to the needs of urban environments,
addressing clean energy needs and preserving traditional heritage.

30 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

CONNECTICUT

Green Crew

Program Description

The Green Crew is a conservation corps made up of a team of out-of-
school youth who are trained in landscaping and gardening in order to
develop marketable skills while improving the appearance and
productivity of Hartford's green space. The Green Crew carries out a wide
range of projects throughout Hartford, including landscaping services for
local nonprofits and labor assistance for Knox Parks Foundation activities.
Programs involving the Green Crew include Hartford Blooms, a
collaboration with the Greater Hartford Arts Council; creation of
community gardens; and maintenance of public spaces such as the Ancient
Burying Ground, as well as other beautification projects.

Members are typically inner-city young adults who gain many usable
skills, a resume and increased confidence. In addition, their civic pride and
appreciation for their own community grows tremendously throughout
their term of service. Some Members have been hired by local
organizations that they helped during their term of service and they
consistently report a life-changing experience in Green Crew.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
The real impact of Green Crew is measured by the lasting change that the
Members experience. Members gain valuable skills and confidence in
seeking jobs and/or pursuing college and vocational training. An example
of the impact of Green Crew Members can be seen in the current Program
Director, who was a Member for two years during which time her mother
passed away leaving her responsible for her sister and niece. She also
became pregnant shortly after that time. She managed her hardships to finish two service terms and was offered a full-
time position as Crew Leader upon graduation. She excelled in that position over three years and now as Program
Director is able to help other Members in the same way she was helped years ago.

Delivering meaningful service
In 2009, the Green Crew cleaned graffiti from over 395 sites in Hartford, worked with over 2,000 volunteers through
Knox Parks Foundations’ various programs, planted 200 trees, and provided the City of Hartford with green space
maintenance, management and improvements. Most of the workforce/Green Jobs training components of the program
occur in the field as crewmembers complete service projects. This hands-on training creates a more lasting impact in the
population being served. Green Crew members engage community members in the communities they serve, thus
providing a sense of ownership in the results among Hartford residents. Residents are empowered in this way to bring
about lasting positive change in their neighborhoods, their city and ultimately their lives. The Green Crew is well known
in Hartford and may be instrumental in the near future as a new plan is formulated by Hartford City Government to find
alternative ways to maintain the Hartford Parks System.

Exceptional partnerships
The Green Crew program has many unique partnerships, including its work with the City of Hartford, Hartford non-
profit organizations, Hartford Department of Public Works, Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), CT Department
of Environmental Protection and Our Piece of the Pie. The Green Crew provides professional, quality, fee-for-service
landscaping work for the city and local non-profits at reasonable prices. Especially during these harsh economic times,
Green Crew’s work allows the organizations and agencies that serve Hartford to save money while reaping the benefits of
Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Conservation Corps

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships

Contact Information
Connecticut Commission on Community
Service
www.ctdhe.org
Jacqueline Johnson, Executive
Director
jjohnson@ctdhe.org
(860) 947-1827

Green Crew
http://www.knoxparks.org/
greencrew.html
Ericus Adams, Program Director
ericusa@knoxparks.org
(860) 951-7694

| 31

clean, well-maintained properties. Green Crew has also partnered with the MDC to plant two trees for every one
removed during the installation of its Clean Water project. Like the fee-for-service work for the City, this project raises
funds for the Green Crew as it works to improve Hartford’s environment and quality of life. The trees Members plant
through this partnership will live over 100 years and benefit Hartford for generations to come. Green Crew also
collaborates with Our Piece of the Pie’s AmeriCorps program to provide the greatest variety and quality of training
possible for both programs’ AmeriCorps Members.

Success Stories

The dedicated Green Crew staff has an amazing way of helping each and every member. Members join Green Crew with a
variety of challenges. Many have a criminal record, substance abuse history and never completed high school. The staff
never judges the Members and provides an immeasurable amount of support, training and guidance. This results in a
graduation rate of 80% which is increasing each year.

Green Crew’s enrollment rates are always 100% and its ability to generate volunteers stems from two places: its
reputation as the “Go To” organization for meaningful volunteer projects in Hartford and the Green Crew’s ability to
handle the hardest and most technical work of volunteer projects. Volunteers can undertake a park restoration in one day
because the Green Crew is there to set up the tasks, handle power equipment and guide the volunteers. The training and
support of Members enables the Green Crew to have a broad and lasting impact in the Hartford community.




32 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e


GEORGIA

Georgia Sea Turtle Center AmeriCorps (GSTC)

Program Description

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) is a state-of-the art facility
providing sea turtle rehabilitation, research, professional training
programs and community education. GSTC seeks to increase awareness of
habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for
ecosystem health, and empower individuals to act locally, regionally and
globally to protect the environment. The GSTC is located on Jekyll Island,
a barrier island along Georgia's southeast coast and one of Georgia's few
publicly-accessible barrier islands, with more than one million visitors
annually. The GSTC includes a gift shop, exhibit gallery and hospital, all
located in a historically renovated power plant building. This building
originally provided power to the famous Jekyll Island Club Hotel and was
designated a Brownfield Site.

AmeriCorps Members are a vital part of GSTC’s framework. Members are
frequently the “boots on the ground” in all aspects of GSTC’s mission.
Members are dedicated to educating the centers guests, participating in
sea turtle rehabilitation and diamondback terrapin monitoring,
conducting night-time sea turtle saturation tagging and nest management,
and coordinating volunteers. Husbandry Members are heavily involved in
the daily care – including meal and medication preparation – of the injured
turtles that come into the Center. All Members also have the opportunity
to be trained and available to the Glynn County Emergency Management
Agency for community disaster response. Members bring a unique set of
experiences and new enthusiasm to the Center each year.

GSTC is unique because of the engaging and interactive nature of its
programs. This is made possible through an interactive exhibit gallery
which has a hospital viewing window, an elevated walkway though the rehabilitation pavilion allowing visitors a close,
unobstructed view of the patients, daily educational programs and an eco-oriented gift shop.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
Prior to 2007, there was no facility to treat sea turtles in Georgia. This significantly reduced the likelihood injured or ill
sea turtles could receive timely and appropriate medical intervention enabling survival and release. There was no
opportunity for research that could improve turtle survival and no centralized facility providing sea turtle and ecosystem
education. The opening of GSTC created a facility, not only to treat turtles, but also a centralized location for sea turtle
conservation and educational efforts. AmeriCorps Members provide critical services throughout the Center enabling it to
grow and expand its educational curriculum, which now reaches tens of thousands of school children and guests
annually.

Exceptional partnerships
As a young program GSTC has exceptional partnerships with numerous agencies and facilities in the region and
nationwide. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and St.
Catherines Island Foundation (SCIF) were stakeholders in development and fundraising phases of GSTC and continue to
provide logistical support. As an operating department of the Jekyll Island Authority, GSTC received, and continues to
receive, vital infrastructure services. The development of GSTC's saturation tagging program built relationships with the
Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Habitat and Wildlife
Conservation

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Cross-program connections

Contact Information
Georgia Commission for Service and
Volunteerism
www.AmeriCorpsGA.org
John Turner, Executive Director
John.Turner@dca.ga.gov
(404) 327-6846

Georgia Sea Turtle Center AmeriCorps
www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org
Jeannie Miller, Program Director
jeanniem@jekyllisland.com
(912) 635-4173


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Cooperative Marine Turtle Tagging Program (CMTTP). The GSTC also partners with federal agencies such as the
National Marine Fisheries Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Cross-program connections
There are currently four national and community service programs in the area, and GSTC reaches out to these programs
for collaboration. GSTC hosted a service project in March 2010 and was joined by a neighboring AmeriCorps*NCCC
team. GSTC also collaborates with the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network. GSTC sends staff and trained volunteers
to St. Kitts to assist in their leatherback turtle tagging efforts and have collaborated to present rehabilitation workshops
and an educational Sea Turtle Camp.

Success Stories

As of December 2009, GSTC treated 903 turtles of 21 different species, 413 have been released and there are 75 current
patients. GSTC has treated a total of 1,721 animals, monitored 287 sea turtle nests of three different species and tagged 99
nesting female. This is possible with the support of AmeriCorps Members and community volunteers who Members help
recruit. The GSTC recruited 150 episodic and continuous volunteers who have donated over 12,000 hours of service.
GSTC delivered educational programs to 22,580 children, teachers and community members. GSTC was visited by 241
schools for in-house school programs, reaching approximately 12,852 children and another 3,725 children through
outreach programs. GSTC hosted 15 public events, attended 89 community events, had 7,370 participants during 349
Turtle Walks, and 1,019 participants during 68 Hatchling Walks, and held four week-long Teacher Workshops attended
by 20 teachers. GSTC has had 53,494 participants in formal GSTC education programs and 210,456 visitors to the center.
GSTC AmeriCorps program has been successful in these efforts, in part, because of its exceptional partnerships, its
ability to recruit committed volunteers and its cross-program connections.

34 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e


HAWAII

Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps

Program Description

Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) provides exciting hands-on
opportunities to engage youth in actively protecting and preserving
Hawaii’s natural resources. While conserving the environment, HYCC
offers young adults life-building experiences in order to train and equip
them with skills and knowledge to prepare them for future educational
pursuits, career endeavors and leadership in their communities.

Through HYCC, AmeriCorps Members work in various capacities in full-
time positions in conservation-based organizations, part-time positions
during the summer months and Education Award programs that assist
smaller non-profits. Altogether, the Members assist over 80 different
organizations statewide and serve thousands of acres of public lands and
open spaces.

For many Members, these programs have been valuable steps for launching
careers, college admittance, educational pursuits and life direction.
Members’ service varies depending on where they are placed, but it is
all conservation related. Some Members work with community outreach,
research and volunteer recruitment, while others are in the field working
with native plants, building trails or removing invasive species. Part-time
Members lead youth volunteers in service-learning projects in conservation
at various sites in Hawaii. HYCC encourages the young volunteers to
engage in service, become more conservation minded and be inspired to
pursue a career in a related field.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
HYCC creates a lasting impact on the communities it serves and the Members who participate. There has been a vast
increase in environmental education within communities where HYCC recruits young volunteers. Pre- and post-testing
shows that young volunteers in the HYCC Summer Program increased their knowledge of conservation by 35% in just six
weeks due to the programs led by AmeriCorps Members. HYCC programs also provide a lasting impact to Members with
alumni surveys indicating that a majority of participants go back to or finish school, are encouraged to pursue
environmental issues, continued to volunteer or serve their communities, and feel they have made a positive difference for
Hawaii through the program. Members are engaged in service in many different ways with their primary purpose being
natural resource management. However, they are also growing as individuals and benefiting local communities in
meaningful ways.

Delivering meaningful service
HYCC delivers meaningful service in conservation that meets environmental needs throughout Hawaii. In one example,
HYCC AmeriCorps Members implemented a service project for AmeriCorps Week in 2010 on Oahu at the Community
Church of Honolulu. The purpose of the project was to clear an overgrown area to gain access to Nu`uanu Stream.
Members started working around 8:30am, and by lunch they had most of the area cleared and had filled a 20 foot
container with 3 1/2 tons of green waste as well as filled a 20 foot dumpster with trash such as toilets, concrete, an old
swing set and other debris. Some members of the church (with an average age of 70-80 in the congregation) came out to
thank the Members for their work and to see the huge difference they made to that area by clearing it out. Through
Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Conservation Corps

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships

Contact Information
Hawaii Commission for National and
Community Service
www.hawaii.edu/americorpshawaii
Isaac Watson, Executive Director
hicncs@hawaii.edu
(808) 956-8145

Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps
www.hawaiiycc.com
John Leong, Executive Director
john.leong@kupuhawaii.org
(808) 735-1221

| 35

efforts like this, over the past year the HYCC programs provided over $4 million in benefits to Hawaii. HYCC
contributed over 120,000 service hours by Members and volunteers led by Members in over 40,000 acres of wilderness.

Exceptional partnerships
One of the foundational keys of the HYCC programs is based on partnerships. HYCC partners with over 80 different
organizations including the organizations where Members serve and with organizations that serve specific communities
such as Alu Like, an organization that helps to develop work skills for Native Hawaiian youth. HYCC also strives to
bridge the gap between the public and private sector. One of the most recent partnerships has been with ING Direct, an
international bank that supported the HYCC AmeriCorps Day of Service project providing
tools and gloves, lunch and drinks for the volunteers. HYCC also works with other national
service organizations such as the American Red Cross to train Members and the community
to prepare for disasters. Through the disaster training that HYCC Members received from
the American Red Cross, one of the HYCC Members supported a shelter after a
hurricane devastated Galveston, TX, in 2008. Finally, HYCC partners with local universities
and community colleges to provide credit opportunities for Members (including a master's
program in natural resources starting in the fall of 2010).

Success Stories

HYCC has been very successful in generating and recruiting Members and volunteers. For the summer program in 2010,
there were over 900 applicants for 160 summer slots. For the year-round program, HYCC had over 300 applicants for 72
slots. The recruitment is successful through the support of alumni as well as regular engagement with the communities it
serves through social media, emails, a web site, monthly newsletters to alumni and friends of the organization, and
regular community service projects like the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. In order to keep alumni involved,
HYCC also has continuation programs so that young people can return to work for another summer or have advancement
opportunities as they go through programs. This allows Members to be engaged at various levels as well as provide
upward advancement opportunities.

36 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

IOWA

Green Iowa AmeriCorps

Program Description

Green Iowa AmeriCorps was created in 2008 to address conservation and
sustainability of energy resources in several Iowa communities as they
struggled to rebuild from devastating floods. Members contribute to a
comprehensive weatherization program in which they assess the needs
and areas for improvement in a home and then provide air infiltration,
reduction and energy efficiency improvements.

Some of the services Members provide include caulking and sealing to
reduce air infiltration, replacing light bulbs, installing low-flow fixtures,
insulating water pipes and sealing leaking duct work to improve
efficiency. Members host weatherization workshops to train community
volunteers to weatherize homes by working alongside the AmeriCorps
Members. Members also provide outreach and education on a wide variety
of energy-related environmental topics, designing programs and activities
to fit interests and age groups of their audiences.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Green Iowa AmeriCorps is creating a lasting impact on communities by
supporting the weatherization of inefficient properties at little to no cost.
While many existing educational programs provide guidance on how to
weatherize, very few people are actively making energy improvements.
This is due to the investment of time and skills, not the cost of materials,
as private contractors typically charge up to $80 per hour to caulk
windows. Green Iowa AmeriCorps Members are able to offset the cost of
home weatherization, making it available and affordable to some of the
least efficient properties and those who are unable physically and/or financially to complete the work themselves. The
weatherization techniques implemented by Green Iowa AmeriCorps are projected to last 25-35 years, providing residents
with reduced utility bills and the education to become more conscious of energy use. This will enable Iowans to reduce
overall demand for power and promote an energy-independent state.

Green Iowa AmeriCorps also has a lasting impact on Members as it strives to train the next generation of energy
efficiency educators and experts who will shape the future of energy independence and environmental stewardship.
Comprehensive training is provided to all Members, giving them the technical skills to complete their service work and
to provide outreach and education in the community about their mission and service. Members gain technical skills and
hone their interpersonal skills, which provide valuable experience as they return to school or look for careers in the clean
energy sector.

Potential for replication
Green Iowa AmeriCorps is designed for replication and has received inquiries from other states about how to start
similar programs. Members and staff have devised systematic procedures for training, tracking and documenting
accomplishments. Members are developing a comprehensive illustrated weatherization manual to educate and guide
future Members and all presentations are archived electronically to avoid duplication of efforts. A web site is also under
development to serve as the all-purpose hub of the program, where anyone can view activity calendars, link to resources,
sign up for weatherization services and energy efficiency programs, and read member blogs.


Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Clean Energy Corps

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Potential for replication
• Cross-program connections

Contact Information
Volunteer Iowa
www.volunteeriowa.org
Adam Lounsbury, Executive
Director
adam.lounsbury@iowa.gov
(515) 725-3099

Green Iowa AmeriCorps
www.greeniowaamericorps.com
Cortney Schiappa, Program
Director
greeniowadirector@gmail.com
(319) 273-7233


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Cross program connections
Green Iowa AmeriCorps pursues collaborations with other service programs in its communities. For example, Green
Iowa AmeriCorps recently partnered with AmeriCorps*NCCC teams from the Vinton campus for Global Youth Service
Day and Iowa’s Shelter Awareness Day. Eight Green Iowa Members trained over 40 NCCC members in the skills needed
for home weatherization. The Members of both programs worked together to weatherize three Waterloo area shelters for
men, women and troubled youth. This was a positive experience for both programs and Green Iowa AmeriCorps plans to
partner with other AmeriCorps programs again in the future to benefit more communities.

Success Stories

Residents of homes weatherized by the Green Iowa AmeriCorps Members have given 100% positive feedback, and
volunteers participating in weatherization workshops have also given 100% positive evaluations on the information
provided, training strategies, skills learned, quality of presentation and overall experience. Interest in the program from
potential Members is very high, drawing applications from both in-state and around the country. A recent posting for 13
positions had over 70 applicants, with half of those from outside Iowa.

Enrollment of AmeriCorps Members who are passionate about both national service and energy efficiency also
contributes to the program’s success. The Members bring a broad variety of experience and backgrounds to the program,
which generates innovative and diverse ideas for tackling challenges. Members also recognize that the training and
experience they receive during their AmeriCorps service with Green Iowa will help them be successful in the program
and when they enter the green workforce or pursue further education.

Green Iowa’s success is in part due to partnerships that enable training opportunities and provide weatherization
materials. All training for Members has been provided free of charge by program partners and local businesses interested
in the community value of increased energy efficiency, and many of the materials needed for the program are also donated
by the same partners and businesses.

"My memorable experience occurred today. It was the
first post-weatherization blower door test, and even
though all of us were tired and ready to go home after
working all day, we were anxious to see the results of
our weatherization services. I had butterflies in my
stomach. What if we didn’t make any difference in the
home at all? We set up the door, turned on the fan and
crossed our fingers. After consulting the screen, the
CFU member turned and gave us a grin. We were sooo
excited to read the first post test report brought the air
changes per hour within one-hundredth of new
construction standards! Our efforts paid off! It was
rewarding and relieving to find out that our work was
actually making a difference!"
- Green Iowa AmeriCorps Member
38 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e


MICHIGAN

Huron Pines AmeriCorps

Program Description

The Huron Pines AmeriCorps program was designed to enhance the
success of grassroots conservation organizations and to increase their
ability to provide enhanced resource protection services. Communities
served are in the northern portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, with
Members placed at a variety of organizations including nonprofit resource
management groups and conservation districts.

A hallmark of the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program is implementing
wide-ranging volunteer engagement in projects that directly impact the
environment. Volunteer activities are intended to create continued
investment of volunteers in the preservation of Northern Michigan’s
natural areas. Activities include water quality monitoring programs,
Adopt-A-Forest, Conservation First Responder, invasive species removal
and habitat improvement, conservation youth camps and developing a
volunteer program for local nature preserves. Programs for youth aim to
create conservation-focused adults.

Huron Pines AmeriCorps strengthens Michigan’s communities by
improving and protecting natural resources, increasing the capacity of
conservation partners and engaging volunteers in meaningful service.
AmeriCorps Members increase conservation program offerings at host
sites, increase volunteer recruitment and engagement, distribute
environmental stewardship information, and carry out habitat
improvement/restoration projects. At Huron Pines, AmeriCorps Members
have the opportunity not only to develop real world skills, acquire
conservation-related experience and network with resource professionals,
but also to have a real impact on the area by developing, implementing and
completing conservation projects that otherwise would not be addressed.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Huron Pines AmeriCorps Members have developed water quality monitoring programs, invasive species removal
programs and other important conversation programs for organizations and communities in Michigan. The organizations
served assert that programs such as these would not be as fully implemented, nor as sustainable, were it not for early
efforts by AmeriCorps Members. By putting the time and energy into developing new programs and services, Members
leave host sites with very tangible products. Members regularly have the opportunity to create new programs, many
times from scratch, which may then lead to funding for the program and continued implementation.

Members gain valuable experience and knowledge in the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program, enabling them to pursue
conservation-related careers following their service. Several alumni have rapidly moved forward into exciting service or
career opportunities as a result of their AmeriCorps service. Three Members continued involvement with national service
by leading an AmeriCorps restoration crew in Nevada, serving as an AmeriCorps*VISTA for the Michigan Community
Service Commission and serving as AmeriCorps Program Director at Huron Pines. Two additional Members have been
hired to work for their original placement sites, including one Member who developed a volunteer water quality
monitoring program for the local Trout Unlimited Chapter. The organization secured funding for the program and was
quick to hire her as their staff Aquatic Ecologist as soon as she completed her service.
Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Conservation Corps

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Michigan Community Service
Commission
www.michigan.gov/mcsc
Paula K VanDam, Executive
Director
kaiserp@michigan.gov
(517) 335-4295

Huron Pines AmeriCorps
www.huronpinesamericorps.org
Casey Ressl, Project
Coordinator
casey@huronpines.org
(989) 344-0753

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Exceptional partnerships
Huron Pines partners with diverse conservation organizations and host sites. Its primary partners are Member host sites
and their partners. Some Member host sites and partners include Conservation Resource Alliance, Grand Traverse
Conservation District, HeadWaters Land Conservancy, HeadWaters Chapter Trout Unlimited, Michigan Department of
Natural Resources and Environment, Little Traverse Conservancy, Michigan Sea Grant, US Fish & Wildlife Service,
Michigan Trout Unlimited, Otsego Conservation District Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Saginaw Basin
Land Conservancy. AmeriCorps has created the capacity to supply “people resources” to partners which has, in turn,
strengthened the region. Huron Pines AmeriCorps also lists a variety of important funders supporting the program
overall and specific projects. Partners include WK Kellogg Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, Trout Unlimited
chapters, Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society and local community foundations. Finally, there are a range of local groups with
whom the Members work such as schools, extended education groups (Alpena Lifelong Learners) and volunteer groups
(Au Sable River Watershed Restoration Committee). Due to the program’s close connections with the communities in
which they place Members, Huron Pines AmeriCorps is able to generate strong support at both the local and state levels.

Potential for replication
Program staff carefully documents all programmatic processes and systems and Members document individual service
endeavors and projects created to support replication in other communities. Huron Pines staff has been approached by
conservation organizations in other areas of Michigan and Illinois that are interested in creating an environmental
AmeriCorps program. As such, staff has shared past grant applications, position descriptions, staff requirements and a
number of other program materials with organizations wishing to replicate the program in part or in whole.

Success Stories

In the first two years of the program, AmeriCorps Members recruited,
trained and worked alongside more than 1,250 volunteers providing
nearly 6,000 volunteer hours in conservation projects and environmental
stewardship. Members and volunteers restored more than 25,000 linear
feet of stream and riverbanks, and countless invasive plants have been
replaced with native plantings. Member activities often focus on children
and youth, working to create the conservationists of the future. The
Huron Pines AmeriCorps program truly taps into the heart of
conservation and conservationists.

Huron Pines success is due in part to a dedicated staff and group of
AmeriCorps Members. Huron Pines AmeriCorps staff is integrally
invested in Northern Michigan communities and the preservation of the
natural environment. Recruitment of Members places an emphasis on
selecting Members who have similar personal investment. Host sites are
encouraged (and have the freedom to) target their most critical
community needs and to then tailor Member service positions
specifically to those needs. Throughout the service year, staff members
work to illustrate how the Members’ services directly correlate to the
larger environmental picture. Program staff maintains flexibility and the
ability to change and evolve, which has served the program well in its
continuing implementation.

40 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e


MISSOURI

Grace Hill AmeriCorps Trail Rangers

Program Description

Since 1994, Grace Hill AmeriCorps Trail Rangers have led the development
and environmental restoration of the Riverfront Trail, St. Louis’ premier 12-
mile bike path and greenway. Through this effort, Trail Rangers have
strengthened impoverished North and South City riverside communities,
reinforced community responsibility, and provided educational and
financial opportunities to residents.

Rangers continue to maintain the Trail area and provide services to over
13,500 annual Trail users. Rangers also give presentations that cover the
topics of environmental health, cultural history and their role in serving the
community. Trail Rangers protect, maintain and improve the Riverfront
Trail; support the Mary Meachum Underground Railroad site and educate
citizens about the site through annual events; and implement a native plant
restoration volunteer project in the city.

Trail Rangers are primarily selected from the community in which they
serve in order to build the leaders of tomorrow in neighborhood areas that
many times are without leadership. Recruited applicants are selected
through interviews by staff and current Members who hold stringent
standards for new team inductees. Trail Rangers, most of whom are young,
urban adults, receive an opportunity to transition into mainstream society
by furthering their education, gaining new experiences and traveling to
new places, developing personal and professional skills, and becoming
exposed to non-traditional career paths. Trail Rangers are exposed to the
tourism field, horticulture, land and soil conservation, habitat restoration,
park management and program development. The AmeriCorps Ranger
Project represents one of the best community programs in St. Louis,
establishing new anchors, involving external partners and creating new
community leaders.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Grace Hill AmeriCorps Trail Rangers is located within an impoverished neighborhood in inner-city St. Louis. Not unlike
many other urban communities, needs are very high. The current 20+% unemployment rate is astounding compared to
the rest of the state but is normal for this neighborhood. Members are recruited solely from the neighborhoods where the
AmeriCorps services are provided. If not for the presence of AmeriCorps in this community, most of these Members
would not have an income or the chance for a bright future. Members leave the program with a greater sense of character,
well-being and civic responsibility than when they joined the program. Rather than focusing on the negatives which are a
true and present danger surrounding them every day, Members learn how to conduct meetings, showcase their natural
talents to recreate events from African American history, and build tangible life and job skills, including horticulture,
land management and weatherization techniques. These skill-building techniques have led Members to transition to
permanent positions after their AmeriCorps service, including in city government and the National Parks Service.

Outstanding resource generation
Since 2006, there has been a $12.7 million investment in the Riverfront Trail because of the presence and consistent
efforts of the Trail Rangers. Over $2.2 million has been spent to upgrade the Trail and another $10.5 million added the
Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Environmental
Restoration

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Outstanding resource
generation

Contact Information
Missouri Community Service
Commission
www.movolunteers.org
Linda Thompson, Executive
Director
linda.thompson@ded.mo.gov
(573) 751-5012

Grace Hill AmeriCorps Trail Rangers
www.gracehill.org/
Doug Eller, Director
douglase@gracehill.org
(314) 584-6703

| 41

Branch Street Trestle and McKinley Bridge Bikeway, former railroad lines transformed into fantastic elevated bikeways
connecting the Trail to Illinois. Other developments include the planned $15+ million development of the Iron Horse
Trestle creating an elevated park and bikeway, and the proposed Mounds Trail honoring the Native American mounds on
the North Side; the proposed Confluence National Heritage Area which is a Congressional vote away from becoming a
reality; and, importantly, the National Park Service is studying incorporating the Mary Meachum site within its
operations, creating a high volume of tourism in North St. Louis.

Success Stories

The Trail Rangers are successfully making important contributions in their community while also improving their own
lives. Over 30 tons of waste is removed from the bicycle trail annually. In 2009, the Rangers made significant
contributions to a challenged Mississippi riverfront environment, leading 291 volunteers to plant 3,550 native plants and
seed 15 acres with switchgrass. Over 90% of the Trail visitors feel safe as a result of the AmeriCorps Members' presence.
Over 90% of people visiting the trail report that they learned something about the Underground Railroad. As a result of
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants, Members weatherized 117 windows from nearby
neighborhoods benefiting 47 elderly and low-income households. Since 2006, the AmeriCorps Trail Rangers program has
received several awards including: the national “Take Pride in America” award from Congressman Lacy Clay, the 2010
and 2008 Missouri Community Service Award for Best Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in Missouri, the American
Planning Association’s “Outstanding Community Initiative” Award for the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing site
development and the “Grow Native Award” for having the third best community native plant gardens in Missouri.
Freedom Crossing presentations have led to collaborations with numerous organizations such as the Boys and Girls
Club, Boeing, elected officials and other National Service Programs.

Grace Hill AmeriCorps Trail Rangers are successful, in part, because it keeps an open mind and believes in second
chances. Before joining as AmeriCorps Members, some of the young people have had brushes with the law and been
engaged in destructive behavior including gang activity. AmeriCorps provides the training, experiences and focus
necessary to provide new perspectives. Members come to believe as Dr. King said that "everybody can be great because
everybody can serve." A recent study of 40 AmeriCorps alums showed that 100% observed positive personal growth, 92%
claimed AmeriCorps helped them to obtain and maintain their current occupation, and 90% were employed or in school.
Grace Hill balances opportunity, success and a stringent management style to successfully create a lasting impact on
Members and communities.




42 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

NEVADA

Nevada Conservation Corps

Program Description

Nevada Conservation Corps’ (NCC) mission is to engage participants in
environmental education, volunteerism and conservation. Housed at the
Great Basin Institute, NCC harnesses the energy and idealism of youth to
meet the needs of Nevada's public lands and communities. As an
AmeriCorps program, NCC promotes ecological literacy through field
research, environmental internships and direct conservation and
restoration services. NCC Members assist land managers with habitat
restoration, species monitoring, field research, trail building and
community conservation events.

During the 2008-09 program year, 164 NCC Members supported the
program’s mission through the following activities.
• Removed invasive species from 3,947 acres statewide.
• Built and/or removed 50.25 miles of fence.
• Planted 6,640 plants and trees.
• Removed hazardous fuels from 653 acres of public land.
• Restored 15 miles of rivers, streams, beaches and fish habitats.
• Built, maintained or decommissioned 197 miles of wilderness
trails.
• Hosted six community service projects.
• Engaged 729 students in environmental service-learning
programs.
• Recruited 1,286 volunteers who donated more than 35,000 hours
of service.
Thirty-two of these Members served as interns at museums, local
volunteer fire departments and community parks throughout Nevada.
Plus, nine Members participated in AmeriCorps Summer of Service
activities.

NCC was founded by a Nevada AmeriCorps*State Promise Fellow in 1999 and has continued to integrate national service
into its growth. Current expansion initiatives focus on an international volunteer exchange program, a university-based
environmental research program, clean energy improvements, weatherization projects and field research studies that
include a children's summer camp.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Great Basin Institute regularly hires former NCC Members as managers. Many Members continue on to graduate school
or complete internships and fellowships to further their career paths in the environmental sciences and emerging green
businesses. More than 20 former Members have found careers in Nevada with former NCC partners and host sites. In
many instances, project managers from agency partners are also former AmeriCorps Members. They understand the
national service experience and can support it in meaningful ways. NCC has consistently demonstrated its unique role in
fostering a lifelong ethic of service and is currently launching several initiatives to cultivate green jobs in Nevada aimed at
youth. Additionally, NCC was the first Nevada AmeriCorps program to sponsor a Summer of Service initiative for at-risk,
college-bound students. Program partners often comment on NCC Members’ work ethic and have noted that they
often outperform most agency crews that are paid much higher wages to perform the work.

Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Conservation Corps

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
Nevada Volunteers
www.nevadavolunteers.org
Shawn Lecker-Pomaville, Executive
Director
shawn@nevadavolunteers.org
(775) 825-1900

Nevada Conservation Corps
www.thegreatbasininstitute.org
Matt Johnson, Program Director
mjohnson@thegreatbasininstitute.org
(775) 674-5481


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Delivering meaningful service
NCC Members provide significant conservation services annually that benefits federal, state and local public lands.
Partner satisfaction with the quality of Members’ services provided is excellent. Members are well trained to provide
physically demanding service in desert and mountain environments, which has resulted in the program’s strong safety
record. The NCC enrollment rate is consistently 100% and member retention is 90%.

Exceptional partnerships
NCC has a strong history of creating and nurturing collaborative relationships with federal and state environmental and
conservation agencies including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Bureau of
Land Management, US Geological Survey, Nevada Divisions of Fish and Wildlife Service, and Washoe County Parks
Department. Additionally, Great Basin Institute boasts strong
partnerships with community-based organizations that have developed
national brands including The Nature Conservancy. Alliances with higher
education institutions (University of Nevada-Reno, University of Nevada-
Las Vegas, University of California-Irvine, and Northwestern University)
create opportunities for NCC Member internships across the
environmental and natural resource sciences. NCC is an active Member in
several national collaborations including Mountain Alliance of
Conservation Corps, The Corps Network and the Public Lands Service
Coalition. Through these affiliations, NCC is able to have a national voice
in setting standards and models for other corps to follow. NCC consults
with many corps from other states that use its program as a model based
on a successful record of consistently exceeding performance measure
targets.

Success Stories
NCC is Nevada’s oldest and largest AmeriCorps*State program. It reflects a synergy between private and public,
government and community organizations, restoration and conservation, and education and research. NCC generates
significant income that has consistently been invested back into the program to grow service initiatives, to build its
capacity, and to launch and sustain interdisciplinary field studies. Over the past 10 years, NCC has reduced the risk of
forest fires on more than 7,000 acres of public land. AmeriCorps crews have also built and maintained over 580 miles of
recreational trails in state parks and national forests, restored more than 150 miles of wetland habitat and planted 26,000
native plants.

44 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

OREGON

AmeriCorps Conservation Team

Program Description

The Nature Conservancy’s AmeriCorps Conservation Team (ACT)
seeks to conserve and enhance remaining populations of fish and
wildlife and the habitat they need to survive and to help recruit and
train the next generation of conservation practitioners and volunteer
leaders. The program’s 13 full-time AmeriCorps Members serve at host
sites across Oregon. ACT Members increase conservation outcomes
through direct service restoration projects such as prescribed burning,
native plantings, invasive species removal and intensive team restoration
efforts. They also support and expand volunteer engagement in these
areas.

The ACT program design includes the use of a late summer (three
month) “roving” team, which brings five Members together from their
separate placement sites. Criss-crossing the state, the Members spend
their time under the tutelage of conservation staff and advance field
research, restore habitats and engage local communities. The team often
visits other existing member placement sites to provide an intensive
response to identified needs. Since Oregon is such a large state
geographically, the design allows a unique experience, both for the
roving team and the “non-roving” ACT Members who help coordinate
projects. The roving team also engages in large-scale, on-the-ground
conservation projects such as invasive species control and prescribed
burns.

ACT Members increase the Conservancy’s capacity to engage volunteers
in its activities. Volunteer options now include service day events,
weekend activities and school-based Youth Corps where ACT Members
serve the dual role of volunteer leader and role model. ACT Members
receive training in the Conservancy’s volunteer management curriculum,
which includes assessing program needs, risk management, recruitment,
screening, training, supervision and recognition.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
ACT Members receive exceptional training opportunities and service experiences that assist them with future career
choices. During the entire service year, Members are encouraged to arrange peer visits when possible to both assist fellow
Members and to experience different environmental needs and approaches. Job shadowing with Nature Conservancy
staff is also encouraged. All Members receive skill-based training that transfers directly to other career options. Examples
include training on GIS mapping for field data and identification and Weed Information Mapping System (WIMS); both
skills are required for many professional environmental agency positions.

Exceptional partnerships
The Nature Conservancy’s reputation attracts a variety of non-profit and governmental partners. The partnership with
AmeriCorps has increased the Conservancy’s visibility and presence in local communities. Since Nature Conservancy
initiatives are tied to these communities and reach across city or county boundaries, the presence of AmeriCorps
Members helps to illustrate the effectiveness of such partnerships.

Focus: Environment
Issue Area: Conservation Corps

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Oregon Volunteers!
www.oregonvolunteers.org
Kathleen Joy, Executive Director
kathleen@oregonvolunteers.org
(503) 725-5903

AmeriCorps Conservation Team
www.nature.org/wherewework/nort
hamerica/states/oregon/volunteer/ar
t29524.html
Kyle Strauss, Program Director
kstrauss@tnc.org
(541) 770-7933


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Potential for replication
The Nature Conservancy is an international organization, and all 50 states have a chapter office. Oregon is currently the
only state chapter to have an AmeriCorps team that is sponsored fully by the organization. The advantage of a sponsored
team is its ability to plan and provide direct, sustained service to an issue using trained Members. Many environmental
projects require large-scale, direct efforts to create a lasting impact, so the model may be particularly attractive to other
state Nature Conservancy chapters.

Success Stories

During the 2009 program year, ACT Members engaged 575 volunteers in 4,672 hours of service. Members also removed
2,242 infestations of weeds covering 622 acres, completed 30 watershed restoration projects across the state, collected
230 pounds of native seeds, planted 43,850 plants and 38,800 bulbs, and distributed 22,000 seeds including endangered
species.

Strong recruitment efforts and Nature Conservancy name recognition
have resulted in a high number of applicants for the ACT positions. ACT
has been very successful in selecting and placing Members who have a
strong interest in the environment, understand the position requirements
and are anxious for the experience and training they receive. The
sponsoring organization has embraced AmeriCorps quickly and site
supervisors are anxious to have the additional assistance that Members
bring. AmeriCorps service allows local field staff and their partners to
expand service potential and to engage more volunteers in service. As a
result of the training the Members receive, they are able to gather
scientific data and share it with other agencies through computer
software at the same time they are performing direct field service. This
innovation benefits the member by clarifying that their accomplishments
are broader than just the invasive species removal in one area and assists
other environmental groups working on similar issues.


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Vermont

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board AmeriCorps

Program Description

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) is a quasi-
governmental funding organization with the dual goals of providing
affordable housing to lower-income Vermonters while preserving natural
lands and agriculture. For 22 years, VHCB has focused on affordable
housing in conjunction with downtown/neighborhood revitalization
while providing communities with long-term public access to open space
near where residents live and work. Its AmeriCorps program, Vermont
Housing and Conservation Board AmeriCorps (VHCB AmeriCorps),
supports this focus, tailoring member activities to local needs. As
manifested through partnerships with more than 25 nonprofit
housing/conservation organizations statewide, VHCB AmeriCorps
enhances the welfare and stability of Vermont's communities,
environment and citizens through education, skills development,
participation and achievement. The mission of VHCB AmeriCorps is to
support the creation of more stable, affordable housing situations for
Vermonters while fostering a greater appreciation of and responsibility
for the environment. The 34 VHCB AmeriCorps Members serve with
homeless shelters, HomeOwnership Centers, residents of affordable
housing neighborhoods, housing resource centers, and environmental
education and conservation non-profits.

VHCB AmeriCorps Members deliver a diverse range of activities that
support VHCB’s dual mission of creating safe, beautiful, affordable
housing opportunities while preserving the natural and working
landscapes of Vermont.




VHCB Housing Members:
• Implement programs for children and families residing in subsidized housing developments.
• Help homeless individuals and families find suitable housing, build life skills, create resumes and obtain services.
• Support Vermont's HomeOwnership Centers by providing foreclosure prevention/intervention and financial
literacy services and aiding first-time homebuyers though the process of obtaining affordable homes.
• Contribute to the construction of playgrounds, wheelchair ramps, houses and rehabilitation projects.
• Educate tenants on their rights and responsibilities and convene groups of residents and citizens with a common
goal to foster associative relationships.
• Assist Vermonters with accessing and implementing energy-efficient resources.

VHCB Conservation Members:
• Provide environmental education and service opportunities for school-aged young people.
• Take stewardship actions to conserve Vermont's working and native landscape such as trail maintenance,
boundary marking, easement monitoring and trash removal.
• Recruit volunteers and raise awareness about conservation issues.
• Participate in wild land assessments, extract invasive plants and implement land management plans.
• Maintain trails and educate hikers on the “leave no trace” philosophy.
Focus: Clean Energy, Environment
Issue Areas: Housing, Conservation

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
Vermont Commission on National and
Community Service
www.vtcncs.vermont.gov
Gretchen Berger-Wabuti,
Executive Director
gretchen.berger@ahs.state.vt.us
(802) 241-2135

Vermont Housing and Conservation
Board AmeriCorps
www.vhcb.org/acorps
Joan Marie Misek, Program Director
joan@vhcb.org
(802) 828-3249

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Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Through participation with VHCB AmeriCorps, Members and sponsoring organizations gain a more comprehensive
understanding of community and environmental needs while making important inter-organization and agency
connections and collaborations. A seemingly conflictive dual goal becomes one common goal around which services are
delivered. Historically, 25% of VHCB AmeriCorps alumni have been hired by sponsoring organizations. This employment
rate speaks to the need of these organizations to find highly qualified and trained employees in a small, rural state and
VHCB AmeriCorps' success as a professional development program. Members leave the program with front-line
experience, greater knowledge of the issues facing Vermont communities and an increased level of commitment to solving
these issues.

Exceptional partnerships
While VHCB AmeriCorps maintains the dual-goal focus, it has applied flexibility, agility and creativity toward
responding to shifting local needs. In 2007, the program leveraged resources through a partnership with Efficiency
Vermont to implement its own "Smart Glow Initiative." As part of a statewide energy and cost savings plan, this
successful project involved Members accessing hundreds of affordable housing units in the state to directly install
compact, florescent light bulbs. Efficiency Vermont provided the free light bulbs while VHCB AmeriCorps provided the
manpower and access. This pilot project led to a future “Energy Ambassador” member position that provides energy
conservation services to housing organizations and residents statewide. Additionally, in 2009, VHCB AmeriCorps was
well-poised to respond to a dramatic increase in foreclosures and homelessness in Vermont by securing American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the Corporation for National and Community Service, which created
additional member positions for HomeOwnership Centers and emergency shelters.

Sponsoring organizations have experienced enhanced capacities to serve their communities as a result of VHCB
AmeriCorps involvement. For example, during the program’s first two grant cycles, Members’ services for five of
Vermont’s new HomeOwnership Centers resulted in four of those centers hiring employees and no longer relying on
member support. Word-of-mouth of how instrumental VHCB AmeriCorps has been in realizing and surpassing goals has
resulted in a continual waiting list of over 20 non-profits requesting partnerships.

Strong record of compliance
VHCB AmeriCorps has a solid record of compliance and mentors new AmeriCorps programs funded by the Vermont
Commission on National and Community Service. It has consistently contributed beyond the minimum required match.

Success Stories

VCHB AmeriCorps Members delivered services to approximately
30,000 Vermont residents during the 2008-09 program year;
18,000 of these individuals were low-income, homeless or near-
homeless adults and children. Furthermore, Members provided
stewardship services for 20,000 acres and 70 miles of preserved
and public lands and engaged 1,000 volunteers in service.

The following factors directly contribute to VHCB AmeriCorps’
success:
• Meaningful, high-impact AmeriCorps member positions;
• High level of support and training that program staff and
sponsoring organizations provide to Members;
• An instilled sense of connectedness toward a shared, statewide dual goal among Members and sponsoring
organizations; and
• Collaboration with other national service programs in Vermont.

48 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e



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Focus Area: Health 




One of the priority areas for AmeriCorps identified in the Kennedy Serve America Act is healthy futures. This is indicative
of the importance of AmeriCorps programs focusing on health services. This section presents several innovative programs
meeting health-related needs in their communities ranging from helping seniors access prescriptions and medical services
to helping kids be more active (such as the Ohio Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program, pictured above). Through
these initiatives, the programs in this section are creating lasting impacts on communities and the Members who serve.

50 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

ARKANSAS

Mid Delta Community Consortium

Program Description

Mid Delta Community Consortium (MDCC) provides prescription and
medical assistance to residents in 20 counties in the impoverished
Mississippi River Delta region of Arkansas. MDCC engages AmeriCorps
Members as health care advocates, connecting residents (often seniors) to
prescription assistance programs. The program also provides health
education promotion and physical activity counseling to clients.

AmeriCorps Members serving with the MDCC provide educational
sessions, workshops, and one-on-one meetings to help residents
understand the details of the prescription assistance plans available to
them.

The AmeriCorps Members who serve as health care advocates assist
clients through a process which begins when a potential client is
identified. AmeriCorps Members assist clients in submitting their
applications for prescription assistance to the appropriate companies and
to obtain prescription medication accordingly. AmeriCorps Members
assist clients in filing for refills (typically needed every 12 months) and
follow up with clients regarding program adherence and maintenance.

Members serve in a number of sites, including a hospital, an enterprise
community office, three community-based organizations, a health clinic, a
violence prevention center, a women's shelter, a city hall and a family
resource center. Members also develop promotional items relevant to the
program, such as fliers and public service announcements.

MDCC took a unique approach to address the low enrollment in prescription assistance programs. The director of the
program utilized AmeriCorps VISTA Members to design an outreach and development program, bringing in partners
from every community in which Members are placed. By utilizing AmeriCorps* State and VISTA Members to reach
clients individually as well as in groups, more consumers are served, which helps the client and the state.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
AmeriCorps Members educate low-income Medicare beneficiaries about prescription assistance programs and help them
navigate an often confusing system of various plans and multi-step applications. Outreach and education to low-income
beneficiaries is needed in many communities and MDCC is meeting this need in Arkansas. As a result of AmeriCorps
Members’ support, between July 1 and December 31, 2009, 1,515 clients saved $730,612 in prescription costs. In previous
program cycles, MDCC was also able to track over $2 million in savings to the state of Arkansas as a result of its efforts.

Lasting impact on Members
MDCC AmeriCorps Members are recognized, trained and encouraged in an ongoing fashion and a true espirit de corps
exists despite the fact that many Members function in an individual-placement format. One example of support is
mentoring for new AmeriCorps Members by prior-year Members to ensure that the new AmeriCorps Members feel
comfortable in their position and are able to serve clients effectively. Additionally, numerous MDCC AmeriCorps
Members go on to work in medical-related fields and many are retained by their sponsoring agencies as full-time
employees once their AmeriCorps term is completed. In this economically stressed region of the country, a job in the
health care field is often hard to obtain and the long-term benefits of the program are felt in numerous ways.
Focus: Health
Issue Area: Prescription and
Medical Assistance

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Lasting impact on Members
• Outstanding volunteer
generation

Contact Information
Arkansas State Commission for Service
Mary Bea Gross, Executive
Director
marybea.gross@arkansas.gov
(501) 682-6724

Mid Delta Community Consortium
Anna Huff, Project Director
huffannam@uams.edu
(870) 572-5518

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Outstanding volunteer generation
The Mid Delta Community Consortium exceeded its volunteer
recruitment goals through encouraging local residents to pursue their
interest in AmeriCorps activities. Each AmeriCorps Member was
requested to recruit at least 10 volunteers throughout their service year.
Not only have the Members recruited their ten volunteers, but those
volunteers have also recruited new volunteers. This demonstrates a
growing spirit of volunteerism in the community and MDCC expects
more volunteers to join the 2009-10 program year ends.

Success Stories

MDCC has survived despite difficult economic circumstances with a committed group of AmeriCorps Members and a
dedicated staff. The MDCC staff works tirelessly to ensure that MDCC meets and achieves its goals, which have enabled
it to continue serving important community needs and having a lasting impact on its Members.

52 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

MISSISSIPPI

Project LINC

Program Description

The Project LINC (Linking Individuals into Neighborhoods and
Communities) AmeriCorps program empowers Mississippi residents with
disabilities and their family members to maintain their home in the
community or to re-establish a home in the community after living in an
institutional setting. The goal of Project LINC and all its collaborating
partners is the full inclusion of all citizens with disabilities in mainstream
community life. Project LINC currently hosts 24 AmeriCorps Members;
95% of these Members are individuals with disabilities, and the other 5%
have a family member with a disability.

Project LINC AmeriCorps Members carry out the program’s mission
through the following activities. (Data is from the 2008-09 program year.)
• Transitions: Members collaborated with state and local agencies to
implement the transition of 25 people out of institutions into their own
homes in the community.
• Life-Skills Training: Members assisted 995 individuals with disabilities to
access and utilize programs and services available in their communities,
to enable greater individual independence.
• ADA Site Surveys: Members collaborated with Americans with
Disabilities Network Coordinators to review 130 public facilities for
accessibility to ensure they are complying with the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA).
• Disability Resource Directories: Members collaborated with federal, state
and local agencies to develop 10 Disability Resource Directories, which
provide a current and comprehensive directory of disability resources in
Mississippi.

• Peer Support: Members provided peer support to over 400 individuals with disabilities. A peer supporter is a
person with a disability who has learned life strategies, how to be a self advocate, and how to live independently
and has acquired the skills to help others do the same. Of individuals receiving peer support, 100% indicated a
95% increase in skills needed for independent living.
• Volunteer Recruitment: Members collaborated with state and local community and faith-based organizations to
recruit 1,944 volunteers who completed over 8,200 hours of service statewide in disability-related activities that
benefitted 560 individuals with disabilities and their families.
• Member Training: Members participated in 70 trainings on topics including Social Security benefits, Medicaid,
Medicare, home modification and independent living philosophy.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
Project LINC provides its AmeriCorps Members with disabilities the opportunity to serve their peers while gaining skills
and experiences for future employment. Many Project LINC AmeriCorps alumni remain connected to the program after
completing their service year(s) and commonly participate in National Days of Service projects with current Members.

Exceptional partnerships
Project LINC frequently collaborates with the AmeriCorps*NCCC campus in Vicksburg, MS. Recently, Project LINC
Members taught NCCC members how to construct wheelchair accessible ramps. Another partner, Disability Rights of
Focus: Health
Issue Area: Disability Inclusion

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Mississippi Commission for Volunteer
Service
www.mcvs.org
David Mallery, Executive Director
dmallery@ihl.state.ms.us
(601) 432-6779

Project LINC
www.lifeofms.com
Margie Moore, Coordinator
mamoore_jam1@comcast.net
(601) 969-4009


| 53

Mississippi (the federally- funded entity designated to serve as the legal advocate for individuals with disabilities in the
state), assists Project LINC in ensuring clients with disabilities receive the most appropriate services in the most
integrated setting. The organization sponsors an AmeriCorps member who works with the staff to transition individuals
from nursing facility settings into the community. Additionally, the Mississippi Paralysis Association hosts two
AmeriCorps Members who assist Project LINC in designing and providing peer support and skills training that focuses
on living independently in the community.

Potential for replication
The training provided to the AmeriCorps Members is specifically designed to teach them how to transition individuals
from nursing homes. It includes information about the consumer’s needs, available resources, budgeting, accessibility and
more. AmeriCorps Members are taught how to assess a business for physical and programmatic accessibility, among
other topics. The training could easily be adapted to other states.

Success Stories

Project LINC AmeriCorps positions are filled by individuals deeply
committed to the services they are providing to others. Project LINC
recruits individuals with disabilities to serve as AmeriCorps
Members. As a result, the program has Members who live the
independent living philosophy of community integration and
involvement. These Members are deeply committed to the services
they provide to others. They are very grateful that they have been
given a chance to prove their skills to others and in the process assist
individuals in their efforts to live independently.



54 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

OHIO

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities

Program Description

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) AmeriCorps program helps
Ohio children combat food insecurity, weight gain and learning losses by
implementing after-school and summer enrichment programs focused on
nutrition and exercise and increasing access to federal meal programs. The
20 HKHC AmeriCorps Members directly implement Food Folks and the
Coordinated Approach to Child Health-Physical Education (CATCH-PE)
curriculum at 60 after-school and summer sites statewide, reaching about
2,000 children annually. On average, Food Folks is conducted once a week
and CATCH-PE is conducted twice a week at each site for 10-12 weeks.
Each lesson lasts one hour. Members deliver the curricula and serve as
supportive role models and mentors by being a consistent figure at the
after-school programs, which often have high staff turnover rates.

HKHC AmeriCorps Members also host quarterly family nights to get
parents involved in their programs and to educate them on how to
incorporate the material in the home environment. Volunteers are utilized
on a regular basis to assist with member programming and larger events
within the AmeriCorps program and its umbrella organization, Children’s
Hunger Alliance.

HKHC maintains 100% AmeriCorps member enrollment and over 90%
retention. Strong recruitment and retention of AmeriCorps Members
further strengthens the program by consistent delivery of educational
activities and allows staff to focus on the ongoing development of
Members.

HKHC has tremendous corporate support that includes many of the leading business and philanthropic organizations in
Ohio. Innovation being central to their grant or gift program, the following are representative of HKHC financial
supporters: JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Huntington Bancshares, Limited Brands Foundation, Nationwide Foundation,
Cardinal Health Foundation, Honda of America, Reinberger Foundation, Battelle, Kaiser Permanente, Aetna Foundation,
Harry C. Moores Foundation, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, United Way of Central Ohio, WellPoint Foundation, the
Jewish Community Federation and the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
A 2009 Ohio Department of Health study states the child obesity/overweight rate in Ohio is 35%, as compared with the
national rate of 17.5%. It is imperative, based on these statistics alone, that Children’s Hunger Alliance addresses the
interrelated problems of poor nutrition, food insecurity and obesity through a comprehensive program that offers fitness
and nutritional education while expanding access to healthy foods for Ohio’s underserved children. Evaluations show
that the curriculum used in the HKHC program has a positive impact on participants. In 2009, 1,764 children
participated in the CATCH-PE curriculum, and 84% of participants completing pre- and post-testing increased their
cardiovascular endurance. Additionally, 1,872 children participated in the Food Folks nutrition education curriculum,
and 80% of all youth completing pre- and post-testing increased their nutrition knowledge.

Exceptional partnerships
Children’s Hunger Alliance’s Strategic Alliances Department partners with key stakeholders to analyze the effects of
hunger and to find innovative ways to end it. Partners supporting the HKHC initiative are diverse in their contributions
Focus: Health
Issue Area: Child Nutrition &
Fitness

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
Ohio Community Service Council
www.serveohio.org
William Hall, Executive Director
william.hall@ocsc.state.oh.us
(614) 728-2916

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities
www.childrenshungeralliance.org
Shannon Amos, Program Director
samos@childrenshungeralliance.org
(614) 341-7700 x242


| 55

and important to the success of the program and include the Afterschool Alliance, Ohio Department of Education, Ohio
Action for Healthy Kids and the Ohio Parent Teacher Association.

Potential for replication
Utilizing existing, evidence-based curriculum at established afterschool or summer sites provides for easy replication of
the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program in a wide range of community-based venues, including schools and
faith-based organizations. The Food Folks curriculum is available on the Children’s Hunger Alliance web site, and
CATCH-PE is a widely used curriculum in schools and community organizations across the country and readily available
through the University of California system (www.catchinfo.org). In-place volunteer engagement, partner site
agreements, and training plans allow for similar organizations to model the HKHC program in other states and
communities. Accessing existing federal meal programs also allows for replication as this resource is widely available in
communities across the nation.

Success Stories

Children’s Hunger Alliance is unique in its utilization of federal meal programs as a point of access to provide nutrition
and physical fitness education to children. Additionally, the HKHC AmeriCorps program partners with existing
afterschool programs and engages dozens of external partners, which allows them to bring in volunteers, host special
events and provide additional resources. Through the afterschool and summer program sites the AmeriCorps program
reaches, Children’s Hunger Alliance is able to expand food access and provide the education needed to ensure that
children are well equipped for their future. By educating children about proper nutrition and physical activity habits and
by increasing access to healthy meals and snacks, Children’s Hunger Alliance has formulated a comprehensive plan to
address these issues. A child at risk for hunger who depends upon subsidized school meals may not have a source of
nutritional intake during after-school hours and may lose access to dependable meals altogether during the summer
months. The Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities AmeriCorps program meets those critical needs.

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TENNESSEE

Early Childhood Home Visitation Program

Program Description

Porter-Leath’s Early Childhood Home Visitation Program (ECHVP)
provides pregnant women and families with infants and children up to age
five in Memphis the tools necessary to improve healthy births and positive
child development. At the core of the program’s design is the belief that
parents play a critical role in laying the basic foundation for their child’s
learning. Many parents have the tools they need to succeed in this area, but
they lack the confidence or knowledge to make the most of them; tools
such as the environmental conditions of the home and the intellectual
stimulation of the child. The 32 ECHVP AmeriCorps Members serve as
parent educators to teach these skills to families in their homes where they
can be immediately put into practice. Using the Parents as Teachers – Born
to Learn (PATS) curriculum, AmeriCorps Members provide one-on-one
intervention that aims to:
• Increase the healthy birth rate in Memphis;
• Increase parent knowledge of early childhood development;
• Provide early detection of developmental delays;
• Prevent child abuse and neglect; and
• Increase children’s school readiness and school success.

ECHVP AmeriCorps Members also use the PATS curriculum at local
health clinics to educate pregnant women on prenatal care. Additionally,
Members serve at Head Start programs where they provide individualized
assistance to children in achieving developmental milestones and conduct
home visits to parents who have requested additional assistance.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
Over time, Porter-Leath has demonstrated its ability to deliver extremely effective services, utilizing well-trained
AmeriCorps Members who are dedicated to serving and improving the community. The Memphis Commercial Appeal has
even described ECHVP AmeriCorps Members as “foot soldiers” due to the services they provide to address the city’s
infant mortality rate.

Exceptional partnerships
ECHVP receives strong support in Memphis from grassroots community groups, government agencies and private
institutions and foundations. The level of support for the program has grown over time as Porter-Leath's reputation for
success has grown. Newly formed partnerships with the Memphis Health Center, The University of Tennessee Medical
Groups-MedPlex and Head Start have greatly contributed to the program’s success.

Potential for replication
ECHVP is designed for easy replication. Porter-Leath regularly markets the program in the community to expand into
underserved neighborhoods and frequently talks to potential donors and executives at other agencies about the
program’s success and how it may be replicated. ECHVP is based on one-on-one interactions and recruiting AmeriCorps
Members from prospective communities. Families are recruited from the community, taught by AmeriCorps Members
and trained utilizing the PATS curriculum. This model is replicable across the United States and is extremely effective
and efficient in its operation.

Focus: Health
Issue Area: Child Development

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Volunteer Tennessee
www.volunteertennessee.net
Jim Snell, Executive Director
jim.snell@tn.gov
(615) 253-1426

Early Childhood Home Visitation Program
www.porterleath.org
Gwen Price, Program Manager
gprice@porterleath.org
(901) 577-2500 x1159


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Success Stories

Since its inception in 1996, ECHVP has served over 300 at-risk pregnant women, resulting in a healthy birth rate of
93.4%. In the 2009-10 program year, AmeriCorps Members have provided services to 516 adults and 530 youth. Over 95%
of the program’s clients indicated they had a solid or very strong rapport with the AmeriCorps Members. The program’s
remarkable success has garnered it support from numerous elected officials in Tennessee, including Representative Steve
Cohen and Senator Lamar Alexander.

ECHVP’s success is due to the following factors.
• Employing dedicated management and staff who are committed to
AmeriCorps and meeting the needs of the community.
• Utilizing AmeriCorps Members to work with families by providing
one-on-one instruction. AmeriCorps Members are able to connect
with families and develop a professional rapport that ultimately
results in successful program outcomes and increased client
enrollment.
• Providing intensive, regular training for AmeriCorps Members and
staff as community and/or client needs dictate.
• Leveraging community resources. The agency has a strong history
of generating local support from companies to sponsor baby
showers and other annual events for program participants.

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Focus Area: Public Safety 







Several AmeriCorps programs throughout the
country focus on ensuring public safety. These
programs fill important gaps in services to
communities. Programs highlighted in this section
take innovative approaches for helping community
members access the judicial system, for providing
emergency support and linking communities with
emergency service providers (such as the Delaware
Emergency Services Corps, pictured left), and for
rehabilitating and supporting formerly incarcerated
persons and their families. All of these programs are
innovatively creating systemic change in their
communities.


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CALIFORNIA

California JusticeCorps

Program Description

The California JusticeCorps program was created to improve the capacity
of the California judicial system to provide access to justice for all
Californians, regardless of their resources. California JusticeCorps is the
first and only AmeriCorps program of its kind, bringing together a unique
group of partners to expand and improve access to justice in California
communities from within the court system.

According to the California Judicial Council Task Force on Self-
Represented Litigants, over four million people go to court each year in
California without an attorney to represent them, typically because they
cannot afford one. Legal matters involving family, housing and financial
stability can be intimidating and complex, usually involving multiple
essential steps to reach full resolution, and can include filling out several
pages of forms, serving official notice on other parties, participating in
mediation and sometimes appearing in the courtroom before a judge or a
commissioner.

California JusticeCorps recruits, trains and places over 200 AmeriCorps
Members each year in service in court-based legal access self-help centers.
JusticeCorps Members serve in three types of self-help centers: 1) Family
Law Information Centers; 2) Self-Help Legal Access Centers and 3) Small
Claims Advisor offices. These centers assist people with a variety of legal
issues including divorce, establishing paternity and child support,
requesting a restraining order, responding to an eviction notice or resolving
a financial disagreement.

Supervised by court-based attorneys, JusticeCorps Members serve in a variety of capacities in court-based self-help
centers, primarily providing litigants with initial information and referrals to associated services within or outside the
courts; assisting with identifying and completing legal forms either one-on-one or in a workshop setting; and observing
in the courtroom and providing litigants with information after courtroom sessions. In many cases, Members provide
some or all of these types of assistance to the same litigant during one visit or multiple, subsequent visits.

Program Innovations

Creating a lasting impact on Members and state
For six years, JusticeCorps has helped people to navigate the court system, to resolve their legal issues and, ultimately, to
reach a more stable place in their lives. With a new database filled with hundreds of proud and accomplished alumni, the
JusticeCorps program is able to better understand the positive impact it has not only on its graduates, but also on the
California legal and social services systems. Nearly 20 alumni have gone on to accept prestigious Capital Fellowships
working from within one of the three branches of state government to build on their JusticeCorps experience and learn
more about the process of creating and implementing public policy. Many alumni have chosen careers in public interest
law because they know how rewarding it can be to help people in crisis resolve their issues. Because each class of
JusticeCorps Members has been extremely diverse (over half represent minority ethnicities), as they go on to future
careers in the justice field, they will eventually help to diversify the bench and the bar. For this accomplishment,
JusticeCorps was recognized by the State Bar’s Access and Fairness Commission as a “Model Diversity Pipeline Program.”



Focus: Public Safety
Issue Area: Access to Justice

Innovative Elements
• Creating a lasting impact on
Member or state
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
CaliforniaVolunteers
www.californiavolutneers.org
Karen Baker, Secretary of Service
and Volunteering
karen.baker@cv.ca.gov
(916) 323-7646

California JusticeCorps
www.jud.ca.gov/programs/justice
corps
Martha Wright
Martha.Wright@jud.ca.gov
(415) 865-7649

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Exceptional partnerships
JusticeCorps partners with unique stakeholders to achieve its goal of improving access to justice. Partnerships include
the California superior courts, local public California universities, and community-based legal aid providers. Each of
these partners is heavily invested in JusticeCorps and is an important stakeholder in its success. Though entrusting
undergraduate students to serve the public in courts is far from the norm for the California justice system, court staff and
judges have come to realize just how significantly JusticeCorps Members are improving the efficiency and effectiveness of
court operations. University partners, with the support of their community-based learning centers are thrilled to have
such a unique opportunity to offer their students interested in pre-law and social work. Partners like UCLA report
interest from academic faculty to create a JusticeCorps service-learning course.

Potential for replication
JusticeCorps is a highly replicable program. While the numbers of litigants coming to court without representation are
highest in California, they are growing in states across the country. Courts are beginning to embrace the relatively new
concept of creating their own legal access self-help centers. Centers have been established in Chicago and New York
City, for example, and local stakeholders are now actively beginning the planning process of establishing the first
JusticeCorps replications.

Success Stories

In the last completed program year, JusticeCorps served approximately 70,700 litigants. The program achieved a 98%
accuracy rate for information and referrals provided and a 99% accuracy rate for forms completed. Results from the 2009
independent program evaluation show that JusticeCorps has a positive impact on community Members served. Over 97%
of customers who completed feedback surveys last year reported feeling better prepared to proceed with their case as a
result of their assistance by a JusticeCorps member. Approximately 86% of those who completed feedback surveys
described the “explanation of the legal process” they received from JusticeCorps Members as “excellent.”

JusticeCorps works because it meets the needs of every partner involved with the program. The courts are afforded the
ability to serve the public better and more efficiently. People do not stand before the judge during a divorce hearing, for
example, and provide incomplete forms (or the wrong form all together) only to be rescheduled and further impact an
already overloaded court calendar. The people served benefit by feeling they were listened to. Whatever the ultimate
resolution of the legal matter, they were assisted and they moved forward. Finally, the Members participating are
provided a unique opportunity outside the classroom to learn about the law and life.

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DELAWARE

Emergency Service Corps

Program Description

The New Castle County Emergency Services Corps (ESC) was created as a
partnership between New Castle County Government, New Castle County
Volunteer Firefighter's Association, AmeriCorps, and the YMCA Resource
Center of Delaware in order to recruit volunteer firefighters and increase
awareness among New Castle County residents about volunteer
opportunities in the fire service. ESC Members also conduct programs in
high schools and community centers designed to teach the public about fire
safety issues, emergency medical practices and disaster preparedness. ESC
Members also join with other AmeriCorps Members in various service
projects throughout the year in the county, state and region.

With the exception of the City of Wilmington, Delaware communities are
protected by a volunteer fire service. New Castle County’s 21 volunteer fire
companies protect more than 450,000 residents, as well as tens of
thousands of daily travelers on nearby Interstate 95. As the population of
Delaware has increased and aged, calls for emergency services have risen.
Since 2000, New Castle County has seen an almost 32% increase in fire,
medical and rescue calls. However, as is the case nationwide, membership
in the volunteer fire service has struggled to keep pace. Members are
needed in all areas of the fire service – from people who fight fires and
deliver emergency medical care, to those who assist with education,
marketing or bookkeeping. Since 2005, Emergency Services Corps
Members have helped meet the critical needs of the volunteer fire service.



Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
ESC Members improve the health and safety of New Castle County residents through public education about the needs
of and services provided by emergency services agencies. They teach the community fire safety and prevention, train
residents in First Aid/CPR and disaster preparedness —all the while recruiting new volunteer firefighters, emergency
medical technicians and support staff. These activities raise community awareness about the variety of volunteer
opportunities in the fire service. ESC teamwork helps create diversity in the volunteer fire service by successfully helping
applicants become fire company members and reaching out to the community. ESC Members adopt a lifelong dedication
to community service through continued involvement with emergency services or other volunteer services beyond their
ESC commitment.

Outstanding volunteer generation
Since the program's inception in 2005, ESC Members have collected 383 volunteer applications for New Castle County
fire departments. Of these applicants, 203 have become members of the fire and emergency services. These ESC Members
participated in more than 630 outreach activities, including informational and recruitment presentations, community
events and fire safety presentations. Further, in an effort to recruit volunteers as well as educate county residents, ESC
Members also provided First Aid/CPR and/or CERT training to roughly 2,000 residents.

In addition to bolstering the ranks of New Castle County volunteer fire companies, ESC cultivates membership programs
to ensure sustainability within fire companies. Specifically, ESC Members create a structured junior membership
Focus: Public Safety
Issue Area: Emergency Services

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Outstanding volunteer
generation
• Cross program connections

Contact Information
Delaware Governor’s Commission on
Community and Volunteer Service
http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/
dssc/sov/americorp.html
Andy Kloepfer, Executive Director
andy.kloepfer@state.de.us
(302) 255-9881

Emergency Service Corps
www.beafirefighter.org
Evelyn Lemmons
elemmons@ymcade.org
(302) 571-6975 x 104

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program that fosters a sense of community and responsibility among teenagers, encouraging young volunteers to engage
with the fire service for years to come. Additionally, a strong Fire Corps, a national Citizens’ Corps program spearheaded
by ESC, attracts volunteers interested in non-operational assistance for county fire companies.

Cross-program connections
ESC Members also interact with Members of other AmeriCorps programs in various service projects throughout the year.
In 2008 and 2009, ESC Members endured a 23-hour bus ride in order to take their service experience to New Orleans,
where they worked with other volunteers from Delaware in delivering a week of service to the Gulf Coast rebuilding
effort. During the first year of the rebuilding, ESC Members delivered a “Jaws-of-Life” hydraulic rescue tool to a fire
department that had lost its rescue tool during hurricane Katrina.

Success Stories

The ESC program is rooted in the communities it serves, providing opportunities for AmeriCorps Members to serve the
local community by supporting the volunteer fire service. AmeriCorps Members, few of whom had previous experience
with emergency services, continue to promote the fire service and recruit volunteers. Their success is measured in several
meaningful ways, most notably the addition of more than 200 new members to the county’s volunteer fire companies.

Another indication of the success of this initiative is the fact that the vast majority of ESC Members have remained
engaged as volunteers after the completion of their AmeriCorps commitment. The community connection forged through
this initiative and the partnerships that have sustained it enable ESC Members to have a positive impact on the
community by helping to fill a specific need. Successful recruiting initiatives by ESC Members have raised awareness
among various demographic groups in New Castle County.

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GEORGIA

Albany Police AmeriCorps

Program Description

The Albany Police AmeriCorps is a vibrant working partnership with the
Albany Police Department devoted to bridging the gap between the police
and the community. The mission of the program is to enhance public safety,
reduce the fear of crime through police and AmeriCorps presence, and
increase civic responsibility at the neighborhood level. The
Members/Cadets establish and maintain a visible presence in nine low-
income and/or high-crime target areas within the City of Albany and
undertake activities designed to solve crime-producing problems. The
Cadets challenge the police and residents to become partners in their
neighborhoods to make it a safer place to live, work and play by
empowering residents to prevent crime and strengthen their community.

The Albany Police AmeriCorps Cadets’ service includes youth outreach,
senior citizen outreach, neighborhood environmental projects, volunteer
generation, building community partnerships, community interaction and
strengthening development, and crime prevention strategies. The Cadets
strive to develop new strategies to reach out to youth at risk of becoming
involved in gang and/or criminal activity, reminding senior citizens they are
an important part of the community, and inspiring police officers to be
more than just the law enforcers. The Cadets sponsor activities to promote
physical and health wellness, positive mentoring and community policing
education with service projects, after-school programs, summer camps,
neighborhood watch programs, Senior Citizen Bingo Games, recreational
activities, educational campaigns of safety tips fliers and community litter
clean up events.


Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
The Albany Police AmeriCorps program also strives to focus on member development. The Cadets’ training program
concentrates on motivating the Cadets to understand the importance of their AmeriCorps service, be positive role
models, improve communication skills, team building and responsibility, develop leadership proficiency, CPR/First Aid
Training, understand the importance of life after AmeriCorps, and develop the Cadets’ abilities to serve as First
Responders. The Cadets have the unique opportunity to learn from the police officers about the magnitude of handling
emergency situations and training to serve as emergency responders in critical situations from an AmeriCorps/Police
Ride-A-Long Program. Additionally, the program encourages its Members who have completed service to continue to be
a functional part of AmeriCorps service by returning for service projects and sharing their experience(s) with newer
Members.

Delivering meaningful service
The Albany Police AmeriCorps cadets strive to reach out to young people in target areas. The Cadet program sponsors
after-school programs that focus on physical and health wellness activities, mentoring, recreational activities, and
educational seminars on topics such as gun safety, avoiding gangs, drug awareness and neighborhood safety. Through
these efforts, Cadets concentrate on getting young people off of the streets and involved in positive activities. Cadets also
develop programs aimed at keeping the senior community safe and informed on local crime trends and prevention
techniques. The Cadets host activities to get seniors involved in their communities and perform wellness checks on
elderly residents to let them know someone cares about them and is concerned for their well being. Additionally, Albany
Focus: Public Safety
Issue Area: Community and
Police Engagement

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
• Delivering meaningful service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Georgia Commission for Service and
Volunteerism
www.AmeriCorpsGA.org
John Turner, Executive Director
John.Turner@dca.ga.gov
(404) 327-6846

Albany Police AmeriCorps
www.albany.ga.us
Cpl. K. Denise Barnes, Program
Director
kabarnes@dougherty.ga.us
(229) 430-5304


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Police AmeriCorps is an awarding-winning program organizing activities to pick up litter in the city and engage
volunteers in efforts to clean up the community. Through these efforts, Cadets provide safer playground areas for the
neighborhoods, beautification of target areas, and a sense of pride from their service. The Albany Police AmeriCorps also
encourages development of new partnerships throughout the City of Albany, Dougherty County, and surrounding areas.
The program enjoys the support of the City of Albany, the Albany Housing Authority, the Dougherty County School
System, Albany State University, Darton College, local businesses and other various community figures to help the
program reach new heights.

Potential for replication
The Albany Police AmeriCorps program began its dedication to
service in 2008 as a replication program of the successful Macon
Police AmeriCorps Program. Albany Police AmeriCorps was able to
take the foundation laid by the Macon AmeriCorps group and
successfully rework it for the Albany community. While there are
many similarities in these programs, the Albany Police Cadet
program successfully adapted programming aspects of the Macon
design (such as neighborhood bicycle patrol teams, youth tutoring
and activity initiatives, and MLK Day activities) and built upon the
model to add public outreach activities, such as a Stop the Violence rap
created by the Members, to create senior-specific events during
holidays and to implement structured sporting opportunities to
keep youth engaged after school.

Success Stories

Albany Police AmeriCorps inspires people to be involved and help join the fight against crime in its community. During
the 2008-09 program year, Albany Police AmeriCorps Cadets provided 9,778 service hours reaching out to 1,798 clients.
The cadets were also able to bring in 98 new volunteers who gave 2,319 hours of volunteer service. The Albany Police
AmeriCorps has a great retention rate for its Members and strives to ensure that Cadets become successful members of
the community. Many of the Cadets dedicate more than one year of service to the program and many return to continue
the spirit of AmeriCorps service by volunteering with the program.

The Cadets have developed creative initiatives to respond to specific needs in the community. For example, Cadets
developed a Walk and Talk program to get feedback from residents about crime and safety topics. The Cadets utilize
interactive activities to reach out to the youth and senior citizen populations such as game days or movie days to meet
program objectives of disrupting gang activities or involving seniors in community involvement. The Cadets have found
recreational activities a successful vehicle to stimulate youth to stay away from the streets and crime. Through these
activities the Cadets are able to form bonds with young people and open the door for communication and learning
opportunities.

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NEBRASKA

RISE AmeriCorps

Program Description

Nebraska State Probation created the Rural Improvement for Schooling
and Employment (RISE) program to give probationers in rural areas of
Nebraska an opportunity to make positive life changes. The program’s goal
is to see probationers improve their interactions in society, ultimately
reducing recidivism. The 14 RISE AmeriCorps Members (RISE Specialists)
assist the program in achieving its goal by evaluating the strengths and
weaknesses of probationers referred to them by probation officers,
educating probationers on employment and educational opportunities, and
organizing and facilitating employment and education groups for
probationers.

The RISE program is the first of its kind for Nebraska’s probation system,
and it is seen as an innovative development in the national criminal justice
community. The program is a unique means of increasing resources and
services to rural and frontier areas. Each RISE Specialist serves in the
probation district office and works directly with probation officers. The
RISE Specialist is available for any probationer in need of assistance with
their employment or education.

RISE Specialists facilitate three tracks for the RISE program. Probationers
can attend one or more tracks depending on their need.
• Employment Track: Specialists teach probationers how to locate, apply for
and successfully maintain employment.
• Education Track: Specialists teach probationers how to earn their GED
and how to look into post-high school opportunities, which includes
instruction on applying for school and available financial options and
leading college tours.
• Juvenile School Support Track: Specialists work with juveniles struggling in
school by teaching them learning styles and test-taking and goal-
setting skills.

RISE Specialists are active partners in the rural areas they serve. They build relationships with local businesses and are
the liaison supporting businesses that hire probationers. RISE Specialists also work closely with schools, including
colleges and local high schools. They receive training to assist in GED prep testing or set up GED classes in the probation
offices, which are easily accessible for probationers.

In addition to their direct service activities, RISE Specialists are responsible for creating a resource manual for their
probation district. The resource manual includes information on all employers they have contacted, instructions on how
probationers can apply to these businesses for employment, and any requirements the Specialist learned during their
meetings with the employer (such as if the business will hire a formerly incarcerated person). The manual also features
weekly job postings for the area. Finally, the manual includes contacts the RISE Specialist makes with volunteers in the
area. The RISE program’s volunteers are experts who help strengthen the Specialists’ educational groups. Some of the
topics the volunteers present on are interview etiquette, what employers look for, military recruitment requirements and
college applications.




Focus: Public Safety
Issue Area: Criminal Justice

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• A real spirit of service t
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
ServeNebraska
www.serve.nebraska.gov
Greg Donovan, Program Officer
greg.donovan@nebraska.gov
(402) 471-6249

RISE AmeriCorps
www.supremecourt.ne.gov/probat
ion/special%20projects.shtml
Kari Rumbaugh, Program Director
kari.rumbaugh@nebraska.gov
(402) 471-2855


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Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and state
RISE AmeriCorps has significantly impacted its Members and the state. As the first initiative of its kind within the
Nebraska criminal justice system, the program was initially met with a degree of suspicion by the judicial system. Today,
this is gone and communities now eagerly apply to have RISE AmeriCorps Members serve. The judicial system has fully
embraced the efforts and demonstrated great support. Due to the program, Nebraska communities have seen
probationers maintain employment and an increase in tax-paying citizens, courts have seen a reduction in recidivism, and
probation officers have seen probationers’ behaviors change and more probationers successfully completing
probation. This systemic change is tremendous, but the most dramatic lasting impact is the increased quality of life and
future prospects for the probationers benefitting directly from AmeriCorps Members’ efforts.

Delivering meaningful service
The RISE AmeriCorps program has consistently met its goals of providing employment and educational services to
individuals on probation in rural and frontier Nebraska. The program has built upon its initial strong performance,
expanding to new communities and broadening its scope to offer services to juveniles on probation.

Real spirit of service
The majority of the Members who serve in RISE AmeriCorps are residents of the small towns and rural communities in
which they serve. The majority of these locations did not have prior exposure to AmeriCorps. Through their strong
community ties, the AmeriCorps Members are able to expand the resources to beneficiaries while also broadening an
understanding of AmeriCorps and the benefits of national service.

Success Stories

The RISE program is only in its third year of operation, and it has already shown a reduction in recidivism for
participating probationers. The statistics gathered during the 2008-09 program year show 85% of probationers who
graduated from the RISE program did not return to the probation system a year after completion. Also, during the same
year, the RISE program served more than 500 probationers and engaged 55 expert volunteers. The Juvenile School
Support portion of the RISE program was added during the 2009-10 program year, serving 191 juveniles. Of the
participants, 68% showed improvement in school including grades, attendance or performance.

The true secret to the success of the RISE program is the work of the RISE Specialists. They are valued by their
communities, and most Specialists have received public recognition for the work they do including requests to speak
about the program. Additionally, local news stations and newspapers have interviewed RISE Specialists as they are
viewed as the local expert for employment and educational assistance and an essential team member in all probation
offices.

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Focus Area: Human Need 























The human need focus area is broad and the programs highlighted are working in various sectors addressing needs in
their communities. Some programs focus on supporting domestic violence victims, while others ensure that persons with
disabilities have access to transportation. Some programs are engaging in community arts, while others are supporting at-
risk young people and families (such as Iowa’s Each One Reach One AmeriCorps program, pictured above). All of the
innovative AmeriCorps programs highlighted in this section are very rooted in their communities and are delivering
meaningful service to support human needs.

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CALIFORNIA

Hope for the Homeless

Program Description

Hope for the Homeless is a valuable project that provides needed services
to the Los Angeles Skid Row community. Many formerly homeless
graduates of local programs are recruited to serve the community to assist
homeless men and women as they recover and strive to regain control of
their lives.

Members and volunteers walk the streets and inform the homeless about
services, while linking them to resource teams to facilitate access to
programs and services. As a part of this community, Members are able to
bring their own personal experiences forward to impact those they serve.
Members discover their potential by serving people who are broken and
impoverished.

Members and volunteers have made a major impact on the homeless
population. Members are offered full range of wrap around support to
provide them with the proper training and guidance needed to fully
develop skill sets that will assist them in securing permanent work once
their terms of service are completed. The program has a retention rate of
90% and many continue to stay engaged with the program afterward
through an Alumni Association, peer mentorship, employment within
partnership agencies and community service projects. Over 50% of
Members attend schools of higher learning after completion and 40%
acquire viable full-time employment serving the Skid Row community.


Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Members work in one of the most impoverished communities in the country serving chronically homeless people
suffering from many serious problems. The physical location is less than idyllic and can be depressing. Despite the
overwhelming odds against them, many Members rise to a higher plane, because the environment is a constant reminder
of where they came from. This constant reminder provides many Members the needed motivation to prevent them from
returning to their former lifestyles.

What makes Hope for the Homeless so innovative is the program’s commitment to provide ample member support to
equalize the pressure Members face daily through their service. Just as Members provide services for the homeless, the
program ensures each Member has access to resources essential to each Member’s development and success. The
program’s Member support system allows Members time to take advantage of much-needed services to aid them as they
complete their term commitment.

As a result, the project’s retention rate has increased and Members are able to continue providing much needed services
to this hard-to-reach community. Hope for the Homeless partners and staff have implemented a mentor program that
pairs AmeriCorps Members with frontline staff from organizations within its community. Mentors and mentees are
paired based on common career interests, as well as experience. Mentors serve as role models, offer advice on career goals
and guide Members as they begin to develop professional skills and networks. This builds a mentor-Member nurturing
relationship to help Members develop into well-rounded professionals.


Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Homelessness

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Exceptional partnerships

Contact Information
CaliforniaVolunteers
www.californiavolutneers.org
Karen Baker, Secretary of Service
and Volunteering
karen.baker@cv.ca.gov
(916) 323-7646

Hope for the Homeless
www.weingart.org/pages/americorps
Kevin Martin , Program Manager,
AmeriCorps
kevinm@weingart.org
(213) 689-2282

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Exceptional Partnerships
Hope for the Homeless is formed from the spirit of collaboration. Many service providers, businesses, and public entities
came together to devise a way to assist the residents of Skid Row with accessing services, and to eradicate homelessness
and poverty. The collaboration that was formed, the Los Angeles Central City Providers Collaboration (LACPC), meets
once a month to discuss community projects and ongoing needs. In addition, special committees are formed to establish
working groups around specific areas. For example, LACPC has a sustainability committee to address funding match
requirements. This committee meets once a month to identify funding needs and develop a cooperative strategic
approach for meeting those needs.

Success Stories

In the 2008-09 program year, Members served 19,169 homeless individuals and families to provide vital human services.
Members were successful in referring 7,590 homeless individuals and families for services and programs. Members were
able to verify 6,688 homeless individuals and families completed services or attached to programs in good standing. The
program design for Hope for the Homeless has been recognized by city, county and state planners as a necessary system
in all plans that aim at reducing and ending homelessness.

Hope for the Homeless’s success comes from the fact that Members come from the community they serve and may once
have been homeless themselves. As Members serve people who are broken and impoverished, they share their stories and
personal testimonies of how their lives have been transformed through service. This experience allows Members to break
down barriers and build a strong connection with the people they serve. By using formerly homeless graduates of local
programs to serve the community and assist homeless men and women as they recover their lives through service, the
program has a lasting impact on Members and the community.

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IDAHO

AmeriCorps Accessible Transportation Network

Program Description

The AmeriCorps Accessible Transportation Network creates new
transportation options and improves accessible transportation throughout
Idaho. The Network recruits, trains and places 11 full-time and 12 quarter-
time AmeriCorps Members throughout Idaho. These Members, the
majority of whom have a disability, develop sustainable projects within
their communities that address the need to increase and improve access to
transportation in both rural and urban Idaho.

AmeriCorps Members devise and implement accessible transportation
strategies for Idaho communities. Members successfully secured $181,000
in additional funding to assist in breaking down transportation barriers,
made it possible to purchase and make available two accessible vans for
two counties in the state and created a volunteer-driven Driver Program
that increases viable transportation options in rural communities.
Additionally, four successful voucher programs were implemented within
three counties throughout Idaho, which provides individuals with various
transportation options.

The Network is the first program of its kind to work in Idaho to
collectively focus, facilitate and address transportation barriers. State
transportation authorities envisioned a paradigm shift from agency-driven
transportation projects to user identified needs, which this program in
part has made possible.




Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
Lack of transportation options isolates many people with disabilities in their homes and focus groups in Idaho have
ranked lack of transportation options as the most significant barrier to independence. There is a significant lack of
accessible transportation service available in evenings and on weekends and in many rural areas of the state there are no
options available. The Accessible Transportation Network is addressing this need by working with community members
to devise and implement creative solutions for transportation barriers within Idaho. The program strives to include
persons with disabilities in at least 80% of its Member positions, which allows for their greater inclusion in national
service while also providing an environment where persons with disabilities can bring real life experiences into
identifying solutions.

Outstanding volunteer recruitment
The Accessible Transportation Network’s projects are driven by networks of community volunteers (110 volunteers,
many of whom are persons with disabilities) who have been recruited by AmeriCorps Members. These networks within
each community identify barriers in transportation and with the assistance of the AmeriCorps Members evaluate,
facilitate and implement change that has direct impact on available transportation options. Through volunteer networks
and innovative partnerships, the AmeriCorps Accessible Transportation Network has successfully implemented 22 new
transportation projects throughout Idaho.


Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Inclusive
Transportation

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Outstanding volunteer
recruitment

Contact Information
Serve Idaho, Governor's Commission on
Service and Volunteerism
www.serveidaho.org
Kelly Houston Staskey, Executive
Director
kstaskey@labor.idaho.gov
(208) 332-3578 x4785

AmeriCorps Accessible Transportation
Network
www.silc.idaho.gov
Brooke J. Green, Project Director
brooke.green@silc.idaho.gov
(208) 334-3800

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Success Stories

AmeriCorps Accessible Transportation Network Members have identified transportation barriers throughout Idaho and
devised solutions that improve the access of individuals with disabilities to reach employment opportunities and local
facilities within their county. AmeriCorps Members have developed extensive partnerships with transportation
authorities throughout the state that have created the synergy to bring the input, time, talent and funding to make
necessary change. AmeriCorps Members have partnered with 27 agencies in identifying stakeholders. The Network is
successful because Members’ personal experiences create exceptional commitments and an empathy-driven desire for
success.

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IOWA

Each One Reach One AmeriCorps

Program Description

The Each One Reach One AmeriCorps program focuses on building
solutions for safer communities by collaborating with various partners to
infuse social supports and services complementary to mentoring in
targeted high crime, high poverty neighborhoods in an effort to strengthen
communities and empower those in need to overcome significant barriers.
Meaningful mentoring practices address the issues facing at-risk youth,
families, offenders and the chronically unemployed/underemployed.

AmeriCorps Members provide direct and support services to several
programs, including:
• Children of Promise, which mentors children who have an
incarcerated parent;
• Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County and the North Liberty Coalition,
which offer community based, after school and summer programs
to at-risk youth and adults;
• One on one mentoring, Circles of Support and Accountability, and Kairos
Ministries, which mentor offenders; and
• Partnership for Safe Families, which helps reunify families involved
with the child welfare system.

Members are also involved in supervising and working alongside offenders
completing community service projects as part of an effort to repair the
harm they have done to communities through reparative acts in targeted
neighborhoods. Additionally, Members provide workforce development for
chronically unemployed/underemployed residents, and the Members with
Helping Hands Ministries recruit and educate volunteers to address
community issues. Each One Reach One received a 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant enabling it to
expand its services to provide access to health care in partnership with Linn County Public Health; support for United
Way’s 211 Information and Referral line to handle increased call volume as a result of the economic downturn/flood; self
betterment programs for prisoners at Oakdale; and assistance to the Salvation Army in recruiting additional volunteers
and providing two new services - care provider support and rent/utility assistance for up to 900 households. Each One
Reach One is administered by the Community Corrections Improvement Association in partnership with the 6th Judicial
District Department of Correctional Services and six additional community partners.

Program Innovations

Lasting Impact on Members and community
By addressing public safety and economic opportunity in such a comprehensive way, the Each One Reach One program
not only helps to prevent crime before it happens, it addresses the impacts of criminal activity by engaging offenders in
restorative justice, and it reduces recidivism by providing ex-offenders the support they need to move on to productive
lives. By working alongside at-risk populations, AmeriCorps Members and community members form personal
relationships with these individuals that lead to lasting changes in their perspectives on crime and criminals. Not only do
Each One Reach One AmeriCorps Members provide great service to their communities, but they also engage offenders in
service projects that allow the offenders themselves to give back. These projects allow offenders to feel a sense of pride
and self-worth by contributing something positive to the community. Community members who participate in and
benefit from offenders' service activities also help promote the idea of service as a strategy to improve lives and strengthen
the community.

Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Mentoring

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Cross-program connections
• Creating systemic change

Contact Information
Volunteer Iowa
www.volunteeriowa.org
Adam Lounsbury, Executive
Director
adam.lounsbury@iowa.gov
(515) 725-3099

Each One Reach One AmeriCorps
www.iowacbc.org/ccia/
initiatives.html
Jean Kuehl, Program Director
jean.kuehl@iowa.gov
(319) 398-3675

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Cross-Program Connections
The Each One Reach One program philosophy is demonstrated through many cross-program connections. It partners
with other AmeriCorps Members, including another AmeriCorps*State program, a Foster Grandparent program and an
AmeriCorps*VISTA program located in the same facilities. It also engages local volunteer agencies and nonprofits with
especially strong connections to local faith communities. For a recent AmeriCorps Week project, Each One Reach One
AmeriCorps Members collaborated with VISTA and NCCC neighbors to create an afternoon of music in the park for a
neighborhood that has been negatively impacted by publicity over the crime rate. Members wanted the event to bring the
community together and worked together to recruit and exhibit the program’s philosophy – Each One Reach One. It was
a huge eight-hour event with six musical acts, vendors and public information booths. Members talked about
AmeriCorps service between each act and successfully engaged the community in a dynamic event.

Creating systemic change
As part of the Community Corrections Improvement Association, the Each One Reach One program helps change the
overall approach to corrections. Rather than a focus solely on enforcement and punishment, this program focuses on
prevention and rehabilitation. As such, the program creates systemic change by putting the "community" back into
community-based corrections. Members provide a holistic approach by working with the whole family, assisting
offenders in behavior change efforts and, in the process, beginning to understand the policy and process changes that
need to happen to assist offenders to find and maintain a new way of living. Other important targets are families that
have children involved in the child welfare system and children of offenders. By providing supportive services based on
promising best practices for these populations, there is potential for providing support to change the whole family. Some
ex-offenders are even hired, gain hard- and soft-job skills and go on to volunteer on their own.

Success Stories

Each One Reach One AmeriCorps started in 2007 and has successfully increased its reach in subsequent years. This
program is particularly successful because of its comprehensive approach to the corrections field. The program has been
able to engage national service members in service throughout the program and is working to systemically change the
approach to corrections from one of reaction and punishment to one of prevention, restoration and rehabilitation. A key
to its success is its collaboration with many existing community organizations and institutions enabling Members to
create lasting community-level change.

“AmeriCorps Members have been an essential component in developing a new, successful, program to mentor families
involved with Child Protective Services. Without their help and insight we would not have the best program of this kind
in the State of Iowa. They have exceeded all of my desires for this program.”
~ Dave Loy – Director, Partnership for Safe Families.

“I may be 51, but this is one of the best
learning experiences of my life. .. (I) believe
in second chances because AmeriCorps has
taught me that things are possible and can
come true. What I take away is leadership,
commitment, helping those in need, and
learning what I’m meant to do.”

-Jayne Kigallon, AmeriCorps Member
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KENTUCKY

SUCCESS Corps

Program Description

SUCCESS (Strategically Using Creative Contexts to Ensure Student
Success) Corps Members serve at-risk children in Kentucky using research-
based home visitation models to support families and encourage increased
school readiness and greater parental involvement in education.

During home visitations, the Members implement a Vanderbilt
University designed and administered program known as Maternal Infant
Outreach Workers Program, which addresses everything from prenatal
health to developmental milestones in children aged 0-3. It provides
activities, screening activities, screening ideas and more to ensure children’s
age-appropriate developmental progress.

The Members receive recommendations and referrals of parent(s) from
individuals who are concerned about an early pregnancy (i.e. in high school)
or situations where a child may be at risk due to poverty, rural-ness or other
challenges being faced by today’s parent(s). Each Member meets with 8-10
families (defined as a child and guardian) at least five times per month. The
Members track the visits through the curriculum’s record-keeping system
and report monthly progress. They conduct activities to promote children’s
development and provide families with resources for further learning.
Additionally, they provide families with information about accessing basic
resources like food and clothing, as needed. As a result of these innovative
efforts, more children in Kentucky are ready for success in school.




Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
Members serve young parents in high schools, domestic violence shelters and Head Start programs rather than just
"normal" service sites. In Kentucky, high rates of poverty, lack of parental education, illiteracy, young parent age, and a
lack of resources hinder children’s early childhood development and leave them at a disadvantage when they enter school.
Families need education about childhood development, appropriate parental interaction and information about available
basic-need resources. As a result, SUCCESS Corps was developed and has successfully been meeting this critical
community need for three years.

Exceptional partnerships
The program was originally intended to serve out of Family Resource and Youth Service Centers, which are designed to
remove barriers to education in Kentucky schools. Due to the economic downturn in Kentucky, funding usually used to
provide match by the Centers for the AmeriCorps program was unavailable and the program needed to think out of the
box and seek new partners. New partnerships were developed and now Members also serve in high schools, domestic
violence shelters and Head Start programs. The end result is a stronger program making inroads with a population that
normally would not receive the services of the Members.

Potential for replication
The SUCCESS Corps is originally based on the home visitation model, Parents as Teachers, and implements a university-
designed program, Maternal Infant Outreach Workers Program, both of which are replicable in other communities.
Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: At-Risk Children

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication
• Cross-program connections

Contact Information
Kentucky Commission on Community
Volunteerism and Service
http://chfs.ky.gov/dfrcvs/kccvs/am
ericorps/
Eileen Cackowski, Executive
Director
eileen.cackowski@ky.gov
(502) 564-7420

SUCCESS Corps
Angela Baldridge, Program
Director
angela.baldridge@ky.gov
(502) 564-4986

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SUCCESS Corps adapted the models to its context and eventually switched to the Maternal Infant Outreach Workers
Program model which has proved more cost effective and Member friendly. As such, SUCCESS Corps can build on this
model and it can be successfully adapted and replicated in other communities and states.

Success Stories

In only the first quarter of the 2009-10 program year, 14 AmeriCorps Members in SUCCESS Corps have served 154
families and have provided service to 5,759 disadvantaged young people. These efforts are successfully educating parents
about child development and preparing children for school. The success of the program is due, in part, to the dedication
of program staff as well as supportive host sites working with well-selected and committed AmeriCorps Members. By
implementing a replicable home visitation and education model with innovative partnerships in Kentucky, AmeriCorps
Members are delivering meaningful service and meeting critical community needs.


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New Mexico

VSA arts of New Mexico

Program Description

The VSA arts of New Mexico (VSA NM) AmeriCorps program supports
collaborations between people with and without disabilities in service to
their community. The program’s 15 full-time AmeriCorps Members provide
a range of arts education and culture-based classes, activities and
entrepreneurial support in the visual, performing, literary, and media arts to
adults and children with disabilities in Albuquerque.

VSA NM AmeriCorps Members currently serve 183 adults with
developmental disabilities. Referred by other programs, therapists and
personal choice, these VSA NM apprentice artists participate in a full array
of classes in the visual, performing and exploratory arts. All apprentice
artists work from an individualized education plan, so AmeriCorps
Members adapt their instruction and support according to the individual’s
learning style and specific needs. AmeriCorps Members assist the
apprentice artists with improving their art skills or developing their
entrepreneurship skills to earn an income through art.
The AmeriCorps team also works on Saturdays with 30-40 children with
autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the VSA NM Arts Adventures Program.
The goal of Arts Adventures is twofold: to provide an enriching experience
for children with autism and to provide a short respite for families while
their child attends the class. Arts Adventures is divided into two three-
hour sessions, a morning session for youth ages 7-10 and an afternoon
session for youth ages 11-14.

Other VSA NM programs AmeriCorps Members support are:
• Expressions: art classes for adults with mental illness or trauma;
• Native American Charter Academy: an after-school experimental arts club for Native American teens; and
• Warehouse 508: a multi-media learning and performing center for Albuquerque teens.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
Seven VSA NM staff members are AmeriCorps alumni. Additionally, VSA NM estimates that 50-60% of its AmeriCorps
Members find a genuine vocation working with adults with disabilities or children/young adults with autism spectrum
disorder.

Delivering meaningful service
Since the late 1970's, there has been a national movement to provide services and supports to individuals with
developmental disabilities in the community rather than in institutions. New Mexico is one of only seven states that have
closed large state facilities for people with developmental disabilities. VSA NM is innovative in that it works with these
"de-institutionalized" citizens by providing a bridge from the institution to meaningful community life. VSA NM is a full-
service arts center where program staff and AmeriCorps Members develop clients’ arts and entrepreneurial skills. Once a
client reaches a certain level of skill mastery, VSA NM exhibits clients’ work at its studio and other locations and
celebrates their achievements via gallery showings and special events.


Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Disability Inclusion

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
New Mexico Commission for
Community Volunteerism
www.newmexserve.org
Gregory Webb, Executive
Director
gregory.webb@state.nm.us
(505) 841-4841

VSA arts of New Mexico
www.vsartsnm.org
Mike Callas, Program Director
mcallas@vsartsnm.org
(505) 345-2872 x19

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Potential for replication
The innovative strategies demonstrated by VSA NM offer great potential for replication. The program supports the
integration of community mental and disability health systems that exist throughout the nation. Communities that
support the inclusion of people with disabilities will find the VSA NM program model complimentary to their goals and
services.

Success Stories

In 2009, VSA NM AmeriCorps received one-year funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The
program’s goal for these funds was to increase the number of clients with disabilities receiving job training and attaining
employment. At the conclusion of the grant year, AmeriCorps Members had successfully provided job training to 593
clients and assisted 114 clients in attaining employment. VSA NM is well connected with many arts, disability and
cultural groups in Albuquerque. VSA NM is responsive to the changing needs of the communities it serves, which has
resulted in the organization’s steady growth since its inception in 1981.





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OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma Serves

Program Description

Oklahoma Serves currently places AmeriCorps Members statewide at 17
state or local nonprofit organizations, public agencies, colleges and
universities, schools, and other community-based organizations dedicated
to providing services to children and youth. Member service activities
include mentoring, tutoring, implementing educational enrichment and
health programs, and supporting food banks. In 2009, the program’s scope
expanded with the addition of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(ARRA) funding to include supporting nonprofit organizations to fill the
service gap created by budget declines and decreased financial donations.
The Oklahoma Serves ARRA AmeriCorps Members provide capacity-
building services to 18 participating nonprofits through volunteer
recruitment and management, implementation of new programs and
expansion of existing programs.

Oklahoma Serves currently supports a total of 114 AmeriCorps Members.
Organizations may apply for up to five AmeriCorps Member Service Years
to perform direct service activities - full-time, half-time and minimum-time
Members or a combination thereof.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
Due to AmeriCorps Members’ services, numerous Oklahoma organizations
are better able to implement new programs, expand existing programs or
improve the quality of existing programs for children and youth in their
communities. Member activities fill a service gap in communities where agencies do not have the organizational and fiscal
ability to manage these programs by themselves, thereby affecting a greater number of youth on a statewide level. Host
sites continually comment on how beneficial Oklahoma Serves is to their agencies and the clients they serve. Several of
the host sites have hired Members upon completion of their terms of service.

Real spirit of service
Oklahoma Serves Members are committed to enhancing the lives of Oklahoma’s children and youth and act as caring
adult role models to thousands of young people who lack essential necessities, many of whom live in poverty. Spirit of
service is the integral component of the program. A majority of Oklahoma Serves AmeriCorps Members maintain a
heightened ethic of service and take pride in their roles as servant leaders to Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.

Strong record of compliance
Oklahoma Serves supports and oversees service sites throughout the state on a regular basis. Members are required to
submit monthly reports and signed timesheets in the OnCorps reporting system, which are reviewed by the Oklahoma
Serves Program Director. In addition, the Program Director maintains frequent communication with all Members and
their service sites through email, telephone and site visits. The Program Director maintains a close-knit relationship with
Members and site supervisors and encourages frequent dialogue regarding program objectives, member activities and the
overall mission of the program. Connection among the sites is developed through frequent communication, various
training sessions, networking opportunities and service projects. In the program’s six years of operation, there have been
no audit findings by independent or federal auditors.



Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Youth Development

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
Oklahoma Community Service
Commission
www.okamericorps.com
Nancy Sharrock, Executive
Director
nsharrock@okamericorps.com
(405) 858-7278

Oklahoma Serves
Amy Roff, Program Director
aroff@okamericorps.com
(405) 858-7278


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Success Stories

Since its inception in 2004, 420 Oklahoma Serves AmeriCorps Members have impacted the lives of over 250,000
Oklahoma youth. Additionally, Members have served 247,160 hours and have recruited and served alongside 38,917
volunteers through agencies and schools that partner with Oklahoma Serves.

Oklahoma Serves uses a “single placement” model, which allows host sites
across Oklahoma to apply for member slots that will best suit their program
design. For example, some organizations prefer hosting one or more full-time
Members as their service activities require a member be present 35-40 hours per
week. Other sites are more flexible with service activity schedules and prefer half-
time Members who are college students majoring in education or social services.
Several sites manage summer camps and prefer minimum-time Members who can
serve those hours during the summer time. The flexible nature of the “single
placement” design creates additional opportunities for organizations to access
AmeriCorps Members. Thus, programs are able to expand their outreach, and as a
result, a greater number of youth benefit from AmeriCorps Members’ services.





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South Carolina

Foothills AmeriCorps

Program Description

Foothills AmeriCorps serves the northwestern section of Spartanburg
County, which consists of several small, rural communities. The program’s
100 AmeriCorps Members are all high school seniors who attend
Spartanburg County School District One. Foothills AmeriCorps Members
meet the needs of the school district’s communities through the following
activities.
• Tutoring underachieving elementary and middle school students
to become academically successful.
• Planning and implementing disaster preparedness programs and
activities, which help expand citizens' knowledge in emergency
preparedness and safety and lead to the strengthening of homeland
security in communities.
• Sponsoring and/or participating in community capacity-building
service projects that address unmet human needs throughout the
county.

Foothills AmeriCorps Members are selected based on their application,
essay, three teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, and
willingness and true desire to help the community. In exchange for their
service throughout the year, Members receive a monthly stipend. Upon
completion of at least 300 service hours by the end of the school year, they
also receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.





Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
In the community, the presence of Foothills AmeriCorps Members has become synonymous with service. If there is a
community need, Members have been there to assist in whatever way possible. Whether they are volunteering at the
local soup kitchen or March of Dimes or the United Way’s Gift in Kind warehouse, these high school seniors have
approached the service projects with a sincere and earnest desire to help. Their participation has enhanced them as they
enter adulthood and made them overall better citizens.

Delivering meaningful service
Since the program’s inception in 2004, Foothills AmeriCorps has successfully demonstrated its effectiveness by meeting
or exceeding outputs and outcomes. Performance measurements have continually increased and been met each year.
Formal and informal evaluations demonstrate that, on average, 80 high school seniors tutor 125 K-8 students in eight
schools for 16,000 hours during the course of the program year. Eighty percent of the students tutored have demonstrated
improved reading and cognitive scores as indicated in pre- and post-testing. Further, AmeriCorps Members perform
8,000 hours of community service (hospice, blood drives, March of Dimes, soup kitchen, etc.), and 80 Members receive
disaster preparedness/response training (and certification, if appropriate). Finally, 80 Members typically recruit 400
community volunteers during the course of the program year.



Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Youth Leadership

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
South Carolina Commission for
National and Community Service
www.uwasc.org
Timothy Ervolina, Executive
Director
timothy@uwasc.org
(803) 929-1000

Foothills AmeriCorps
Matt Holmes, Program Director
matt.holmes@spart1.org
(864) 472-2846 x5244


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Exceptional partnerships
Foothills AmeriCorps receives outstanding community and school district support. The program is guided by a steering
committee of 54 community representatives ranging the spectrum of socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The steering committee collaborates with Foothills AmeriCorps staff to identify community needs and service priorities
and to evaluate the program’s performance.


Potential for replication
Foothills AmeriCorps has been lauded throughout South Carolina as a model program for other high schools, and several
high schools in the state have replicated the program. The essential elements needed to replicate Foothills AmeriCorps in
other states are as follows:
• A school district willing to support the premise and philosophy of
AmeriCorps;
• A system of support that allows high school students to tutor
students in the district’s elementary and middle schools;
• High school seniors whose schedules will allow them to tutor
students during the school day;
• Supervision by schools and district staff;
• Support from the financial branch of the school district;
• Community need; and
• A sincere desire to build capacity within the community.

Success Stories

During the 2009-10 program year, Foothills AmeriCorps Members tutored 351 K-8 students. Members also conducted
disaster preparedness workshops for 622 people, health and safety information fairs, a blood drive for the local blood
bank, a comfort kit drive for disaster victims, canned food drives, and clothing drives. Additionally, Foothills AmeriCorps
partnered with 20 nonprofit organizations and eight elementary, intermediate and middle schools within the school
district.

Due largely to its success in the classroom, Foothills AmeriCorps has been fully embraced by the school district. The
community has also embraced the program and provides guidance and unparalleled support for Foothills AmeriCorps
functions, events and activities. The program’s strong reputation has made AmeriCorps member selection extremely
competitive as students consider it an honor and privilege to be selected.

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TENNESSEE

Project TLC

Program Description

Project TLC (To Love a Child) is a regional program that seeks to eradicate
child abuse and domestic violence. The program’s 14 AmeriCorps Members
teach positive parenting skills to “at-risk” and abusive parents through
parenting education courses and on-site and home-based training to
families. In addition, Members investigate Court Appointed Special
Advocate (CASA) child abuse cases and support abused children’s best
interests in court custody and visitation decisions. Members also
administer domestic violence assessments and facilitate female and teen
anger management groups and support groups for children who witness
domestic violence. Members currently serve at Project TLC’s host site, the
Exchange Club Center, and 24 partner sites.

Program Innovations

Exceptional partnerships
The following Project TLC partner agencies were instrumental to the
program’s development and continue to support its growth: Exchange Club
Family Center, CASA, Memphis Child Advocacy Center, and Le Bonheur
Center for Children and Parents. Since the program’s inception, Project
TLC has brokered partnerships with the Memphis City School System’s
Family Resource Centers and Seedco. These partnerships are critical in
helping Project TLC deliver meaningful service to communities.


Potential for replication
Project TLC can easily be replicated and sustained in other communities. The opportunity for replication is enhanced by
the following:
• Each collaborator is a member of state, regional and/or national professional organizations and networks, which
could easily follow the program's outline and design.
• All collaborative agencies have extensive contacts with "sister" agencies through professional networks.
• Exchange Club Centers across the country provide parenting classes and the parent aide program and thus can
serve as a model for other organizations interested in replicating Project TLC.
• A training manual to facilitate national replication has been developed.

An active alumni group
Annually, 25% of Project TLC AmeriCorps alumni participate in at least one of the program’s service projects.
Furthermore, two alumni currently serve as executive directors of community development corporations in Memphis,
while other alumni have created nonprofits that address various needs in their communities.

Success Stories

Project TLC has achieved numerous successes since its inception in 1994.
• AmeriCorps Members and staff have taught parenting skills to more than 1,600 adults, with 100% of participants
who complete the 10-week course receiving a passing grade on the post-test.
• AmeriCorps Members have investigated more than 700 CASA cases, with the judge accepting the
recommendations of the member in more than 80% of the cases.
Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Child Abuse,
Domestic Violence

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication
• An active alumni group

Contact Information
Volunteer Tennessee
www.volunteertennessee.net
Jim Snell, Executive Director
jim.snell@tn.gov
(615) 253-1426

Project TLC
Carol Russell, Program Director
carol.russell@exchangeclub.net
(901) 276-2200


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• Approximately 300 AmeriCorps Members have received in-service training on identifying the causes, signs and
results of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and positive parenting skills.

During the 2009-10 program year to date, Project TLC AmeriCorps Members have served 558 adults. Additionally, they
have engaged 150 volunteers in 704 hours of service.

Project TLC’s success is due to the following factors.
• Caring, concerned and supportive leadership creates a
culture that demonstrates and encourages “esprit de
corps.”
• Through the development of teams, a healthy
competition exists among the AmeriCorps Members,
and progress toward performance measures are
achieved or exceeded at a rapid pace.
• An extensive AmeriCorps member interview process
that begins with applicant orientation, progresses
through member interviews and ends with a program
director interview has helped in enrolling more
committed Members.
• Progress toward successful completion of an AmeriCorps member term of service is monitored quarterly through
one-on-one meetings between each member and the AmeriCorps Program Director. During these meetings,
member progress toward all performance measures is reviewed.

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VIRGINIA

Alternatives, Inc. – Peninsula AmeriCorps Serve and Support

Program Description

Alternatives, Inc. – Peninsula AmeriCorps Serve and Support (PASS)
enhances life skills, health and wellness, workplace readiness skills, and
career preparation for youth ages 13-18 in Hampton, VA. AmeriCorps
Members provide instruction in visual art, music, videography, dance and
theater. Members also expand service-learning and civic engagement
opportunities that build a commitment to service and altruism. The
program’s comprehensive approach helps young people emerge into
powerful and positive leaders by providing opportunities for:
• Fitness and wellness;
• Fine and expressive arts;
• Civic, social and cultural identity; and
• Personal direction and success.

PASS AmeriCorps Members, who are all students at Christopher Newport
University, serve at the Hampton Teen Center. The Center operates in
collaboration with city government, local public K-12 schools, institutions
of higher education, and community nonprofit agencies. Center leadership
is based on a youth-adult partnership model, with teens playing major roles
in the facility’s leadership. In collaboration with Christopher Newport
University Center for Service-Learning and Social Entrepreneurship
(CNU-CSLSE), Alternatives, Inc. utilizes a vertical-integration model for
the PASS program design. Adult leaders at the Center partner with the 12
PASS AmeriCorps Members who in turn partner with the Center’s teens.

The AmeriCorps Members use their knowledge, skills and professional
passions to engage teens in innovative programming at the Center,
designing and implementing programs based on their college majors. For example, a current member who is an art major
designed and instructs classes on watercolors and art journaling. Additionally, Members advise the Center’s teens on
designing and implementing service projects throughout Hampton.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
With highly committed partners and an innovative program design, PASS has achieved significant successes during its
first year of operation.
• AmeriCorps Members recruited 270 volunteers including 55 college-aged students, 80 high school students and
100 adults and young people serving as episodic volunteers.
• Volunteer surveys indicated a 25% increase in pre- to post-test scores to a sense of commitment and altruism.
• Partner feedback indicated that Members contributed to meeting community needs such as hunger, diabetes,
gerontology and cultural diversity.
• The program engaged 48 Christopher Newport University students in volunteer roles at the Hampton Teen
Center.

Exceptional partnerships
The Hampton Teen Center serves as a centralized hub for the city’s youth civic engagement programs, providing PASS
AmeriCorps Members direct access to a variety of potential collaborators. PASS partners with other Teen Center groups
such as Word! magazine, Uth ACT, Green$mart and the Teen Center Youth Advisory Board. Externally, Members partner
Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Youth Development

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
(Virginia) Office on Volunteerism and
Community Service
www.vaservice.org
Nikki Nicholau, Executive Director
nikki.nicholau@dss.virginia.gov
(804) 726-7644

Alternatives, Inc. – Peninsula
AmeriCorps Serve and Support
www.altinc.org
Kathy Johnson, Program Director
kjohnson@altinc.org
(757) 838-2330

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with the Virginia Foodbank, Hampton Health Department, the Diabetes Association, Hampton City Schools and 21
st

Century Learning Centers and Communities in Schools.

Potential for replication
The innovative strategies demonstrated by Alternatives, Inc. offer great
potential for replication. Considering the economic climate that many
states face across the country, the PASS program model could be easily
replicated and prove very beneficial to other urban areas. Alternatives,
Inc., the City of Hampton and CNU-CSLSE all collaborate with national
partners to share best practices and to provide local insight that
contributes to the national conversation regarding the engagement of
young people in public service. Hampton's Youth Civic Engagement
Initiative is considered a national model by the National League of Cities
and was awarded the 2005 Innovations in American Government Award
by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at
Harvard University.

Success Stories

In just its first year of operation, PASS has made a significant impact in Hampton. The program’s AmeriCorps Members
have served over 500 of the city’s teens through service projects, programs, school outreach and general chaperoning of
events. The City of Hampton has a national reputation for implementing a systemic approach to youth civic engagement.
While the systemic model has included venues for youth in government, youth service-learning, youth activism, youth
media and youth social entrepreneurship, it was not until 2009 that a model of youth in national service was
incorporated into the mix. The PASS AmeriCorps Members are incredible models to Hampton residents of how young
people are giving back to their country through national service. Alternative, Inc.’s long-term goal for PASS is to increase
the number of youth and adults in Hampton who volunteer through its civic engagement efforts.

PASS is a collaborative model between city government, local nonprofits and higher education partners, which is a major
factor in the program’s success. Each entity brings its own expertise and resources to the table, and each entity’s
expertise is honored and recognized by the others. Furthermore, partnering with Christopher Newport University has
allowed PASS to easily recruit and develop college members and maintain a seamless system for member participation.
Alternatives’ role as program coordinator ensures quality control, effective communication and program management.

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WYOMING

Wyoming Advocate Corps

Program Description

The Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault’s
(WCADVSA) Wyoming Advocate Corps (WyAC) partners with private,
non-profit community advocacy agencies across Wyoming to empower
adult and child survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault crimes.
The well-trained WyAC AmeriCorps Members address safety issues and
other needs of victims, promote understanding of critical issues and
services available in their communities, and build the capacity of local
domestic violence/sexual assault (DVSA) programs to respond more
effectively to the needs of victims through the recruitment, training and
management of community volunteers. WyAC Members’ primary
responsibilities are to provide information, referrals, support, safety
planning, safe shelter, transportation, childcare, landlord or creditor
intervention, and assistance in relocation. Members assist victims as they
interface with law enforcement, civil or criminal legal systems, medical
services, and social service systems. Members also provide support to
victims in securing job training and educational opportunities, emergency
financial aid and housing. Additionally, Members work with children to
address the effects of the violence perpetrated against them and to broaden
their support systems.

In addition to working one-on-one, some WyAC Members facilitate peer
education support groups, providing opportunities for group members to
learn from and support each other. WyAC Members also set the standard
for respectful, non-violent relationships by providing prevention education
and awareness training on domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse,
stalking and available support services. Members work extensively with
community partners such as law enforcement, schools, social service
agencies, and civil and criminal legal systems to address victim blaming issues and to promote victim-friendly response
systems.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
WyAC AmeriCorps Members have impacted the lives of thousands of Wyoming residents living in fear and violence by
improving communities’ responses to victims and societal attitudes about interpersonal violence and related issues. After
WyAC Members exit, most have continued to volunteer and many have become staff at the program where they served as
Members. Other Members have used their knowledge in their current work in education, law enforcement, counseling,
and social work and in their own social circles.

Delivering meaningful service
The WCADVSA identified an epidemic need in Wyoming and designed WyAC to address that need. This unmet need for
comprehensive services for survivors of interpersonal violence is due in part to the lack of available resources for advocacy
organizations to provide services; many local programs in Wyoming do not have the staff and volunteers to meet the
demand. Dedicated WyAC AmeriCorps Members have greatly increased the capacity of programs to respond to the
needs of survivors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. WyAC has annually met performance measures that assess the
impact of survivor empowerment services provided by Members. WyAC has also met volunteer recruitment, training and
management performance measures each year, increasing the capacity of local programs to meet the needs of victims in
their communities. As one program director stated in a recent survey, “When I see my AmeriCorps member in action in
Focus: Human Need
Issue Area: Domestic Violence,
Sexual Assault

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication
• A strong record of compliance

Contact Information
ServeWyoming
www.servewyoming.org
Rachel Chadderdon, Executive
Director
rachel@servewyoming.org
(307) 234-3428

Wyoming Advocate Corps
Patricia Luck, Project Manager
patluck@bresnan.net
(307) 674-6265

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Crook County, it’s a powerful demonstration of how volunteerism is changing the county’s landscape for the better.”

Potential for replication
WyAC has great potential for replication. Every state and US territory has a DVSA coalition that works with local
domestic violence/sexual assault programs. Local programs in Wyoming do not have the capacity to run stand-alone
AmeriCorps programs, so it is more cost-effective for a central entity to administer one large project. Therefore,
WCADVSA administers WyAC, absorbing the administrative duties, assisting with the match requirements and
providing on-going technical assistance to program sites.

Strong record of compliance
The WCADVSA’s strength is due in part to its commitment to the success of WyAC, including remaining in compliance
with federal regulations. As a result of WCADVSA’s built-in procedures, attention to detail and overall commitment to
AmeriCorps and service, WyAC staff are always able to understand how the program is progressing and give accurate
reports to stakeholders.

Success Stories

During the 2009-10 program year, WyAC placed 22 AmeriCorps Members in 12 domestic violence/sexual assault
program sites throughout Wyoming, achieving the following results.
• Members have provided domestic violence/sexual assault advocacy services to 1,155 new victims; 861 adult
women and men and 474 children.
• Members have provided 336 information or assistance services to victims seeking domestic violence or stalking
protection orders.
• Members have co-facilitated 80 peer education support groups with 322 adults and children attending the
sessions. Groups included battered victims, sexual assault survivors, children who have experienced violence in
their homes, and mothers struggling with issues related to the sexual assault of their children.
• Members have delivered 96 presentations to over 1,496 children and
adults. Members have presented to school classes and assemblies
and community groups on teen dating violence, sexual assault
awareness, the effects of violence in the home on children, bullying,
sexting and personal safety.
• Members have engaged 131 volunteers who have provided 2,739
hours of critical community service. Well-trained volunteers have
covered crisis-line shifts, visited hospitals and police stations to
support victims, accompanied victims to court, donated emergency
resources, provided childcare, maintained and cleaned shelters and
offices, and slept in un-staffed safe houses because victims were too scared to stay alone.
• Members have collaborated with 385 diverse faith-based and community organizations, agencies and groups to
address barriers to effective delivery of victim services.
The WyAC program design mandates layers of quality training and support of its AmeriCorps Members. Recruitment
strategies promote enrollment of Members who have a heart for the work and are an excellent fit for the local sites.
Individualized member training, mentoring and job-shadowing by site staff produces Members who quickly develop the
comprehensive skills of effective advocates. Furthermore, Members have built a solid, statewide network of support and
information among themselves.
Finally, the WyAC program design allows for clear separation of roles and responsibilities between WCADVSA staff and
local site personnel. Attention to detail and commitment to program regulations at all levels has substantially
contributed to the project’s success.

When I see my AmeriCorps Member in
action in Crook County, it’s a powerful
demonstration of how volunteerism is
changing the county’s landscape for the
better.”
- Wyoming Advocate Corps Program
Director
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Focus Area: Multi­Focus, Other 





There are many innovative programs that have adapted to community needs in ways that don’t fit neatly into one of the
previous categories. Some programs are meeting multiple needs such as education and health (such as the Harlem
Children’s Zone in New York, pictured above) or health and public safety. While others are addressing unique needs in
their communities such as at-risk youth and disaster preparedness. This section highlights those dynamic programs.

92 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

ALABAMA

Employer’s Child Care Alliance AmeriCorps

Program Description

The Employer’s Child Care Alliance AmeriCorps program (ECCA) engages
AmeriCorps Members in tutoring and mentoring students in after-school
and summer programs, assisting with disaster preparedness and volunteer
recruitment. Members serve in Eastern Alabama in Auburn City Schools,
Boys and Girls Clubs, American Red Cross SAFE in Sylacauga and
BRIDGES.

In after-school and summer programs, Members work with at-risk young
people ages 5-17 to provide tutoring and activities that promote healthy
decision making and life skills. Young people benefit from a low-cost, safe
place with quality programming and a caring adult, while a diverse group
of AmeriCorps Members gain valuable experience and skills to further
their education and careers in working with children.

Through ECCA, AmeriCorps Members also meet needs in disaster
preparedness and response in partnership with the Red Cross. Members
become CPR/First Aid and CERT trained and become certified as
CPR/First Aid and Disaster Institute instructors. They respond to local
disasters, are trained to assist the Armed Forces and, if they choose, can
become deployable to assist with disasters. Members assist with volunteer
recruitment, events and are involved in all aspects of the Red Cross
providing extra support to staff. The Members receive invaluable
experience and become lifetime volunteers. All of the Members who have
served with the Red Cross have remained Red Cross volunteers after
completing their AmeriCorps year(s).

ECCA has grown over the last six years to become a vital community asset
and looked upon as a critical community resource. It has a broad reach in
the community and relies on important partnerships to meet evolving
community needs in Alabama.

Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
ECCA AmeriCorps Members work in schools and with the Red Cross to meet critical community needs. As one example,
when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, communities in East Alabama were impacted as victims sought shelter
from the storm in Lee County. ECCA reached out to the Red Cross, Lee County Chapter, to provide AmeriCorps support
with volunteer management and shelter operations. The following year, ECCA again collaborated with Red Cross to
provide a full-time AmeriCorps member to assist with year-round disaster preparedness/response and volunteer
management. The AmeriCorps Members are filling an important need at Red Cross and each year Red Cross has
requested an increase in AmeriCorps support. ECCA’s partnerships continue to expand as needs are addressed and
evolve and its programming is diversified to meet the needs in the community.

Exceptional partnerships
ECCA has a strong partnership with the local schools, local businesses, non-profits, faith-based initiatives and the Red
Cross. The summer programs for at-risk young people collaborate with local businesses, non-profits and churches to
provide quality programming for healthy lifestyles. For example, one summer program collaborates with a local golf club
to provide free golf lessons for the young people. Other programs collaborate with the local parks and recreation
Focus: Education, Disaster
Preparedness
Issue Area: At-Risk Youth

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Cross-program connections

Contact Information
Alabama Governor's Office of Faith-Based
and Community Initiatives
www.ServeAlabama.gov
Sydney Hoffman, Executive Director
sydney.hoffman@servealabama.gov
(334) 954-7444

Employer’s Child Care Alliance
AmeriCorps
www.ccrc-alabama.org
/AmeriCorpshtml.html
Kim McManus, Program Director
kim.mcmanus@ccrc-alabama.org
(334) 749-8400


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department to utilize the swimming and recreation facilities and instructors. All programs build relationships with local
businesses to provide local support at low costs.

Since ECCA’s inception it has partnered with the local school systems. ECCA strives to fill gaps in programming as
requested by the community and schools. When ECCA was formed, one of the main concerns was care and supervision
for children during out-of-school time. Through its collaboration with the local schools in Auburn and Sylacauga, ECCA
is able to deliver programming at a low cost to parents by utilizing the in-kind space at the local schools while the
schools assist ECCA with advertising and recruitment. Each year ECCA works with the school systems to identify any
unmet needs and provide AmeriCorps support wherever possible.

Cross-program connections
ECCA’s collaboration among non-profits, schools, local
businesses and faith-based initiatives enables their working
together, sharing information and eliminating the duplication of
programming and events. Within the after-school and summer
programs, parents serve as volunteers. Sylacauga County is a
"Community of Promise," a community-wide effort to involve all
ages in service. As such, regular meetings are held to address
needs and issues. Sylacauga BRIDGES Members recruit retired
volunteers from RSVP in Talladega. Finally, volunteers are
recruited from local high school and college volunteer programs.
ECCA’s work is significantly enhanced by its collaboration with
other volunteer programs.

Success Stories

ECCA has a high recruitment and retention rate, strong partnerships in the community and has continued to grow as a
critical community asset in East Alabama. This success is due, in part, to a consistency in leadership, a great learning
environment, supportive community partners and recruitment of quality AmeriCorps Members who are committed and
take pride in their service. ECCA believes dedicated AmeriCorps Members are the best promoters for AmeriCorps and
the programs they serve. As such, each year it focuses important resources on recruitment. ECCA evaluates its
recruitment plan each year, recruits at local job fairs and colleges, holds information sessions, and advertises in local and
college newspapers. ECCA includes interview panels at information sessions to make sure selected Members are placed
where they best fit. After the initial interview, applicants are required to volunteer at the service site where they are
interviewing to serve. This gives the staff an idea of how the applicant works within the programs and the applicant's
desire to volunteer. Additionally, applicants are able to meet the other staff and current AmeriCorps Members to ask
questions. All of these efforts ensure that ECCA AmeriCorps Members have a clear understanding of expectations and
commitment requirements when joining the program. Since Members serve at different locations, ECCA holds monthly
member meetings to bring everyone together. Through these efforts, ECCA ensures that the AmeriCorps Members, who
are providing critical services to the community, are dedicated to the success of the program and the program is
dedicated to the success of the AmeriCorps Members.

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Latin American Youth Center

Program Description

The Latin American Youth Center’s (LAYC) mission is to empower young
people and their families to live, work and study with dignity, hope and
joy. To achieve this mission, LAYC offers a variety of services to immigrant
Latino families in Washington, DC. For seven years, LAYC has engaged
full-time and part-time AmeriCorps Members in providing academic
support to students who are performing below grade level in elementary
and middle school.

AmeriCorps Members facilitate homework assistance sessions, tutoring,
mentoring, and recreation activities during an after-school program.
Members also provide in-school health education to students in grades 5-8
focusing on physical fitness, nutrition and life skills. Additionally,
Members assist students in planning service projects throughout the
academic year and educate them on the value of community involvement,
volunteerism and leadership.

The LAYC AmeriCorps program recently started an initiative to increase
parental involvement in their children’s education. Members host events to
help foster relationships between Center staff, youth and parents. Some
recent events include parent orientations, family field trips and parent
focus groups.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
LAYC recruits AmeriCorps Members from within the community that the
program serves and from other programs and outreach groups that LAYC
supports. LAYC has had many youth serve as AmeriCorps Members after
having LAYC’s AmeriCorps Members serve in their classrooms and
neighborhoods. Of the 28 AmeriCorps Members serving in the current
program year, 75% are from or have grown up in the neighborhoods surrounding LAYC. Service at the organization has a
large impact on AmeriCorps Members as evidenced by the large number who return for a second term of service each
year. Of those eligible to be second term Members, 69% have returned in the 2009-10 program year.

Additionally, the impact that LAYC AmeriCorps Members have on the community has doubled in recent years and
continues to grow with every new class. In the 2008-09 program year, the LAYC AmeriCorps program provided 3,298
hours of math tutoring and assistance and 3,850 hours of language arts tutoring and assistance to 227 participants. For
the 2009-10 program year to date, the LAYC AmeriCorps program has provided 5,818 hours of math tutoring and
assistance and 6,079 hours of language arts tutoring and assistance to 213 participants. The participants in LAYC’s
AmeriCorps programming last year increased their math grades by an average of 0.48 points on a 4.0 grading scale while
non-participants only increased their grades by 0.18 points. Participants increased their reading and language arts grades
by 0.42points while non-participants increased their grades by on 0.18 points.

A real spirit of service
LAYC is very conscious of connecting its Members to the national service movement because it specifically recruits
young people who may not have had any prior exposure to that experience. LAYC aims to help its Members realize that
they are part of something bigger, while keeping their focus on the local community. It does this by empowering them
with trainings and civic engagement reflections once a month in order to really examine what their service means and
Focus: Education, Health
Issue Area: Immigrant Services

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Serve DC — The Mayor’s Office on
Volunteerism
www.serve.dc.gov
Tracy Sandler, Executive Director
tracy.sandler@dc.gov
(202) 727-9579

Latin American Youth Center
www.laycdc.org/index.php/progra
ms/education/americorps.html
Karen Brumbaugh,
Team Leader/
AmeriCorps Program
Coordinator
karen@layc-dc.org
(202) 319-2261

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what impact they are truly having on their community. The trainings and reflections are offered in a variety of formats
including journaling, watching movies and documentaries, presenting poems or other readings for discussion, and other
reflection-based, team-building activities. Additionally, LAYC inculcates a sense of being involved in a “movement” to
connect its Members to other AmeriCorps programs in the region. LAYC Members are usually active on the DC
AmeriCorps Leadership Council, organized and run by Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism. There, they plan
projects and events with Members from other AmeriCorps programs. Members also participate in several statewide,
commission-operated events throughout the year, including the annual Serve DC Life After AmeriCorps Conference and
annual AmeriCorps Week activities.

Potential for replication
LAYC expanded its operations to three locations in Maryland with one AmeriCorps program operating out of one of the
locations. The Maryland program currently has the capacity to hold part-time AmeriCorps Members, but LAYC is
confident it can expand to its full program in the coming years. The program is replicable because it reinvests the local
community into the programming and operations of the organization. The community is able to see an immediate impact
of the program as they participate as service recipients.

Success Stories

In the 2008-09 program year, LAYC’s AmeriCorps program met and exceeded its target number of students served during
the school day and helped 42% of those students increase their proficiency by one full letter grade in either math or
reading. LAYC’s AmeriCorps program also met and exceeded its target number of students served during after-school
time and maintained a 75% attendance rate with an 83% homework completion rate for those students. LAYC
AmeriCorps Members completed over 350 hours of training, civic reflection and team building, which led to stronger and
more engaged AmeriCorps Members.

LAYC is successful in part because it has developed a strong relationship with the school principals it works with and
provides each new teacher or partner with a well-developed packet that explains the AmeriCorps Member’s role in the
school and expectations of the school’s relationship with LAYC. LAYC’s AmeriCorps program has also created a strong
connection to LAYC’s Learning and Evaluation Department, which utilizes a well-developed Efforts-to-Outcomes
software to collect and analyze all program data. This data helps to improve the program’s impact.

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ILLINOIS

Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community Development

Program Description

The two-fold mission of the Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community
Development is to train the next generation of community development
specialists and to assist small towns with the implementation of
community projects. The program began in 1994 with a three-year grant
from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and has been an AmeriCorps*State
program since 2003. The program recruits returned Peace Corps volunteers
into a two-year graduate fellowship program at Western Illinois University.
During the first year in the program, Fellows receive specialized training in
community and economic development in order to prepare them for their
full-time, 11-month, community-based internship the second year of the
program. The program provides Fellows an opportunity to earn a master’s
degree while gaining practical experience leading community development
projects in rural Illinois communities.

Serving as AmeriCorps Members, Fellows assist small towns with the
implementation of community projects, such as: downtown revitalization,
business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship development, tourism
development, health education and outreach, volunteer management, and
organizational capacity building. Individual towns, groups of towns, or
local, county or regional agencies host Fellows through the program. Since
its inception, the program has placed interns in more than 90 rural Illinois
communities and has received several awards for it excellence in service.






Program Innovations

Delivering meaningful service
The Peace Corps Fellows program focuses on providing dedicated leadership and on-site technical assistance to small,
rural communities across Illinois through its Members. The program accomplishes this by providing specialized training
to Members; through Member recruitment and management of local volunteers in service to their communities; and
through Members building the capacity of local organizations and individuals. In one example, a Member helped his
community establish a non-profit 501(c)(3) development corporation, while another Member developed a strong social
infrastructure and volunteer framework to help address community needs.

Outstanding resource generation
Peace Corps Fellows provide direct service to their host site communities in meeting critical needs. Members have been
successful in generating resources to carry out initiatives and meet needs in the communities. For example, one Member
coordinated a “shop local” campaign that pledged to raise $1 million in sales revenues for the community. Another helped
secure $40,000 to fund a full-time economic development professional for the community so that the projects being
carried out by the Member could be sustained long term. In another example, a Member secured a $5,000 grant to
purchase Geographic Information Service (GIS) equipment and training to support his project.


Focus: Multi-Focus
Issue Area: Community
Development

Innovative Elements
• Delivering meaningful service
• Outstanding resource
generation
• Exceptional partnerships

Contact Information
Serve Illinois Commission
www.Serve.Illinois.gov
Ted Gibbs, Executive Director
Ted.Gibbs@illinois.gov
(312) 814-3303

Peace Corps Fellows Program in
Community Development
www.peacecorpsfellows-
wiu.org/index.html
Karen Mauldin-Curtis, Program
Manager
k-mauldin-curtis@wiu.edu
(309) 298-2706

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Exceptional partnerships
The Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community Development partners with the School of Graduate Studies at Western
Illinois University where Fellows are enrolled in master’s programs during their service. This enables Fellows to receive
full tuition waivers while they complete their degree and serve communities in Illinois. In addition, Western Illinois
University and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs provide Fellows and host sites with guidance, on-site visits and
technical support.

Success Stories

The Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community Development enables returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue
their service in highly-needed community development projects in Illinois. The program is successful because of its direct
connection to community needs. Host sites that apply for Fellows must identify and prioritize the goals/projects for the
Fellow and demonstrate how the proposed scope of the work fits into the larger goals of the organization and community
at large. Host sites also put together a liaison committee of community leaders to support the Fellow during the service
year and demonstrate buy-in from local stakeholders. This enables Fellows to leave behind sustainable progress and meet
critical needs in the communities they serve.


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MARYLAND

Civic Works Service Corps

Program Description

The Civic Works Service Corps is an urban service corps. Civic Works
strives to build a future for Baltimore’s young people through community
service and skills development. Since 1993, it has trained and assisted more
than 2,500 Baltimore area participants in performing community service
projects, developing job readiness and life skills and finding employment.

The program demonstrates a long-standing commitment to national service
through its ability to offer young adults opportunities to address unmet
human needs in the City of Baltimore using new approaches while
increasing community, corporate, city and state partnerships. Civic Works
Service Corps provides service opportunities for Baltimore area residents,
involving them in efforts to revitalize communities and improve
educational outcomes for students. AmeriCorps Members serve on various
teams rehabilitating or repairing homes, transforming vacant lots into
community gardens, helping community members conserve energy, and
mentoring students with a partner organization. Since 1993, over 1,300
Members have gained job skills and educational experiences while serving
Baltimore City residents.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Civic Works Service Corps adapts to the changing needs of Baltimore’s
communities to ensure the program has a lasting impact on Members and
Baltimore area communities. For example, Project Light Bulb, Civic Works’
home energy conservation team, was created when Baltimore’s low-income
communities began requesting assistance in making their homes more
affordable. Now, a population that is often overlooked understands how to
make their homes more energy efficient and Members, who are often
recruited from Project Light Bulb communities, are making a difference
close to home.

Exceptional partnerships
Although Civic Works has a variety of long-term partners that include state, federal and local agencies, businesses,
community organizations, faith-based organizations, and other AmeriCorps programs, the organization has begun
developing unique partnerships with local school systems. Civic Works developed an ongoing partnership with the
Baltimore County School System to assist it in implementing the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID)
program, placing Members in every public high school and several middle schools. Civic Works also partnered with the
Baltimore City Public School System to create “REACH! Partnership,” a middle school or high school that utilizes
AmeriCorps Members in its education model. Members serve as advocates for students during the school day and form
relationships with their families. During their senior year, students have the option of serving as minimum-time
Members.

Outstanding volunteer and resource generation
Approximately 1,300 volunteers are recruited each year to assist Members in completing service projects. Civic Works
generates over $700,000 in matching funds for Service Corps each year and raises over $3 million in funding for additional
programs. Civic Works has extensive ties with community groups, workforce development agencies and colleges,
allowing the program to recruit a wide variety of Members. In a typical year, AmeriCorps Members can range in age from
Focus: Multi-Focus
Issue Area: Young Adult Skills
Development

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Exceptional partnerships
• Outstanding volunteer and
resource generation

Contact Information
Maryland Governor's Office on Service
and Volunteerism
www.gosv.state.md.us
Barbara Ellen Reynolds, Executive
Director
breynolds@gosv.state.md.us
(410) 767-4803

Civic Works Service Corps
www.civicworks.com
Dion Wright, Corpsmember
Development/Youth Build
Director
dwright@civicworks.com
(410) 366-8533

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17 to 63 with varying educational backgrounds; from high school drop-outs to graduate students. Last year, 99% of AVID
graduating seniors who Service Corps Members tutored were accepted into college and amassed a total of $2,692,039 in
scholarship awards.

Success Stories

Civic Works Service Corps is successful in meeting partner needs and having a lasting impact on Members and
communities. Since 2006, 100% of Service Corps partner organizations have agreed that the presence of AmeriCorps
Members improved their ability to meet their missions. Approximately 91% of Service Corps Members believe their year
of service provided them with experiences and skills that will be useful in achieving their career and educational goals
and that they are likely to continue participating in their communities. Energy usage data from Baltimore Gas & Electric
shows each household visited by Project Light Bulb Members saves an average of 53kwh per month. This is in addition to
the estimated 59,148 gallons of water saved each day by faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads installed by
AmeriCorps Members.

Civic Works Service Corps is successful because it has a stable base of programs and service sites that allow the
organization to develop a proven model. When the needs of Baltimore area communities shift or a new partnership is
created, Civic Works is able to quickly launch new programs. Additionally, Civic Works is able to provide Members
with meaningful service opportunities that allow them to experience diverse people and communities while gaining skills
they can use in the future.

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MARYLAND

Volunteer Maryland

Program Description

Volunteer Maryland (VM) is recognized as a leader in the state for its
ability to mobilize and manage volunteers to help non-profits meet needs
in their local communities. VM’s mission is to build stronger, healthier
communities by developing volunteer programs that meet critical needs in
the areas of education, human needs, public safety, homeland security and
the environment. VM’s goals are three-fold: improve the lives of Maryland
citizens and the natural environment; build and sustain the capacity of
secular and faith-based nonprofits to mobilize community volunteers; and
develop the leadership skills and ethic of service of Maryland citizens.

Maryland nonprofit organizations have formed throughout the state to
meet various community needs and regularly report that they need help
recruiting and managing volunteers and lack the resources to do so. VM
helps to meet these needs by placing AmeriCorps Members in nonprofits
to serve as volunteer coordinators, creating, expanding and improving
volunteer programs. VM serves all regions of the state and addresses a
broad range of community needs. VM is the only Maryland program that
provides this service to nonprofits and local communities. Each year, VM
partners with 30 organizations that can benefit from mobilizing volunteers
and VM AmeriCorps Members mobilize over 5,220 community volunteers.
In turn, these volunteers provide over 83,500 hours of service to nearly
4,000 community members.




Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
VM provides a powerful training ground for civic and community leaders. VM AmeriCorps Members are exposed to the
diverse network of national and community service, and many choose careers in the field. According to VM’s external
evaluator, there has been a statistically significant increase in service knowledge and skills (knowledge of national
service, volunteer program development, teambuilding/communication and leadership) in 86% of its Members. These
skills and knowledge are also utilized by alumni long after the term of service. In 2009, 95% of alumni said they continued
to use skills developed at VM, including professional networking, conflict resolution and public speaking. Cultivating
active citizens and an ethic of service are deliberate and impactful components of the VM year. Since 2007, 88% of VM
alumni reported that they continued to be active citizens and involved in community service after they completed the
VM year. Members also often return to serve in leadership positions and then move on to employment opportunities
within the nonprofit sector.

Exceptional partnerships
VM collaborates with Maryland associations and membership organizations to recruit the greatest number and diversity
of site partners. VM has established a strong collaboration with the Maryland Volunteer Center Association (MVCA).
MVCA represents the 15 volunteer centers that operate throughout Maryland to mobilize volunteers and connect
individuals and nonprofit organizations in service. Through web sites, newsletters and social networks, the volunteer
centers promote VM information sessions and share recruitment information.


Focus: Multi-Focus
Issue Area: Community
Development

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
• Exceptional partnerships
• Cross-program connections

Contact Information
Maryland Governor's Office on Service
and Volunteerism
www.gosv.state.md.us
Barbara Ellen Reynolds, Executive
Director
breynolds@gosv.state.md.us
(410) 767-4803

Volunteer Maryland
www.volunteermaryland.org
Maureen K. Eccleston, Director
meccleston@volunteermaryland.org
(410) 767-6251

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Cross-program connections
In 2007, VM became an AmeriCorps*VISTA Project Sponsor. VM VISTA Members serve in one of three assignment
areas: resource development, marketing and technology, and evaluation. In 2008, VM hosted a one-day conference for
AmeriCorps and VISTA members and has since held multiple training and networking opportunities for Members of
both programs. VM AmeriCorps Members and staff also collaborated with other national service programs. For instance,
two VM Members joined the VM VISTA Leader and members from Community Mediation Maryland, Maryland
Conservation Corps and other AmeriCorps programs at the Maryland Food Bank sorting food for the hungry; and five
VM Members and three VM staff joined VISTA members, AmeriCorps*NCCC Members, Teach for America members,
and community members for the rebuilding of a Baltimore playground destroyed by arson.

Success Stories

Since 1992, 521 VM AmeriCorps Members have designed effective and sustainable volunteer management systems at 445
rural, urban, school- and faith-based, secular and other community-based agencies. Together, they mobilized more than
83,400 community volunteers and 52,000 service-learning students. Volunteers have served nearly 1.4 million hours
valued at more than $21 million. In addition to these outputs, VM is dedicated to creating sustainable volunteer programs
that continue to meet community needs long after the AmeriCorps service year. Over the last three years, 91% of former
partners reported that they sustained or improved their organization’s ability to recruit and manage volunteers for three
years after program completion.

VM is successful in meeting or exceeding its outcomes in part because it prepares AmeriCorps Members for service with
an intensive 100-hour training program. The comprehensive training program combines experiential activities and
classroom instruction; it is fast-paced and quickly equips Members with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to
serve successfully as volunteer coordinators. The training allows Members to develop a connection to national service
and volunteerism; learn and demonstrate best practices for volunteer program development; practice effective team-
building and communication; and acquire and demonstrate strong leadership skills.

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MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts Legal Assistance for Self-Sufficiency Program

Program Description

Massachusetts Legal Assistance for Self-Sufficiency Program (MLASSP)
AmeriCorps Members serve at legal services organizations that provide
assistance to low-income people in civil (non-criminal) matters. Members
serve in high-need areas throughout Massachusetts. The program provides
critical services to a low-income population while building the skills of
individuals who have an interest in poverty law. Members participate in a
wide range of legal assistance activities beginning with initial client contact
and eligibility determinations, to case development, negotiation, hearing
and appeal. Priority areas include: domestic violence, homelessness,
immigration status, debt and finance, education, Social Security and health
insurance. Members also conduct legal education and outreach activities, as
well as develop volunteer resources for their legal services organization.

AmeriCorps Members, with the assistance of the volunteers they recruit,
have organized a number of special programs across the state through
partner legal services organizations (LSOs). These programs provide crucial
services to the population served by the LSOs. The additional volunteers
that Members recruit donate an average of 2,000 hours a year. They lead
programs that educate the community on income tax, earned income credit
and immigrant rights. They also donate their time by serving clients in
housing court cases, at a domestic abuse hotline and through hospital legal
trainings.



Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
Participation in MLASSP creates a lasting impact on AmeriCorps Members. Serving in the legal field, Members see the
struggles that many families are facing each and every day. Members better understand the importance of advocating for
those who are not able to do it for themselves. Through the Members’ monthly journal reflections, it is easy to see that
their year of service will have lifelong impact. Over the course of the year, the reflections change from initial observations
about their service to discussions about future goals and interests that arise as a result of their experiences. What the
reflections truly demonstrate is a change from the idea of working in poverty law to the development of a lifelong ethic of
service.

Delivering meaningful service
Since the program began in 2005, Members have provided service in over 13,000 cases on behalf of low-income families in
Massachusetts. These numbers far exceed the anticipated goals and targets of the program. LSOs around the state are
understaffed and unable to support the number of clients in need of services. AmeriCorps Members have been an
enormous resource over the past few years by allowing these LSOs to serve more clients. The 13,000 cases over the past
four years have kept families in their homes and assisted them in gaining health care and other benefits. The service and
assistance provided by the AmeriCorps Members directly affect the quality of life of many of the clients.

Exceptional partnerships
In 2005, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS) brought together a statewide consortium of legal services
organizations to recruit AmeriCorps Members into their programs with the goal of increasing and improving services to
their low-income clients. Through this partnership the MLASSP program was developed. It is a unique approach to
Focus: Legal Services
Issue Area: Legal Assistance to
Low-Income Populations

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships

Contact Information
Massachusetts Service Alliance
www.mass-service.org
Emily Haber, Executive Director
ehaber@mass-service.org
(617) 542-2544

Massachusetts Legal Assistance for Self-
Sufficiency Program
Kathy Marx, Program Director
kmarx@sccls.org
(508) 676-5022 x2019


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responding to the deficit in resources of legal services organizations to meet the overwhelming need in their communities.
In addition to the partnership with LSOs, the MLASSP program also fostered a relationship with the Massachusetts Bar
Foundation, which provides LSOs with support to host an AmeriCorps Member.

Success Stories

Each year, Members have provided services for over 3,000 cases, the majority of which move beyond initial screening. In
response to the end-of-year survey, 100% of site partners indicated they were satisfied with the Member’s service. In
addition, 75% of clients in extended services reported satisfactory assistance and increased family stability. MLASSP has
also fully enrolled and had nearly 100% retention, with only one member who left service early in the past three years. The
volunteer generation that Members engage in across the state results in thousands of hours of service, which provides
additional resources and services that benefit the low-income population.

The MLASSP program has been successful because the community need was identified by the LSOs that are working in
the field every day. The legal services community realized they could not assist all the potential clients who were coming
through their doors. The consortium of LSOs developed a program that would help them to address the need. They
recognized that well-trained, motivated individuals could help them to fill that gap in capacity by serving as legal
advocates. AmeriCorps Members allowed the MLASSP program to not only answer a community need, but also provide
skills and experience to individuals interested in poverty law.



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MASSACHUSETTS

Youth Star

Program Description

Youth Star recruits and supports at-risk men and women between the ages
of 16 and 24, some of whom are young parents, to be AmeriCorps Members
who build community capacity by promoting anti-violence efforts and
health education. Members serve as youth leaders in their community,
gaining valuable member development experience as they educate peers in
public safety and health promotion and lead “alternatives to violence”
activities including dance, art and carpentry, among others. Members also
recruit and support individuals from the surrounding urban communities
to participate in both one-time and on-going volunteer opportunities,
including an annual World AIDS Day event and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Day of Service.

Youth Star is a youth corps program serving the needs of both its Members
and its community. Access to quality weekend and after-school
programming for youth in the economically depressed communities of
Chelsea, Revere and East Boston is extremely limited. Members recruit and
support these youth in programming that allows them to not only stay off
the streets, but to participate in creative arts, vocational or life skills
classes that they would not normally have access to. The Member
development aspect of the program has also been incredibly successful, as
Members gain leadership skills, educational skills including GED
attainment, and life skills they most likely would not otherwise receive.



Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
The service that Youth Star Members perform creates a lasting impact on the communities of Chelsea, Revere and East
Boston, as well as on the Members themselves. Its programming utilizes the High-Risk Youth Intervention Model, which
is based on cognitive-behavioral intervention to enable young people to move toward economic independence and living
out of harm’s way. Providing programming to urban youth under this model helps strengthen the surrounding
communities tremendously, as these youth grow up to become responsible citizens and leaders of change within those
communities. In addition, many former participants of this programming go on to join Youth Star as AmeriCorps
Members, and many Youth Star Members go on to attain staff positions within the implementing agency, Roca.

Delivering meaningful service
Youth Star Members have recruited and led local urban youth in “alternatives to violence” activities for 17 years, helping
hundreds of youth who are in gangs, on the streets, and in and out of prison; have dropped out of school; are young
parents; and/or are immigrants living with memories of unspeakable violence. The Youth Star program was recently
supplemented with a Young Moms Corps launched in July 2009 and funded with an American Reinvestment and
Recovery Act (ARRA) AmeriCorps grant. The Young Moms Corps consists of young mothers who serve the vast health
care needs of the community by providing information on health care access and health benefits programs, as well as
facilitating enrollment in health insurance and health benefits programs. Members also build important job skills and
leadership training, and recruit, train and support additional volunteers from the community for health care activities and
special service projects. The Young Moms Corps will be folded into the Youth Star program upon completion of the
ARRA funding, so the great service begun by this pilot program can be continued for years to come.

Focus: Health, Public Safety
Issue Area: At-Risk Young
Adults

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members
and community
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships

Contact Information
Massachusetts Service Alliance
www.mass-service.org
Emily Haber, Executive Director
ehaber@mass-service.org
(617) 542-2544

Youth Star
www.rocainc.org
Anisha Chablani, Deputy Director
Anisha@rocainc.org
(617) 889-5210 x257


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Exceptional Partnerships
Youth Star has numerous primary community partners including local and state government officials, Massachusetts
General Hospital (MGH) through an on-site community health clinic and assistance with Members’ health outreach
efforts, the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, the Chelsea, Revere and Boston Police Departments, Chelsea
Public Schools, the Chelsea/Revere and East Boston District Courts, the Suffolk County DA’s Office and several local
community colleges. In addition, entities such as the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the
Chelsea and Medford Housing Authorities, and the Cities of Boston, Chelsea and Revere often hire work crews from
Roca’s vocational programming for youth. These partnerships are important to the success of Youth Star and its ability to
respond to changing and critical needs in the community.

Success Stories

Youth Star developed strong evaluation efforts over the past 17 years as an AmeriCorps program. Specifically, Youth Star
and Roca developed an Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) database to document their programs’ effectiveness, track staff
development and measure all Youth Star outcomes. Utilizing ETO, Youth Star has been able to more easily report on their
performance measure objectives. For the 2008-09 program year, over 250 young people were recruited to participate in
programming and showed measurable reductions in risky behavior as well as increases in pro-social behaviors. Over 100
community volunteers were recruited to serve a total of 986 volunteer hours. Additionally, all 17 at-risk Members in the
2008-09 program year successfully completed their service year and afterward either obtained employment, entered
college or joined Youth Star again for a second term of service.

Youth Star’s success comes from its ability to fill a unique niche of service in the portfolio of programs in Massachusetts,
utilizing at-risk young adults, young parents and former Roca participants as AmeriCorps Members to successfully
coordinate health and anti-violence activities for young people from their own low-income urban communities. The
Members act as role models for young people and joining Youth Star has become a driving goal for these young people. In
addition, Roca staff is fully committed to the program, and provide incredible support to Youth Star Members in all
aspects of their service and, ultimately, their lives.



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Montana

Young Adult Service Corps

Program Description

The Jobs for Montana’s Graduates Foundation’s Young Adult Service
Corps (YASC) aims to improve the state’s high school dropout rate and
labor pool by engaging young adults across Montana in service to their
schools and communities. The program annually engages 100 young adults
ages 17-24 in 300 hours of service. Through the help of schools and
community-based organizations that serve as host partners, YASC
AmeriCorps Members provide much-needed services to numerous
Montana communities. YASC Members do not receive a stipend but are
eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of
their service terms.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
Through their AmeriCorps experiences, YASC participants develop a
strong ethic of service, knowledge of community issues and a lifelong
commitment to community engagement. AmeriCorps Members experience
gains in communication skills, time management, academic work and
leadership. Furthermore, the program offers Members meaningful,
rewarding service experiences that have substantial community impact.

Exceptional partnerships
YASC collaborates with schools and community-based organizations
located across Montana. Partnering organizations include Same Difference
Inclusion Theater Company, Family Outreach, Anaconda Job Corps,
Neighborworks Affordable Housing and Bozeman Youth Initiative. These
partnerships greatly enhance YASC’s ability to deliver meaningful service.

Potential for replication
YASC is replicable in other states as a regional or statewide initiative. The essential elements include a network of
schools and community-based organizations that value young adults and their contributions and are willing to engage
them in meaningful service. Additionally, the site supervisors serve as an essential key to the AmeriCorps Members’
success and program outcomes.

Real spirit of service
YASC delivers a strong ethic of service by demonstrating to young adults
that their contributions are valued and that they can have a voice through
volunteering. The YASC spirit of service is present and delivered at
orientation and Life after Service trainings. YASC conveys to participants
they are the future and it is possible to have a positive experience
volunteering. Part of the end-of-service YASC AmeriCorps paperwork
includes asking the Members to rate their affiliation with the greater
AmeriCorps movement. These evaluations consistently show a strong
affiliation to the greater movement, primarily due to the local volunteer
service benefiting the community and making a real impact in addressing an
actual community need. A YASC alumnus commented, “I feel like my
Focus: Education, Human Need
Issue Area: Youth Leadership

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Exceptional partnerships
• A real spirit of service
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Montana Commission on Community
Service
www.serve.mt.gov
Jan Lombardi, Executive Director
jlombardi@mt.gov
(406) 444-2573

Young Adult Service Corps
www.jmgf-mt.org
Connie Roope, Program Director
croope@qwestoffice.net
(406) 443-2413

“I feel like my service strongly connects to
the greater AmeriCorps movement because
we dedicated numerous service hours to
better our community and nation. This is a
great opportunity for America’s youth to
get involved and it is a rewarding
experience through the skills and lessons
learned.”
- A YASC Alumnus

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service strongly connects to the greater AmeriCorps movement because we dedicated numerous service hours to better
our community and nation. This is a great opportunity for America’s youth to get involved and it is a rewarding
experience through the skills and lessons learned.”

Success Stories

In Montana, high school dropout rates are on the rise with over five% of enrolled students dropping out during the 2007-
08 school year. The YASC model is cost-effective and enables a large number of young people to be engaged with
AmeriCorps. Completing the AmeriCorps term gives young people a sense of accomplishment and gets them involved in
service at a young age. In addition, the education award gives them money to use for college, which previously may have
seemed unattainable.


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Nebraska

LFS AmeriCorps

Program Description

LFS (Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska) AmeriCorps seeks to
empower individuals who are disadvantaged, underserved and seemingly
have no voice in Nebraska - refugees and immigrants, minority youth in
poverty and disadvantaged adults. Nebraska has the seventh-fastest
growing immigrant population in the country. Additionally, the 2005 US
Census revealed that although Nebraska experienced an overall decline of
more than 4,200 residents from 2000-05; there was a simultaneous increase
of nearly 28,000 foreign-born residents. These statistics represent a
significant shift in the population demographics of Nebraska, which have
impacted all sectors of the state. LFS AmeriCorps uses community asset-
building techniques to identify and meet the service needs of these
individuals and develops and nurtures the required resources to support
them. During the 2009-10 program year, LFS AmeriCorps’ 36 Members
provide refugee resettlement, immigration legal services, employment
readiness training, and other necessary services at 13 sites in rural and
metropolitan areas across Nebraska.

LFS AmeriCorps believes that identifying the existing human resources
within a community and developing those resources to benefit the
community as a whole is asset-building at its core. LFS AmeriCorps
therefore pursues Members who represent the low-income New American
populations it serves in Nebraska. The program’s current AmeriCorps
Members range in age from 18 to 45 years old, represent seven countries
and speak 10 languages. These non-traditional Members can, at times, be
difficult to retain because of language and cultural barriers, family
obligations, lack of formal education and/or workforce experience. However, LFS recognizes their deep understanding of
those needing services, their connection to community and their potential to develop personally.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members
Over the past 10 years, LFS AmeriCorps has provided life-changing service experiences to over 200 AmeriCorps
Members. Many LFS AmeriCorps Members have found their calling through service, and 22 have become employees at
LFS or host sites after completing AmeriCorps service.

Delivering meaningful service
The impact of LFS AmeriCorps Members in mobilizing involvement and addressing community needs can be seen in the
2008-09 program year data. Members recruited 669 volunteers who provided over 7,174 hours of service to Nebraska
communities. Members enrolled 100 individuals in the Refugee Employment and Education Program and secured
employment for 75 of those individuals within 180 days of program enrollment. Additionally, Members ensured that 779
individuals received immigration legal consultations, which resulted in 579 individuals applying for US Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) benefits and an additional 146 individuals applying for USCIS benefits for victims of
domestic violence. Members also provided free tax preparation service to 375 low-income individuals in Omaha.

Exceptional partnerships
LFS AmeriCorps’ focus on asset-based community development is also seen in the program’s selection of host site
partners. LFS AmeriCorps intentionally selects a mixture of strong, mature sites and new organizations meeting pressing
needs that require greater support. Placement of a member at a less mature site allows LFS to identify and develop
Focus: Education, Human Need
Issue Area: Immigration

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
ServeNebraska
www.serve.nebraska.gov
Greg Donovan, Program Officer
greg.donovan@nebraska.gov
(402) 471-6249

LFS AmeriCorps
www.lfsneb.org
Mikki Chullino, Program Director
mchullino@lfsneb.org
(402) 436-6100 x3502


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community partnerships and resources. Member placement also allows the host site to build sustainability through
volunteer recruitment efforts and direct-service provision. While these grassroots organizations are essential to properly
fill the gaps within the communities being served, it is recognized that member retention at these sites may be lower than
required due to the host site’s lack of sophistication. LFS AmeriCorps offers substantial training to host sites in areas of
member supervision, resource and capacity development and program objective identification. The program has
replicated an immigration legal service host site model to form a statewide network of Board of Immigration Appeals
(BIA) accredited specialists and partnered with two legal service providers to create an immigration model now used in
six immigration service sites across Nebraska. In 2010, the original partner in that model reached a level of sustainability
that allowed it to move from AmeriCorps Members to increased staff positions. Over the past 10 years, LFS AmeriCorps
has partnered with 25 host sites, and 18 of those sites have requested Members for multiple years of service. LFS
considers this long-term level of partnership an asset to the AmeriCorps program.

Success Stories

LFS AmeriCorps is a guiding force for community development. It develops Members
and host sites alike by using the asset-based community development philosophy. The
program’s philosophy is to use asset-mapping techniques to identify assets within the
community that can be developed to provide a greater good. These assets may be
individuals within the community who would benefit from participation in
AmeriCorps service, or the assets may be small community organizations that could
greatly benefit from operating as an AmeriCorps host site. This holistic approach -
meeting immediate needs through the intervention of AmeriCorps Members as a means
of strengthening communities - makes LFS AmeriCorps a true innovator.

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NEW YORK

Harlem Children’s Zone

Program Description

AmeriCorps Members serving in the Harlem Children’s Zone’s (HCZ)
Peacemaker Program play a critical role in a comprehensive, community-
building initiative called the Harlem Children’s Zone Project. The Project is
a neighborhood-based network of services that creates positive
opportunities and outcomes for more than 8,000 children and 6,000 adults
who live in a 97-block area of Central Harlem. HCZ provides a seamless
system of comprehensive supports to guide a child from birth to college
graduation, implementing best practices at every developmental stage.

The 99 full-time and 16 part-time HCZ AmeriCorps Members work side-
by-side with parents, teachers, principals and community residents to build
a community in Harlem that is a safe and healthy place to raise children.
AmeriCorps Members provide in-class and afterschool literacy-based and
conflict resolution training for children in Harlem elementary schools;
tutor, mentor and instruct in computer skills; improve awareness of health
and nutrition; and counsel and support children and families. Specific HCZ
programs AmeriCorps Members support include:
• Harlem Gems – a high-quality, year-round, extended-day early
childhood education program for children ages three and four,
which focuses on working with parents to ensure all children are
ready for school.
• The HCZ Asthma Initiative – a collaboration between HCZ, Harlem
Hospital Pediatrics and the Mailman School of Public Health at
Columbia University to identify, educate and provide effective
treatments for every child in the HCZ Project area who has asthma.
• The Renaissance University for Community Education (TRUCE) – a year-
round, extended-day youth development program where Members
tutor, foster media literacy and artistic ability and conduct college
preparation activities for youth in grades 9-12.
HCZ encourages AmeriCorps Members to engage in community service activities such as block cleanups, mural
paintings and health fairs. Recent community revitalization projects in Harlem have included the painting of public
hallways and apartments in city-owned buildings, classrooms, gyms, hallways and other public spaces in schools, the
building of playgrounds and the refurbishing of community gardens.
Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
AmeriCorps Members develop an understanding of civic responsibility and the spirit of community through the
following activities:
• Working with teachers and parents in under-performing schools to improve reading performance to meet No
Child Left Behind standards.
• Working with parents, community residents, leaders, clergy, staff and volunteers in the schools, housing, parks,
churches and gardens of the HCZ to build a community that promotes positive outcomes for children.
• Working at HCZ programs to provide critical supports and services to children and families.
• Training that fosters knowledge, skills and attitudes on volunteerism, community service and democracy.

Focus: Education, Community
Revitalization
Issue Area: Youth Development

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
New York State Commission on
National & Community Service
www.newyorkersvolunteer.ny.gov
Mark Walter, Executive Director
mark.walter@newyorkersvolunteer.
ny.gov
(518) 473-8882

Harlem Children’s Zone
www.hcz.org
Jazmine Lewis & Erica Terrell,
Program Directors
jlewis@hcz.org, eterrell@hcz.org
(212) 234-6200


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The HCZ Peacemaker Program has a lasting impact on the Central Harlem community because it allows community
residents to:
• Learn about HCZ’s network of services and supports. The HCZ network offers programs to children and families
from birth to adulthood.
• Become aware of the positive supports and services that HCZ’s AmeriCorps Members are providing in schools
and in the community.
• Participate in volunteer activities with AmeriCorps Members, community and faith-based organizations and
corporate partners throughout the year.

Exceptional partnerships
Through the HCZ Peacemaker Program, AmeriCorps Members work directly
with community residents, parents, churches, hospitals, other community-based
organizations and corporations to build a community in Central Harlem that
supports the safe and healthy development of children. AmeriCorps Members
work in HCZ’s early childhood programs to give parents in Harlem access to the
latest information on child development and parenting. In the public schools,
HCZ Members work with teachers, principals and parents to make schools safer
places for children and to provide children with the supports and services they
need to meet or exceed city, state and federal standards in reading. AmeriCorps
Members also work with the HCZ Faith-Based Network, a group of 18 churches
and mosques; with the HCZ Community Advisory Board (CAB), comprised of 100
community residents; and with corporate volunteers from General Electric,
American Express and Morgan Stanley on a variety of neighborhood
beautification projects.

Potential for replication
After continuous requests from organizations wanting to learn about HCZ’s comprehensive community-building
strategy, HCZ developed the Practitioners Institute. The goal of the Practitioners Institute is to share HCZ’s best-
practice model with social service and educational organizations, policymakers, funders, and governmental entities, those
working in communities similarly struggling with poverty and failing educational systems. To date, HCZ has hosted 130
communities from across the country and abroad. In the fall of 2009, 1,465 people, from 104 different communities,
attended HCZ’s sold-out conference, “Changing the Odds: Learning from the Harlem Children’s Zone Model,” offered for
those currently implementing or planning to implement a comprehensive, community-based program similar to the HCZ
model. The Peacemaker portion of the Practitioners Institute outlines how volunteerism, community service and the
active participation of community organizations, residents and corporate volunteers are key components of HCZ’s
community-building strategy.

Success Stories

In 2009, the HCZ Peacemaker Program served 3,472 children, which included 300 TRUCE participants. Over 90% of the
high school seniors participating in TRUCE during the 2008-09 school year went on to college. From 2006-2008, 1,563
volunteers were recruited and provided 4,689 hours of service. Also, 100% of 59 beautification and community building
events were completed. HCZ has been a model program to local, state, national and international audiences. The
Peacemaker Program consistently exceeds its performance measures, which generates increased community
development. AmeriCorps Members have extended the reach of program activities in Central Harlem. Additionally, HCZ
has developed effective strategies for recruiting and managing volunteers. For the last decade, HCZ has successfully
recruited and trained community volunteers at a level that regularly exceeds its goal.

HCZ continues to gain momentum because of its success, which results in increased services and further community
resources. The success of HCZ has brought national and international attention to the streets of New York City.
Corporate sponsors such as American Express help the program grow, recognizing the incredible return on investment.
Plus, foreign and domestic dignitaries including Prince Charles and President Obama have visited or spoken publicly on
HCZ’s impact.
112 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

NORTH CAROLINA

Project HEART/WellnessCorps

Program Description

Project HEART’s (High Expectations for At-Risk Teens) mission is to help
children succeed in school, graduate from high school, complete a post-
secondary degree program, and return to their community to help others.
To carry out its mission, Project HEART supports 74 half-time
AmeriCorps Members, all university and community college students, who
provide tutoring services to at-risk public school students in nine eastern
North Carolina counties. AmeriCorps Members tutor students in grades 3-
12 who are struggling to succeed in core content areas such as language
arts, English, math, science, or social studies. Additionally, 85 high school
seniors serve as minimum-time Professional Corps/Education Award Only
AmeriCorps Members tutoring students in grades 9-10 who are struggling
to succeed in their English, math, science or social studies classes.

Project HEART is housed at East Carolina University (ECU). The
program, under the leadership of a very active advisory board, has
developed a university/community/government partnership to provide
support to children in eastern North Carolina who live in poverty. All
participants view the education of children as a critical step in helping
break the persistent cycle of generational poverty.

To ensure success in accomplishing its mission, Project HEART has tapped
into the expertise and experience of individual partners to develop a
comprehensive tutoring program to meet the needs of at-risk students. The
program includes the following components:
• A tutoring model in which college students tutor at-risk elementary,
middle and high school students;
• A tutoring model in which high school seniors tutor at-risk high school freshmen and sophomores;
• A tutoring model in which college students tutor at-risk college freshmen and sophomores; and
• An E-Tutoring/Homework Hotline to provide services at night and on the weekends to isolated, rural communities.

Another major accomplishment for the Project HEART partnership was its successful acquisition of 2009 American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. The ARRA funding resulted in the creation of the ECU
WellnessCorps, a program that provides nutrition and physical activity classes for elementary and middle school
students who are overweight and are at risk of becoming obese. WellnessCorps supports five full-time, 40 half-time and
five minimum-time Professional Corps/Education Award Only AmeriCorps Members who tutor and mentor
participating students in two eastern North Carolina counties. Members work with teachers and health professionals to
develop nutrition lessons, exercise programs and health fairs. They also collaborate with school nurses and counselors to
help identify physical and mental health needs within the schools.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Project HEART developed the Project HEART AlumniCorps and the Project HEART VolunteerCorps to provide
continued service to alumni and local communities. AlumniCorps Members join current Project HEART Members to
participate in National Days of Service activities. VolunteerCorps participants from area community college campuses
select from a menu of volunteer opportunities to provide service to local communities. These two initiatives have built a
strong base of continued volunteerism and civic engagement among program alumni and community members. Project
HEART’s exceptional regional partnership has developed programs that greatly impact eastern North Carolina
Focus: Education, Health
Issue Area: Tutoring, Nutrition

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
North Carolina Commission on
Volunteerism and Community Service
www.volunteernc.org
Kaye Gattis, Executive Director
kaye.gattis@nc.gov
(919) 715-3470

Project HEART/WellnessCorps
www.ecu.edu/cs-
educ/projectheart/index.cfm
Dr. Betty Beacham, Program Director
beachamb@ecu.edu
(252) 328-1849

| 113

communities through quality service and mobilization of student volunteers. Project HEART has exceeded its match
requirement each year and has been ranked low risk since 2003.

Potential for replication
Project HEART has developed a low-cost tutoring program with multiple components that can be used separately or
together to help children living in poverty. Examples of these components are the high school peer tutoring and the E-
Tutoring Homework Hotline. Project HEART has developed curriculum materials, training modules and management
tools that are readily available at no cost to other school systems and community organizations.

Success Stories

Project HEART has a history of meeting and exceeding all program performance measurements. Project HEART began in
the fall of 2000 with 48 tutors providing services to 480 at-risk middle school students. At the end of the 2000-01
program year, 48% of the students served were promoted to the next grade. Now in its 10
th
year, the program has 159
tutors to serve the educational needs of 1,500 students. Furthermore, at the end of the 2008-09 program year, 97% of the
students served were promoted to the next grade. Since its inception, Project HEART has placed approximately 700
tutors in schools and afterschool programs to serve more than 16,230 at-risk elementary, middle and high school students.
Additionally, WellnessCorps Members have served more than 1,200 students in the program’s first year of operation.



114 | T r a n s f o r m i n g C o m m u n i t i e s t h r o u g h S e r v i c e

WASHINGTON

Kitsap Community Resources AmeriCorps

Program Description

Kitsap Community Resources (KCR) AmeriCorps began as a Defense
Conversion Assistance Program (DCAP) in 1993, an early Corporation for
National and Community Service initiative. The program’s original mission
was to help support communities and families adversely impacted by the
downsizing of the local military and naval bases. As the community and its
needs changed over time, KCR AmeriCorps’ mission evolved to focus
directly on education and human services.

KCR AmeriCorps is in Kitsap County, where 75% of the local economy is
dependent on the military infrastructure. All KCR AmeriCorps staff
Members are ex-military officers and senior enlisted. The program actively
recruits from local military bases; currently, over 50% of its full-time
AmeriCorps Members are ex-military, dependents or their families rely on
the military for employment.

The program’s 40 full-time AmeriCorps Members serve in the following
capacities, often with low-income families, homeless individuals and youth
who have current or past ties to the military.
• Tutor/Mentor Literacy Skills in Elementary Schools: Twelve Members
work in cooperation with staff at 10 elementary schools to recruit and train
community members as tutors and mentors for students in grades K-6.
Members also assist students in preparing for the statewide Washington
Assessment of Student Learning.
• Early Childhood Education and Assistance: Three Members advise
parents of pre-school children in health education, family reading skills,
parenting education, and social skills. They also recruit parents to work as
volunteers in the classrooms and assist instructors in teaching preschool
children basic reading, study and conflict resolution skills.
• Welfare to Work Program: Nine Members serve with the Work First program in planning, facilitating, counseling
and preparing low-income TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) clients for employment.
• Parenting Place Program: One member facilitates parenting classes, family violence awareness seminars and
conducts trainings for staff and volunteers.
• Children of the Nations Ready Relief Program: Two Members serve with a national faith-based organization and make
presentations in local schools and organizations to enlist children and youth to participate in food packaging
events that provide nutritional meals and supplies to third-world countries.
• YWCA Domestic Violence Awareness Programs: Three Members facilitate YWCA ALIVE workshops on topics such as
parenting skills, life-coping skills and anger management. Members also assist survivors in making safety plans
and utilizing local resources.
• Kitsap Youth in Action: Three Members serve at local junior and senior high schools and in low-income community
centers to recruit at-risk youth volunteers (ages 11- 17) for community service projects throughout Kitsap County.
• Community Service (CSW) Programs: Four Members assist in the planning, coordination and implementation of
community-wide service projects. Members also assist the Department of Emergency Management with
community training in CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) and neighborhood preparedness.
• Emergency Preparedness Coordination: Two Members serve with the American Red Cross to assist in the planning
and implementation of CPR and first aid courses for community members and emergency preparedness training
courses for youth ages 6-18.
Focus: Education, Public Safety,
Human Need
Issue Area: Military Engagement

Innovative Elements
• Lasting impact on Members,
community or state
• Delivering meaningful service
• Exceptional partnerships
• Potential for replication

Contact Information
Washington Commission for National
and Community Service
www.ofm.wa.gov/servewa
Bill Basl, Executive Director
bill.basl@ofm.wa.gov
(360) 902-0663

Kitsap Community Resources AmeriCorps
www.kcr.org/americorps.htm
Russ Donahue, Program Director
russd@kcr.org
(360) 473-2015

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• Health Awareness Assistance: One member serves with local dentists and the Kitsap County health district to
provide dental education and to arrange reduced-price or free dental examinations and post-examination work
by volunteer dentists.

KCR AmeriCorps’ 40 minimum-time Members perform 300 hours of service during the summer in Bremerton,
Washington’s city parks, engaging children and teens in service-learning projects. KCR AmeriCorps partners with active
duty and retired military members to conduct monthly community-identified service projects, which average 500 military
volunteers each year. KCR AmeriCorps is recognized throughout Kitsap County and Washington State as a program that
addresses community needs and recruits and retains Members who are very committed to its mission. The program has
achieved a 100% fill rate and over 97% retention in nearly every year of its 17-year existence.

Program Innovations

Lasting impact on Members and community
Since the program’s inception, over 75% of KCR AmeriCorps full-term Members have
gained employment with host sites or service partners. Many of these alumni have since left
the service field, but they still collaborate closely with the 18 KCR AmeriCorps alumni who
currently work at host sites and partner agencies, including Olympic College, the local
community college.

Delivering meaningful service
In the final assessment completed for the 2008-09 program year, over 87% of students
tutored/mentored by KCR AmeriCorps Members showed an increase in 1.5 grade levels of
academic achievement. Additionally, over 83% of TANF parents counseled by KCR
AmeriCorps Members gained or improved their workplace skills.

Exceptional partnerships
The partnership KCR AmeriCorps has forged with the local military community over the past 17 years of AmeriCorps
operations has developed a sense of trust that helps the program meet the needs of this population. KCR AmeriCorps
estimates that 41% of current and past AmeriCorps Members are military dependents, and 12% are veterans. The largest
percentage of military members stationed in Kitsap County is young, single men and women. KCR AmeriCorps provides
a positive outlet for these servicemen and servicewomen by engaging them in volunteer projects and strengthening their
connection to the community. Married military members also volunteer and involve their families, which has resulted in
spouses, children and other relatives joining AmeriCorps.

Potential for replication
KCR AmeriCorps can be replicated anywhere in the United States that values taking a comprehensive approach to
addressing a wide range of issues impacting a community where the local economy is dominated by a branch of the US
military. Elements needed to replicate the program are a strong staff, board and AmeriCorps Members who understand
service as a strategy as it applies to a community dominated by military families and their needs. KCR AmeriCorps and
the community action agency where it is based, Kitsap Community Resources, values service and understands that it
must address the specific issues that not only impact the community as a whole but its Members as well.

Success Stories

During the 2008-09 program year, KCR AmeriCorps Members recruited over 10,200 volunteers who contributed more
than 70,400 hours of service. Of these volunteers, 200 were elementary school students who prepared emergency rations
for their schools in case of a disaster. The KCR AmeriCorps program staff members are all ex-military officers who
understand the specific childcare, healthcare and housing assistance veterans and dependents need to serve in
AmeriCorps. The KCR AmeriCorps program staff members are also accomplished trainers. They are certified in CERT,
CPR/First Aid, Civic Engagement (Constitutional Rights Foundation curricula) and have an extensive member training
agenda, which includes community leaders and alumni.
 





Innovations in Civic Participation
1776 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 201
Washington, DC 20036
202-775-0290
www.icicp.org




America’s Service Commissions
1875 K St NW
5th Floor
Washington DC 20006
202-729-8179
www.statecommissions.org

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