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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Gov. Beshear Proclaims AmeriCorps Week; State programs promote service projects

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 12, 2009  
Contact Information:  Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180, ext. 4014; or Vikki Franklin, (502) 564-7042  


     
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 12, 2009) – Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed May 9-16 AmeriCorps Week in Kentucky.

As part of the annual observance, AmeriCorps programs across Kentucky sponsor special events to promote community service.

Gov. Steve Beshear said AmeriCorps members are leaders who bring to light the positive effects of service.

“AmeriCorps Week is an opportunity for the people of Kentucky to salute AmeriCorps members, past and current, for their powerful impact. It’s also a opportunity to thank AmeriCorps community partners who make programs possible and to bring more Americans into service,” he said.

In Kentucky, AmeriCorps is administered by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Last year, AmeriCorps members recruited and supervised more than 10,500 community volunteers in Kentucky, demonstrating the program’s value as a force multiplier.

Since the Kentucky AmeriCorps program was launched in 1994, more than 4,000 Kentuckians have taken the AmeriCorps pledge to “get things done for America,” serving almost 6.5 million hours to improve the lives of vulnerable citizens, strengthen the education system, protect the environment and enhance public safety.

The current economic downturn means more Americans are facing hardships; and volunteering and national service are needed more than ever.

“AmeriCorps members make lasting contributions to the people and communities they serve,” said Eileen Cackowski, KCCVS executive director. “AmeriCorps members deserve the recognition of AmeriCorps Week to make more people aware of the priceless service they perform, and to promote the opportunities AmeriCorps offers to members.”

This year, two AmeriCorps programs, Strategically Using Creative Contexts to Ensure Student Success (SUCCESS) Corps and FRYSC Corps, are partnering on the Build-A-Bed project during AmeriCorps Week.

Members from the two programs and other community volunteers will build, sand, and finish twin-size beds to be delivered to children in need around the state. In addition, "bedtime bags" containing items such as twin-size sheets, pajamas, bed-time books for kids, nightlights, pillows, blankets, and teddy bears will be delivered along with the beds.

During the year, both programs support families of local students. SUCCESS Corps members encourage increased school readiness and greater parental involvement in education, and FRYSC Corps members serve through local Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC) as literacy tutors for students in kindergarten through high school.

With recent passage of federal legislation expanding AmeriCorps service, there is even more to celebrate during this AmeriCorps Week.

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act is bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes the Corporation for National and Community Service and engages more Americans in service. The Act includes a major expansion of AmeriCorps to focus on critical national issues of education, health, clean energy, veterans and economic opportunity.

AmeriCorps members may serve one or two years. Upon completion of their service, members are eligible for an education award of $4,725 that can be used to pay back student loans or cover tuition costs. Kentucky AmeriCorps members have received more than $14.3 million in education awards since the program began.

For more information about Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs or AmeriCorps projects, call toll-free (800) 239-7404 or visit the KCCVS Web site at www.volunteerKY.ky.gov.

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Last Updated 5/12/2009