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Kentucky AmeriCorps launches a new service year - Now in its 12th year, program still getting things done

Press Release Date:  Friday, September 29, 2006  
Contact Information:  Lisa Wallace - (502) 564-6786, ext. 4013  


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2006) – This morning, 175 first- and second-year AmeriCorps members took a pledge to get things done in Kentucky as they embark on a year of service at sites across the state.

Members will be assigned to nine AmeriCorps state programs serving 68 counties where they will help address unmet local human service needs. AmeriCorps is a program of the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

CHFS Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell said AmeriCorps’ impact on the communities it serves has value-added benefits long after members’ terms have ended.

“Because of AmeriCorps members, children learn to read; seniors continue to live independently; neighborhoods are made safer; and, young people develop skills to become leaders in their communities,” Birdwhistell said. “AmeriCorps members likewise benefit from pride in accomplishment and the honor and satisfaction of having made a difference in the lives of others.”

Sometimes called the domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps provides service opportunities to members on a full-time (1,700 hours of service per year) or part-time (900 hours) basis.

As part of their community service, AmeriCorps members also recruit volunteers to help ensure programs and progress continue after members complete their terms of service. 

Full-time AmeriCorps members receive a $10,900 annual living allowance. They also receive health insurance and child care assistance based on need. Upon completing service commitments, AmeriCorps members receive a $4,725 educational award to further their education or pay back school loans. They also gain valuable job experience and training.

KCCVS Director Eileen Cackowski said AmeriCorps members often use their service experience as a stepping stone to jobs and careers.

“Former AmeriCorps members have gone on to successful careers inspired by their service,” Cackowski said. “Some are social workers, teachers, one even is a school principal. Our members become important in the lives of the people they serve and, in turn, come to admire and respect the strength and perseverance of their fellow Kentuckians who have endured hardship.”

AmeriCorps members may serve two years and must be at least 17 years old and legal U.S. residents. For more information on Kentucky’s AmeriCorps program, visit the KCCVS Web site at http://chfs.ky.gov/dhss/kccvs/americorps/ or call toll-free (800) 239-7404.

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Sidebar

AmeriCorps: Getting things done

Here’s a look at some of the accomplishments of Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs and members during the past 12 months:

·         AmeriCorps members recruited nearly 7,500 community volunteers who are providing 35,000 hours of service in their hometowns.

·         More than 50,000 Kentuckians directly benefited from the service provided by AmeriCorps members.

·         4,000 children in grades 1-12 received academic tutoring.

·         44 homes were constructed and 21 homes here rehabilitated for disabled and elderly residents.

·         More than 8,500 at-risk elderly and disabled received help with everyday living tasks so they could remain in their homes and continue to live independently.

·         Nearly 600 homeless individuals and families found permanent or transitional housing thanks to housing counseling and related assistance from AmeriCorps members.

·         More than 2,600 people asked for and received information about service opportunities in their communities.

·         Nearly 2,500 Kentuckians benefited from information, activities, screenings and fellowship at 34 community events, including health and safety fairs, organized and staffed by AmeriCorps members.

·         71 public assistance recipients became gainfully employed thanks to job counseling and skills mentoring from AmeriCorps members.

·         Almost 300 youth completed 15 hours of leadership training and are on their way to making a difference of their own in communities all over Kentucky.

 

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Sidebar

 

Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs address wide array of needs

 

AmeriCorps members serve in these programs: 

 

Program

Sponsor

# of members

Program description

Every 1 Reads AmeriCorps Program

Jefferson County Public Schools

10

Members expand Every 1 Reads, a partnership between local businesses, government and Jefferson County Public Schools to provide literacy training to at-risk students. Members also will recruit and train program volunteers.

FRYSC Corps

N. Ky. Cooperative for Educational Services

25

Under the supervision of Family Resource and Youth Service Center coordinators, members tutor academically at-risk students using the Great Leaps reading curriculum.

Getting Things Done for Kentucky’s Homeless

Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky

28

Members counsel low-income families/individuals and help them find permanent and/or transitional housing. Members also help non-profit agencies rehabilitate and build low-income housing.

GRADD Homeland Security Corps

Green River Area Development District

10

Members help rapid-response agencies inform and educate the public about safety, health and other disaster preparedness issues; train volunteers; and help develop closer collaboration among local response agencies.

Kentucky Youth Leadership Corps

Kentucky Child Now!

16

Members identify and mobilize resources to address local priorities for youth; train in best practices and outcomes for youth programming; help recruit, train and manage volunteers; and support youth initiatives.

Louisville Metro AmeriCorps Program

Louisville Metro Community Action Partnership

20

Members recruit and support volunteers and expand local service agencies’ capacity to address needs of low-income, urban families including health, nutrition, education and other human services.

Senior Connections

Green River Area Development District

20

Members help improve quality of life for at-risk, low-income elderly by providing help with chores, home repairs, household management, caregiver relief, benefits counseling and home safety education; develop and deliver local senior-centered activities; train in disaster response; and assist in other community projects.

SERV Corps (Service Educators Recruiting Volunteers)

Eastern Kentucky University

20

Members tutor students in reading and serve as drug education coordinators at their service site schools.

The Learning Corps

Barren County School District

23

Through structured reading and math tutoring, members and community volunteers will raise reading comprehension and math levels of K-8 students and help recruit and train program volunteers.

 

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Last Updated 9/29/2006