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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky AmeriCorps launches a new service year; Now in its 13th year, program still getting things done

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 04, 2007  
Contact Information:  Lisa Wallace
(502) 564-6786, ext. 4013
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2007) – Today, 225 first- and second-year AmeriCorps members took a pledge to get things done in Kentucky as they embark on a year of service to their fellow Kentuckians across the state.

Members will be assigned to 11 AmeriCorps state programs serving 103 counties where they will help address unmet local human service needs. About 40 percent of this year’s class are second-year members. AmeriCorps is a program of the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

The induction ceremony at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort featured a call to post by Steve Buttleman, official bugler at Churchill Downs. The Frankfort Police Department honor guard presented the U.S. and Kentucky flags, and Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson administered the AmeriCorps pledge of service to members and program directors.

“As someone who is passionately driven by engagement in our counties, cities and neighborhoods, I am extremely proud of the vital contributions AmeriCorps members have made to our commonwealth and nation,” Grayson said. “Engaged citizens, such as AmeriCorps members, are more likely to vote and to engage in the legislative process, and I look forward to watching the impact that these latest AmeriCorps members make on our society.”

Members ranging in age from 18 to 80 signed on for a year of service to their communities and received intensive training to equip them to fulfill their service assignments. In addition to performing community service tasks, members also recruit local volunteers to help ensure programs and progress continue after members complete their terms of service. 

Members must recruit and train volunteers to sustain programs after AmeriCorps members complete their mission.

Eileen Cackowski, executive director of the KCCVS, said Kentucky AmeriCorps members continue to prove the value of community service in meeting even the most serious social, academic and preparedness challenges.   

“Faced with challenges, they persevere and overcome, reaching out to their fellow Kentuckians with direct service, compassion and care,” Cackowski said. “AmeriCorps members help frail elderly people remain in their homes, learn and train others to respond in the event of emergencies, help at-risk students catch up and even surpass their academic peers and, perhaps most valuable of all, they offer an ear to listen and a strong desire to help that inspires and appeals to others seeking a way to serve.”

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.

In addition to valuable job experience and training, full-time AmeriCorps members receive an $11,100 annual living allowance, health insurance and child care assistance based on need. Upon completing service commitments, members receive a $4,725 education award for tuition or to pay off school loans.

Cackowski said AmeriCorps members often use their service experience as a stepping stone to jobs and careers. Inspired by their service, some former Kentucky AmeriCorps members have gone on to successful careers in social work, education and other fields.

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 programs, 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 - 2007-2008 Kentucky AmeriCorps program descriptions

Program

Sponsor

Number of members

Program description

Every 1 Reads AmeriCorps Program

Jefferson County Public Schools

10 full-time

Members help expand the Every 1 Reads program, a community-wide partnership between business, local government and Jefferson County Public Schools to address the education needs of at-risk students through literacy training. Members also recruit and train volunteer tutors.

FRYSC Corps

Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services

25 full-time

Under the supervision of Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) coordinators, members provide reading tutoring for academically at-risk students using the Great Leaps reading curriculum.

Getting Things Done for Kentucky’s Homeless

Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky - statewide

28 full-time

Members counsel low-income families and individuals, helping them acquire permanent or transitional housing. Members also serve as construction assistants at non-profit agencies, rehabilitating and building housing in low-income communities.

Homeland Security Corps

Green River Area Development District

10 full-time

Members serve in rapid response agencies to educate individuals in public safety, public health and disaster preparedness issues; train agency-affiliated volunteers; and assist in developing closer collaboration among local response agencies.

Louisville Metro AmeriCorps Program

Louisville Metro Community Action Partnership

10 full-time

20 part-time

Members help build service capacity and social capital to meet the health, nutrition, education and human service needs of families in low-income urban communities. Members serve at various community organizations, recruiting and supporting volunteers to enhance agency responses to community needs.

MSU Corps

Morehead State University

19 full-time

Members provide reading tutoring to academically at-risk students using the Great Leaps reading curriculum; recruit and train volunteer reading tutors; and develop skills in tutoring, civic engagement and volunteer recruitment.

Prevent. Prepare. Respond.

American Red Cross, Louisville Chapter

10 full-time

Members support community disaster education, volunteer recruitment and training and emergency shelter assistance.

Senior Connections

Green River Area Development District

20 full-time

Members improve the quality of life for at-risk, low-income elderly by providing in-home assistance with chores, home repairs, home management, caregiver relief, benefit counseling and home safety education. Members help plan and participate in senior social and health-related activities, learn disaster response and help with community projects.

SERV Corps (Service Educators Recruiting Volunteers)

Eastern Kentucky University

30 full-time

Members provide reading tutoring and drug education for at-risk students and serve as drug education coordinators at the schools they serve.

SUCCESS Corps

Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services

20 full-time

Members serve at-risk children in Eastern Kentucky through a research-based home visitation project called Parents as Teachers. Members provide support to families in raising the level of parental involvement in education and increasing young children’s readiness for school.

The Learning Corps

Barren County School District

23 full-time

Members and community volunteers help raise reading comprehension and math achievement of K-8 students. Members also recruit and train volunteer tutors.

 



 

Last Updated 10/9/2007