|Americorps volunteers work on the scenery for the Green River High play.|
AmeriCorps*NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is working with local staff and volunteers in the Reading Round Up After School program at the Green River Community Center. Twelve Corps members from the AmeriCorps*NCCC Western Region campus in Sacramento, Calif. are supporting the after-school program and providing structured recreation, literacy, and fine arts opportunities to about 20-30 youth daily.
Five years ago, a small group of volunteers opened the Green River Community Center with a mission to help all community members reach their potential by finding, developing, and implementing programs to improve the quality of life for all residents of Green River, Utah. Today, the center offers mental health support, nutrition and education programs, volunteer coordination and recreation to its daily guests.
Children participating in the Reading Round Up After School program at the Community Center range from 8-16 years of age. NCCC members work closely with these children on a one-on-one basis helping them improve reading, writing, and cognitive skills.
In addition to their work in the Ccommunity center, AmeriCorps members assist teachers at the Green River High School and Book Cliff Elementary School. At the high school, the NCCC team has helped construct the set for the student musical production of "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers." At the elementary school, Corps members act as reading and writing tutors to first, third, and sixth grade students.
Throughout the week, the NCCC team also partners with local volunteers to revitalize public and residential areas in the community. Major efforts have included the organization of an Archives room at the John Wesley Powell Museum, building of a playground at Elgin Park, and yard clean-up for impoverished senior citizens. NCCC members also helped organize the Horse Show and Gymkhana in Green River and manned aid stations in the first Goblin Valley Ultra Marathon, which took place on Oct. 29.
The NCCC team arrived in Green River on Oct. 25 and will be staying until Nov. 21. Corps member Gustavo Bitdinger of Sugar Land, Texas states, "We love working with the residents of Green River. Everyone we have met has been incredibly friendly and welcoming to us. We hope that in our efforts, we act as positive role models to the youth in the community."
AmeriCorps*NCCC is part of AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs created to improve the environment, enhance education, increase public safety, and assist with disaster relief and other unmet human needs. The Western Region campus, located in Sacramento, Calif. serves Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and the territories of Guam and Samoa. The Western Region campus is one of five campuses in the United States; the others are located in Perry Point, Md.; Charleston, S.C.; Washington, D.C.; and Denver, Colo.
The AmeriCorps members must complete at least 1,700 hours of service during the 10 month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $4,725 to help pay for college or to pay school loans. AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
For information about applying to an AmeriCorps program, call 1-800-942-2677 (1-800-94-ACORP) or visit the website at www.americorps.org.