Joni Pace, far right, is the director of the Green River Community Center. She helps with the AmeriCorps program.
AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps has teamed up with the Positive Action Community Team and the Community Center/ Boys and Girls Club of Green River. While in Green River, the NCCC members are restoring a building that is more than 100 years old and helping out at the Book Cliff Elementary school and an after school program.
Restoring the 103 year old Baxter house is a great benefit to the town of Green River. This house has been a vital building in the community's history. NCCC members are currently focusing on fixing the foundation, before they move to other parts of the restoration.
Members of the NCCC team are also working in the Book Cliff Elementary School which houses grades from pre-school to sixth grade. NCCC members go into various classrooms and help out in anyway they can, whether it be helping with homework or just having someone extra to play with.
NCCC is very involved in the local after school program which is sponsored by the Green River Community Center and the Boys and Girls Club. This program consists of a structured recreation program; including literacy, sports, reading, and an arts program five days a week.
PACT is a non-profit entity formed in 2001 that assists many non-profit organizations in Green River and is comprised of members of the community. PACT is a supervisory program to such local community organizations as the Green River Community Center, the local Boys and Girls Club of America, the Thrift Store, building and restoring homes in the community, as well as helping provide affordable homes.
Coming to Green River is a great opportunity for NCCC to experience a smaller town along with the desert; many of the members come from all across the country. Laura Heisig, an NCCC member, says, "I am so excited to be a part of this tightly knit community. It is so much fun working at the community center and learning about the town and people."
AmeriCorps NCCC is a 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 Pacific Region campus, located in Sacramento, Calif., serves Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and the territories of Guam and Samoa, as well as the Gulf Coast Region. The Pacific Region campus is one of five campuses in the United States; the others are located in Perry Point, Md., Denver, Colo., Vinton, Iowa and Vicksburg, Miss.
NCCC members 18-24, must complete at least 1,700 hours of community service during the 10-month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $5,350 to help pay for college or to pay school loans.
Other benefits include leadership development, team building skills, increased self-confidence, and the satisfaction of knowing that they have made a real difference in communities across the county. AmeriCorps is administered by the corporation for National Civilian 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.gov.