AmeriCorps is a national organization modeled after the Peace Corps that involves opportunities for American citizens to contribute to the betterment of their community through working in schools and with non-profit organizations. The AmeriCorps Education Initiative of Utah (AEIOU) is funded through the nationwide AmeriCorps organization and the Utah State Commission on Volunteers and offers the opportunity to provide valuable service to schools and students in their community while gaining experience and skills.
AmeriCorps Student Success Coordinators (also called “AmeriCorps Members”) set up tutoring and mentoring programs in their assigned elementary school and recruit, train and schedule volunteers to work one-on-one with struggling students in literacy or other areas in grades K-6. They work with counselors, administrators and teachers to determine which students could benefit from the program and discuss the needs of each student enrolled in the program in an ongoing manner. In addition to providing tutoring and mentoring themselves, AmeriCorps Members bring in community volunteers to provide everything from college and career awareness events to regular tutoring and mentoring.
Overall AmeriCorps Member Responsibility: Provide one-on-one support to increase the success of at-risk students. Serve a caseload of 30-60 at-risk students (caseload size is based on whether the member serves full or part time).
Members can do both the tutoring and mentoring responsibilities laid out below OR can do just the tutoring responsibilities or just the mentoring responsibilities, as needed by the school.
Member Tutoring Responsibilities (for members running the Partners in Dyad literacy tutoring program):
- Provide one-on-one tutoring in person and/or online for struggling readers (typically readers on yellow based on their Acadience scores) using the Partners in Dyad literacy tutoring curriculum provided by the Utah State Board of Education.
- Recruit and train volunteers to assist with one-on-one tutoring. Volunteer tutors can be older students trained as tutors as well as adults from the community.
- Keep careful records of sessions completed and progress made.
Member Mentoring Responsibilities (can be done in conjunction with the tutoring program or members can focus solely on mentoring by serving in one or more of the following ways):
- Track individual student attendance and provide support through checking in/out daily to decrease the number of absences
- Track and assist remote learners
- Lead small reading groups and help with other literacy-focused activities
- Provide or arrange for one-on-one tutoring in any needed subject
- Help match students and families with community resources for food insecurity, housing insecurity, clothing needs, mental health, and other issues that may be affecting the student’s ability to do well in school
- Assist with home visits as needed
- Help students set and achieve weekly goals to help them take ownership of their academic and behavioral progress
Members have the chance to learn about the education system and about reading intervention through first-hand experience and develop excellent management, organization, and volunteer recruitment and supervision skills as they work hand in hand with professional educators to manage a meaningful and effective tutoring program in a school.
Over the course of their 10-month term of service, members receive a living allowance of $16,500 if they are full-time (1700 hours), $11,550 if they are reduced full-time (1200 hours), or $8250 if they are part-time (900 hours). This living allowance is paid out in equal monthly installments.
At the end of each honorably completed service year, members receive an education award that can be used for tuition, fees and books at any accredited post-secondary institution or towards payment of student loans ($5920 for 1700 hours, $4,440 for 1200 hours, or $2,960 for 900 hours). Members over the age of 55 can transfer their education award to a child or grandchild.
A health insurance subsidy and child care assistance is available for full-time members. All members qualify for forbearance of payments on current student loans.
Members receive support and encouragement as well as check-in’s and site visits from AEIOU staff during their term of service and ongoing access to the nationwide AmeriCorps Alumni Network that can help them with networking, employment and mentorship.
- Member should have experience working with children or youth and it is ideal if they have an interest in pursuing a career in education, social work or another related field.
- Member must be a high school graduate and a citizen of the United States.
- If serving in a Title I school, member must meet “highly qualified” requirements as determined by the state/district.
- Member must produce these documents prior to enrollment: U.S. birth certificate or passport, driver’s license, social security card, high school graduation verification.
- Member must submit to and pass an FBI background check/Sex offender check conducted prior to hire.