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AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps logo

AmeriCorps is a civil society program supported by the education, public safety, health care, and environmental protection. The program is often compared to the Peace Corps as its domestic counterpart.[2][3]

AmeriCorps is an initiative of the

  • AmeriCorps official web site
  • Rebuilding Together

External links

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  6. ^ a b
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  11. ^ AmeriCorps State and National. AmeriCorps website. Retrieved 12/4/08.
  12. ^ AmeriCorps Benefits: Education Award. AmeriCorps website. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  13. ^ AmeriCorps State and National. AmeriCorps website. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  14. ^ Frequently Asked Questions About AmeriCorps VISTA. AmeriCorps website. Retrieved 12/5/08.
  15. ^ (2004) "Transcript - March 31 AmeriCorps Rulemaking Session," Corporation for National Service. p. 7. Retrieved 8/12/07.
  16. ^ Gomperts, J. "Towards a bold new policy agenda: Five ideas to advance new civic engagement opportunities among older Americans," Generations. XXX(4). p. 87.
  17. ^ VeraWorks. (2006) "AmeriCorps Service Effects on Member Civic Engagement." Washington State Office of Financial Management. Retrieved 8/12/07.
  18. ^ Abt Associates. "Serving Country and Community: A Longitudinal Study of Service in AmeriCorps Factsheet". Retrieved 8/12/07.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "The AmeriCorps Pledge", AmeriCorps.gov. Retrieved 12/5/08.
  21. ^ (November 29, 2002) "One pledge fits all", SFGate. Retrieved 12/5/08.
  22. ^ Marquis, C. (November 21, 2002) "Revised pledge for AmeriCorps draws criticism", The New York Times. Retrieved 12/5/08.
  23. ^ "House Report 110-420-Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act or the `Give Act'". Retrieved 12/5/08.

References

See also

Although the Citizen Service Act was approved by both the Subcommittee on Special Education and the Committee on Education and the Workforce in June 2002, the House of Representatives took no further action on the Measure, and the oath remains unchanged.[23]

Those who supported changing the oath argued that taking the new oath would be voluntary for AmeriCorps members, and that it was similar to the oath taken by all federal employees. However, the proposal stirred an outcry among current and former participants in the federally supported community service organization, who argued that the proposed pledge was divisive, "militaristic and religious," and might deter recruitment.[22]

The 2002 Citizen Service Act (HR 4854), introduced by Representatives Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and Tim Roemer (D-IN) on May 24, 2002, would have added references to God and the Constitution to the oath. AmeriCorps members would be called upon to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States...without any mental reservation...So help me God."[21]

I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.

AmeriCorps (non-VISTA) members take the following pledge: [20]

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.][63]

VISTA members take the following oath:

AmeriCorps members take the same Oath of Service as other federal government employees (Peace Corps, military, etc.).

Member pledge

Additionally, according to a 2007 study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a majority of AmeriCorps alumni within the study period claimed they had gained life and job skills, such as leadership, teamwork, time-management, and hands-on experience in a field of interest. The study further reported that 71% of alumni were incentivized to join by the prospect of earning a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award; 41% of AmeriCorps members went on to receive a 4-year college degree within three years of entering AmeriCorps.[19]

AmeriCorps is reported to increase the effectiveness of community service. Successes for individual AmeriCorps members include increasing their commitment to community service, increasing community-based activism, connection to their communities, knowledge of community problems, engagement in the political process, and voting participation.[17][18]

While discussion has occurred about the range and efficacy of evaluating the successes of AmeriCorps,[15] there has been a variety of documentation supporting the program. AmeriCorps provided fiscal and personnel to support the start-up of national programs, including Public Allies and Teach For America. It also brought vital resources to established programs, including City Year, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Justicecorps and the American Red Cross.[16]

Effectiveness

According to the AmeriCorps website, since the creation of AmeriCorps in 1993 more than 250,000 individuals across the United States have served hundreds of communities in every state of the nation. Some of the programs, organizations, and institutions partnering with AmeriCorps include Communities In Schools, Jumpstart for Young Children, Citizen Schools, City Year, YouthBuild. Youth Volunteer Corps, YMCA, Hands On Mississippi, Notre Dame Mission Volunteers - AmeriCorps, Girl Scouts of the USA, Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Camp Fire, College Forward, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Habitat for Humanity, the Student Conservation Association, Project Transformation, Reading Partners, FoodCorps and Teach For America.

Participating Organizations

AmeriCorps VISTA, or Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), was founded in 1965 as a domestic version of the Peace Corps. The program was incorporated into AmeriCorps and renamed AmeriCorps*VISTA with the creation of AmeriCorps in 1993.[14] VISTA provides full-time members to nonprofit, faith-based and other community organizations, and public agencies to create and expand programs that ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. There are currently over 5,000 VISTA members serving in 1,200 VISTA programs nationwide.

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a full-time, residential team-based program for men and women ages 18–24. Members serve at one of five regional campuses located throughout the United States (Baltimore, MD; Vicksburg, MS; Vinton, IA; Denver, CO; and Sacramento, CA). Each campus focuses efforts on states within its region but may travel to other areas in response to national crises. Former campuses were located in Washington, DC; Charleston, SC; San Diego, CA; and Perry Point, MD.

Example of an AmeriCorps NCCC Team age 18–24 (Source: Team Eagle 2, Perry Point, MD Campus: Service Year 9, 2003)

AmeriCorps NCCC

The program first became operational in 1994 and has expanded over time,[6] with over 80,000 members participating annually as of 2012.[8] Members may be provided modest financial compensation in the form of Americorps Education Award. Less tangible benefits include professional skill development and work experience.[9] An internal study found that participation in AmeriCorps strengthened civic attitudes and behaviors, and made members more likely to choose careers in public service.[10]

Contents

  • AmeriCorps programs 1
    • AmeriCorps State and National 1.1
    • AmeriCorps NCCC 1.2
    • AmeriCorps VISTA 1.3
  • Participating Organizations 2
  • Effectiveness 3
  • Member pledge 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

AmeriCorps programs

AmeriCorps State and National

Volunteers from AmeriCorps in Mississippi
AmeriCorps State and National is the largest of the AmeriCorps programs, and provides grants to local and national organizations and agencies, including [12] Full-time members typically complete 1,700 hours of service over 11 months; these members additionally receive a living allowance, health benefits, and child care assistance during their term.[13]

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