FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2012

United Way of Dane County will join the nationwide celebration of AmeriCorps Week, March 10-18, spotlighting the vital work done by AmeriCorps members in communities across Dane County since the national service program began 17 years ago.  The theme this year, AmeriCorps Works, communicates the value and effectiveness of AmeriCorps and provides a framework to communicate the AmeriCorps triple bottom line return on investment — for the recipients of service, the people who serve, and the larger community and nation.

“We are proud to be part of AmeriCorps and grateful for the AmeriCorps members who are getting things done,” says Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO, United Way of Dane County.  “AmeriCorps members have made a tremendous impact allowing us to extend our outreach and services by recruiting thousands of community volunteers to work alongside them to accelerate change in our community’s Agenda for Change.”

AmeriCorps works through existing organizations and helps them reach more people and better achieve their mission as well as providing members with valuable experience and personal and professional development.  Every day, 40 AmeriCorps members serve with the Mobilizing Skilled Volunteers Project and the Schools of Hope Project.  These AmeriCorps members are truly making a positive change in their community, mobilizing more than 1,800 volunteers and touching the lives of over 12,000 individuals and families in our community.

The AmeriCorps Mobilizing Skilled Volunteers Project is a collaboration of the United Way of Dane County, Urban League of Greater Madison, the Financial Education Center, Center for Families and Madison-area Urban Ministry. Twenty AmeriCorps members serving with this program recruit, train and manage volunteers in a variety of focus areas to provide sustained skilled volunteers to support to children and adults in our community.  Our AmeriCorps members:

  • Mobilize volunteers to provide tutoring to high school students in the Madison, Middleton/Cross Plains, and Sun Prairie school districts.
  • Mobilize volunteers to provide financial education, coaching and tax preparation support to low-income individuals and families.
  • Mobilize volunteers to serve as parent mentors and provide home visits as part of the Parent Child Home Program.
  • Mobilize volunteers to provide support and guidance to prisoners re-entering the community,
  • Provide resources and support to parents and other members of the community through United Way’s 2-1-1 service and parent engagement work and support Volunteer Manager throughout the county through The Volunteer Center.

The AmeriCorps Schools of Hope Project is a collaboration of United Way of Dane County, the Madison Metropolitan School District, the Sun Prairie Area and Middleton-Cross Plains Area School Districts, and Centro Hispano of Dane County.  This effort aligns community volunteers and other resources to improve the academic achievement of low-performing pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students from a range of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and low-income families.  AmeriCorps members place and support trained tutors in elementary schools in Madison, Middleton and Sun Prairie.

For information and/or opportunities about serving as an AmeriCorps member with Mobilizing Skilled Volunteers contact lmartin@uwdc.org or Schools of Hope contact egreene@schoolsofhope.org or visit www.americorps.gov.  For information and opportunities about how you can volunteer as part of Mobilizing Skilled Volunteers Programs, or Schools of Hope, visit www.volunteeryourtime.org.

About AmeriCorps Week

AmeriCorps Week, March 10-18, is an annual recruitment and recognition event to demonstrate AmeriCorps’ impact on critical issues, bring more Americans into service, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.  AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  In Wisconsin this year, 1,341 individuals will participate in 32 AmeriCorps programs and have the opportunity to serve Wisconsin communities for up to one year. They will earn almost $5 million in education awards in exchange for over 1,520,625 hours of service with an estimated value of $27.1 million to local communities.  Mobilizing Skilled Volunteers and Schools of Hope are programs of Serve Wisconsin.  For more information, visit www.AmeriCorpsWeek.gov or www.americorps.gov.

Our Community’s Agenda for Change

EDUCATION

  • Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
  • Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.

 SAFETY

  • There is a decrease in family homelessness.
  • There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.

 HEALTH

  • People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

 United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to change the human condition in Dane County.

AmeriCorps Works: AmeriCorps Week March 10-18, 2012 - Facebook.com/americorps/