A Service Year with Literacy AmeriCorps

What do Literacy AmeriCorps members do?

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Literacy AmeriCorps members are placed at various locations throughout Palm Beach County, called service sites, where they tutor individuals or teach in small groups. Members may be assigned to family literacy centers where they will work with parents and children, library programs serving adults or children, afterschool centers where they tutor children who are underachieving in reading, and adult literacy programs where they teach groups of adults who want to learn English. Some of our members serve at high schools as graduation coaches for students who are at risk of dropping out. One of the advantages of our program is the diverse array of service opportunities our members can experience.

What kind of training will I have?

We start the program year off with two weeks of preservice training and orientation. During this time members participate in tutor training, learn about literacy resources and materials, learn more about the community where they will serve, and receive orientation to the requirements of the AmeriCorps program. This training continues throughout the service year on a variety of topics. In addition, members receive site specific training at the literacy program to which they are assigned.

What is a typical schedule like for AmeriCorps members in the program?

This is a difficult question to answer since each AmeriCorps member has a unique assignment and is placed individually at a service site. A member can expect to serve 35-40 hours per week at a school, youth program, adult literacy center, library or community agency tutoring and teaching adults, parents, children or teens. Some programs operate during afternoon and evening hours and some programs operate on a traditional 9:00 to 5:00 type of schedule.

Every Friday members attend team meeting and training days. These are opportunities to continue professional development, learn more about tutoring strategies, work with your AmeriCorps team on special projects and community service activities, and assume leadership roles in a variety of areas.
Literacy AmeriCorps members participate in community service projects, literacy training events and conferences, and grassroots outreach a minimum of 2 Saturdays per month, depending on the community calendar and the AmeriCorps calendar.

If I’m selected for the program how do you decide what site placement I will have?

The placement process is based on the selection interview, your background, interests, experience, and your willingness to be flexible. These issues are considered along with the specific needs of each of our sites. Once you arrive in Florida, if you are joining our program from out of state, and prior to pre-service training you will have the opportunity to interview with some of the sites under consideration for your placement. Following that interview final decisions are made.

What is the policy concerning holidays and breaks?

Members have the opportunity to take scheduled breaks around the holidays and may submit requests for holiday or special occasion absences. Policies concerning attendance and scheduled breaks are reviewed in detail during the preservice orientation. If you are joining our AmeriCorps program from out of state you will be able to schedule a time period around the holidays to return home for a family visit.

How much is the stipend (living allowance) and how will it be paid to me?

The AmeriCorps stipend is $12,530 and is paid in equal installments every two weeks, for 11 months. It is taxed and you can expect your check each pay period to be approximately $450.00. This isn’t a lot to live on but our experience has shown that our members are able to live in our area on the stipend, especially if members choose to live together in three or four bedroom apartments. We do allow members to take part time jobs to earn a little extra money as long as the job doesn’t conflict with service priorities. Some members find they are able to live modestly on the stipend without the need to find outside employment.

What are the other tangible benefits of service?

Education Award
$5,730 upon completion of the AmeriCorps service year.
If a member leaves the program before completing the minimum 1700 hours of service the education award is completely forfeited. The award is paid by the National Service Trust and is provided to you upon completion of 1700 hours of service. You can then use this award to pay school expenses or pay off qualified student loans.
 

Deferment of Qualified Student Loans
The federal government will pay the interest on your qualified loans for the year you are in service with AmeriCorps.

Health Insurance
In depth health insurance information is provided to members during preservice orientation. The coverage will begin on the first day of preservice training.

Food Stamps
AmeriCorps members are eligible for food stamp benefits. All the information you need to apply for these benefits will be provided during the preservice training.

Affordable Housing Option
Each AmeriCorps member is responsible for securing their own housing. Most AmeriCorps members moving here from out of state choose to live with other AmeriCorps members in three or four bedroom units. Literacy AmeriCorps will provide a list of recommended apartment complexes and members are encouraged to live with other members in the same apartment units/complex.
To learn more and see photos of our AmeriCorps members in action at community service projects and other events visit us on Facebook.

Where do Literacy AmeriCorps Members Serve?

AmeriCorps Alumni

How to Apply