Springfield College Announces
September 15, 2006
To Quadruple Americorps Students In Community Service
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 14, 2006 – Springfield College today announced funding of $3.62 million to more than quadruple its AmeriCorps volunteers beginning this fall. The Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded Springfield College a $2,623,000 grant to support 125 AmeriCorps students per year for three years. The college and its partnering organizations will contribute more than an additional $1 million.
The AmeriCorps program at Springfield College combines undergraduate and graduate student education with meeting community needs. Participating students will perform services related to their fields of study directly for persons with needs identified by partnering schools and community organizations.
Announcing the grants, Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn said, “This is a wonderful example of how a college can serve its community by contributing its expertise and leveraging resources. Altogether, these students will perform services equivalent to an additional 56 full time employees in area schools and community organizations. We’re providing resources for vitally needed services,” he said.
Springfield College AmeriCorps students will serve as academic coaches for underperforming school children, and counselors and health case managers for uninsured and underinsured persons. They will increase the capacity of area service organizations by recruiting, training, and managing more than 5,000 volunteers. They will conduct leadership development activities for more than 200 children, through the Springfield Leaders of Tomorrow program, to increase their involvement in leadership roles in the community.
“Everybody wins,” Flynn said. “City schools and service organizations receive the talent and time of capable college students. Our students receive hands-on experience to help prepare them for their future careers. In addition, the Springfield College AmeriCorps financial benefits can make an important difference in a student’s ability to pursue advanced education,” Flynn added.
The AmeriCorps grants to Springfield College were made through the Massachusetts Service Alliance and Massachusetts Campus Compact. The grants have enabled the college to expand and revise its AmeriCorps program, which began in 1997. The program is now open to Springfield College students in all fields of study.
Partners with Springfield College in the AmeriCorps program are the William N. DeBerry Elementary School; Elias Brookings School; Springfield Academy for Excellence; Roger L. Putnam Vocational-Technical High School; The Expeditionary Learning School; Springfield Day Nursery; The 5-A Program; Greater Springfield YMCA; Partners for a Healthy City; Providence Health Systems; Baystate Health Systems; Dunbar Community Center; Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center; Massachusetts Career Development Institute; 21st Century Community Learning Center; Springfield Parks and Recreation Department; Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; Massachusetts Career Development Institute; Springfield School Volunteers; and Springfield College’s Office of Student Volunteer Programs and East Campus Outdoor Learning Center.
The effectiveness of Springfield College’s AmeriCorps program, and its other programs serving the Greater Springfield community, are among the reasons that the college recently was named one of the 25 “best neighbor” urban colleges in the United States. The “Saviors of Our Cities” list, prepared by Evan Dobelle, president of the New England Board of Higher Education, cites colleges that dramatically have strengthened the economy and quality of life in their neighboring community by their careful strategic planning and thoughtful use of resources. It includes colleges that are outstanding examples of community revitalization and cultural renewal, economic drivers of the local economy, advocates of community service, and urban developers, both commercially and in housing development.
AmeriCorps was created in 1993 as part of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Annually, it engages more than 75,000 Americans in more than 2,100 not-for-profit and faith-based organizations and public agencies meeting critical needs in education, health, public safety and the environment. Additional information on the national announcement is available online at: http://www.nationalservice.org/news/pr/060704.html