Mississippi Public Universities
IHL Press Release
AMERICORPS OBSERVES 20TH ANNIVERSARY
3/11/2014 - Jackson, Miss.

Every day, in communities across America, AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the most critical issues facing the nation. In Mississippi, America Reads—Mississippi (ARM) AmeriCorps members tutor an average of 2,115 students each day. By making a difference every day, these organizations have a tremendous impact on the communities in which they work.

Throughout this school year, The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will celebrate the extraordinary impact of AmeriCorps and its 20 years of serving America. President Clinton signed the bipartisan National and Community Service Trust Act on September 21, 1993, creating AmeriCorps and uniting VISTA, Senior Corps, and other service programs under a new federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Since then, more 820,000 men and women have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1 billion hours of service addressing critical challenges from poverty and hunger to disasters and the dropout crisis.

During the month of February, the celebration focused on AmeriCorps education programs. AmeriCorps members deliver appropriate interventions to students to strengthen education across the nation. In Mississippi, America Reads—Mississippi (ARM) members serve as “Tutors with a Mission,” providing supplemental instruction in reading to students in grades K-3 in 39 partnering elementary and primary schools. ARM helps students improve their reading skills, gain confidence as readers and engage in their communities.

The February observance also included the “Day of the A,” in which grantees, members and alums featured the AmeriCorps “A” to illuminate the ways in which AmeriCorps supports education. ARM capped off the month with the annual service project Read Across America Day, which was held in partnering schools during the first week of March to coincide with Dr. Suess’ birthday.

Since 1998, the ARM program has served more than 200 Mississippi schools. More than 4,000 Mississippians have served as ARM members, with more than 90 percent of them earning and using the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to attend college in Mississippi. Additionally, 75 percent of ARM members want to become classroom teachers. Many have accomplished this goal and are now teaching in the schools where they were once members.

ARM partners with Mississippi State University, Jackson State University and the University of Southern Mississippi to provide oversight for the program regionally and engage members in higher education.

Implementing service as a solution, AmeriCorps members work to improve schools, fight poverty, rebuild after disasters, provide health services, preserve the environment, and support veterans and military families. AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members annually at 15,000 locations across the country, mobilizing 4 million volunteers and leveraging $480 million in outside funding and donations each year.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

ARM is administered and supported by the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) and the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). For more information, contact the ARM State Director, Ronjanett Taylor, 601-432-6380, rtaylor@mississippi.edu or visit the organization’s Web site at www.americareadsms.org.