|5/11/2010 - Jackson, Miss.
Members of America Reads-Mississippi (ARM) will celebrate the fourth annual AmeriCorps Week by hosting and participating in community service projects, and encouraging others to volunteer.
AmeriCorps Week, which is celebrated by all AmeriCorps programs, began on Sunday and ends on Saturday, May 15. Across the nation, about 650,000 corps members have committed to more than 700 million hours of community service in order to address real problems in communities.
?Through volunteering, I have learned to become more appreciative of my community. AmeriCorps has really given me the opportunity to venture out into the community and make a difference,? said Shamberi Horton, 24, a first-year ARM member serving at Stewpot Community Services in Jackson, Miss.
Horton has been volunteering since she was 12 years old.
Some of the service projects that ARM members will be participating in across the state include:
- Washing cars from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, May 15 at Stewpot Community Services in Jackson, Miss., where members will be collecting books to donate to the Christian Mission Learning Center;
- Hosting an AmeriCorps Informational Session from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Natchez Mall in Natchez, Miss., to make the community aware of services and recruit volunteers;
- Hosting a ?Recruitment Night? at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 13 at Franklin Elementary School in Meadville, Miss.; and
- Collaborating with the community to participate in the ?READ TO ME? park event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Alice Davis Park in Mendenhall, Miss., where members will have reading tents and other fun, educational activities relating to reading.
ARM is awarded 350 full-time membership slots each year. Currently, ARM members are serving in 89 school sites across the state; schools select the members they want to serve in the classrooms at that site.
ARM is dedicated to improving the reading skills of students, encouraging public awareness and support of literacy, and helping to increase the number of certified teachers in Mississippi. Members serve at least eight hours Monday through Friday, and some weekends, to implement service projects, and earn an educational award at the end of their service year, which can be applied to tuition or student loans.
ARM is made possible through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and operates regionally through a partnership with five of Mississippi?s public universities. Oversight at the state level is a joint effort through the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service and the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). The IHL Board of Trustees, which governs public universities, has committed to helping ensure students are ready for college and teachers receive first-rate training at universities across the state.
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*Photo attached ? Shamberi.jpg: Shamberi Horton, 24, builds a Habitat for Humanity home through a service project offered by America Reads-Mississippi.