Yes, we do! And here’s why. Literacy*AmeriCorps has done and continues to do a tremendous amount for LETC. This is the third year that we’ll have a Literacy*AmeriCorps member working with us — teaching classes, helping with recruitment and registration, and doing a hundred and one other things behind the scenes at LETC. First came Anne Hoffman. Last year we had Ashley Lipps, who recently became our new program director. And in August we welcomed Kevin Burgess as our new Literacy*AmeriCorps member.
But there’s more. Members of Literacy*AmeriCorps-DC have come in to do special service projects for us several times in the last year, as Ashley Lipps explains below.
By Ashley Lipps
AmeriCorps is a national service program that mobilizes volunteers to work in their communities. Literacy*AmeriCorps members help adults, families, and children who are striving to achieve basic literacy or learn English, or both. The program serves 15,000 adult students in eight cities in 75 programs — including Language ETC.
As many of you know, I was the Literacy*AmeriCorps member at LETC from August 2010 to July 2011. Our new member, Kevin Burgess, started at the end of August. You’ll often see him working in the main office, so stop by and say hi!
Over the course of my year as the Literacy*AmeriCorps member, I taught Basic A during the day and on weekends, and 3A, 4A, and Language Lab during the day. This fall, Kevin will teach Basic A on Sundays and Language Lab on Thursday during the day. The Literacy*AmeriCorps member coordinates the tutoring program, matching and keeping track of tutors and students. I also registered students for classes, helped with student recruitment, helped our office manager Claudia with office tasks . . . anything and everything that might need to get done at Language ETC.
Literacy*AmeriCorps has an active branch in DC (check it out on Facebook). It’s administered by D.C. LEARNs, our local literacy coalition. Twice last year, members of Literacy*AmeriCorps-DC came in to Language ETC to do special service projects, helping us plow through all the office work that we can’t get done without the help of many volunteers. Last December, a group of members helped grade CASAS tests (a huge task), and also did mailing and filing. In April, a group came to the CASAS grading “happy hour” in the auditorium and again helped grade tests. Literacy*AmeriCorps members are required to do at least one service project in every quarter of their service year. And we’re delighted they chose to help Language ETC!
I’m also thrilled that Literacy*AmeriCorps is about to get some recognition for its work. The National Coalition for Literacy will be awarding one of its Literacy Leadership Awards for 2011 to Literacy*AmeriCorps and the organization that administers it, the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. The awards will be presented Wednesday, September 14, here in DC.
With Literacy*AmeriCorps winning this award, I wanted to say thank you to Literacy*AmeriCorps-DC. As an alum of the program, I feel like I benefited from my service at least as much as any of my students did. Over the year of my service, I learned so much at Language ETC, and I also saw many of my fellow Literacy*AmeriCorps members grow professionally and personally. Whether members continue to pursue careers in adult education or go into a different field, Literacy*AmeriCorps allows them to develop skill sets and build resumes, and, best of all, feel that their work is making a difference. Thanks Literacy*AmeriCorps and congrats!