PARTNERS IN CHANGE
THE VALUE OF AMERICORPS
1994 ~ 2001

Written for Sheridan Celebrates in 2001

Seven years ago Congress funded AmeriCorps and offered young people in our country an opportunity to serve their communities and further their education. The Sheridan Family Resource Center was fortunate to be one of the first programs in the country to receive this funding.

All across the country, AmeriCorps Members are serving as a catalyst for community action. The Sheridan AmeriCorps program, in collaboration with the Sheridan Family Resource Center at the Sheridan School District, and other local and national organizations, examined local issues and needs in an attempt to transition AmeriCorps programs into self-sustaining volunteer programs.

The successful engine behind this AmeriCorps program has been their Members. They served full-time in the Sheridan schools and community. They took on some of the toughest assignments for a small stipend and an education award to help pay for college or vocational training. Most of our Members come from middle-income families and couldn't serve without a living allowance. Their contribution of time, dedication, and hard work improved the academic skills and capabilities of thousands of young people throughout the Sheridan School District and their spirit of caring served as a positive role model in their growth, development, and tolerance.

Sheridan AmeriCorps Members partnered with a wide range of institution and foundations to institute and support a number of programs including, the Sheridan Health Services School Based Clinic - the only health care services in the city, a community garden fully maintained and coordinated by community members, direct services and interventions to students in classroom settings, civility programs as part of a Safe Communities ~ Safe Schools Initiative, the new CANDO (Community and Neighborhood Development) partnership to engage the community in resident-driven projects, a new AmeriCorps VISTA Program, which helps to broaden and expand the opportunities in community building efforts, a Building Connections Mentoring Program, opening the only Arapahoe County family homeless shelter, continued support for homeless students, CAPS (Community Action and Problem Solving), before and after school programs, and a summer camp.

AmeriCorps has brought clout and influence to the Sheridan community and is committed to strengthening and promoting youth development, citizenship, and academic achievement for all. Thanks to all members and supporters.

For more information contact Tina Podolak at 303-789-4171 or send an email to podolakt@sheridan.K12.co.us .


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