AmeriCorps 101 - Siena College

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AmeriCorps 101
What is AmeriCorps?
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A National Service Program
(Domestic Peace Corps)
Members complete a Term of Service.
A Term of Service is a commitment of hours
to direct service and training.
Participants receive an Education Award at
the completion of their Term of Service.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
What is AmeriCorps?
•Federally funded; Locally implemented.
•Benefits the communities in which members
serve by meeting critical community needs.
•Benefits members by educating them about
their community, citizenship, and by giving
them means to continue their education.
•A program of service not longer than 1 or 2
years that has many regulations that must be
followed by organizations and members.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
The National Service
Network
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Created in 1993, AmeriCorps is part of the
Corporation for National and Community
Service (CNCS), which also oversees Senior
Corps and Learn and Serve America.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
of 2009 (Recovery Act), signed into law by
President Obama on February 17th, includes
$201 million in funding for CNCS to support an
expansion of AmeriCorps State and National
and AmeriCorps VISTA programs.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
History
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1930: President Roosevelt created the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC) during the depression
1961: President Kennedy created the Peace Corps.
Since then, more than 150,000 Americans have served
in the Peace Corps
1964: President Johnson created VISTA (Volunteers in
Service to America) giving Americans opportunities to
serve low-income communities domestically
1960’s: The Foster Grandparent Program and RSVP
are created to enable older Americans to serve their
communities
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
History
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1990: President Bush signed the National and Community
Service Act of 1990
1993: President Clinton signed the National and Community
Service Trust Act of 1993, creating AmeriCorps and CNCS
AmeriCorps serves over 2 million Americans each year
through three main streams of service:
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AmeriCorps
Senior Corps
Learn and Serve America
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
AmeriCorps Aims to
Meet 3 Different Goals
Getting
Things Done
Developing
Participants
Strengthening
Communities
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Bonner AmeriCorps
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Funded by the Corporation for National and
Community Service (CNCS).
Administered by the Bonner Foundation in
partnership with The College of New Jersey
Offered at more than 61 Bonner campuses.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Eligibility Requirements
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Must be 17 years of age or older.
Must have a High School Diploma or
Equivalency, or must be working towards
the GED.
Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent
Resident of the U.S.
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Government Documentation
Required: State-Issued Birth
Certificate, unexpired U.S.
Passport or Permanent Residency
Card
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
What do AmeriCorps
Members Do?
As part of a National Movement, members take action and find
solutions to address community needs while learning new skills
and sharing talents to make a difference across the country.
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Tutor Students
Educate communities about their environment
Renovate and Rebuild Abandoned Homes
Provide Mentoring During Non-School Hours
Recruit Volunteers
Teach Parenting Skills to Teen Parents
Bridge the Digital Divide
Assist the Homeless
Provide Support to People with Disabilities
Support Immigrants through a variety of Human and
Educational Services
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
AmeriCorps is NOT:
• A job
• A job program
• An internship
• Free labor
• A staff builder
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
AmeriCorps Members
DO NOT:
•Do only clerical work
•Answer phones
•Perform janitorial duties
•Supervise other members
•Manage paperwork or financial issues
•See the full list of prohibited activities (in
member enrollment workbook and on the
web)
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
AmeriCorps Members
Common Myths
• Individuals who serve in National
Service programs are called
members--they are not volunteers,
participants or employees.
• AmeriCorps Members serve--they do
not “work.”
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
What do AmeriCorps
Members Receive?
Half-Time Members
Quarter-Time
Members
Minimum-Time
Members
900 Hours of
Service
450 Hours of
Service
300 Hours of
Service
Education Award
$2675
Education Award
$1,415
Education Award
$1,132
Two-year term
(minus one day)
One-year term
(minus one day)
One-year term
(minus one day)
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Rules of Conduct
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At no time may an AmeriCorps Member:
Spend more than 20% of their term of
service in Training and Enrichment
activities.
Spend more than 10% of their term of
service in Fundraising.
Devote any of their service hours to
fundraising for any purpose other than
directly supporting their service activities.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Prohibited Activities
•Attempting to influence legislation.
•Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions,
boycotts, or strikes.
•Assisting, prompting, or deterring union
organizing.
•Engaging in partisan political activities or other
activities designed to influence the outcomes of an
election to any public office.
•Engaging in religious instruction.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Prohibited Activities
• Engaging in any form of religious proselytization.
• Providing a direct benefit to a for-profit entity,
labor union or partisan political organization.
• Coordinating or participating in Voter Registration
drives.
• Providing abortion services or referrals for such
services.
Other activities as determined by the Corporation
will be prohibited upon notice
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Release from Term
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If a member has a personal, compelling circumstance and
has completed at least 15% of his/her service commitment,
they may receive a portion of the educational award.
This means that the situation is absolutely beyond the
member’s control (e.g. illness)
Documentation provided by member is MANDATORY
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If a member leaves for other reasons, they will not receive
an educational award.
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Unacceptable reasons include leaving the program (1) to
enroll in school, (2) to obtain employment (other than
moving from welfare to work), or (3) because of
dissatisfaction with the program.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Suspension
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The Program may suspend the Member’s term of service
for the following reasons:
1. Compelling personal circumstances (e.g. illness)
2. A violation of the Rules of Conduct
3. If during the term of service the Member has been
charged with a violent felony or the possession, sale or
distribution of a controlled substance.
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During the suspension from service, the Member will not
receive credit for service hours or benefits. The Member
may resume his or her term of service once the
circumstances supporting the suspension have been
resolved.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Grievance Procedures
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In the event that informal efforts to resolve
disputes are unsuccessful, AmeriCorps
members, labor unions, and other interested
individuals may seek resolution through the
grievance procedures detailed on
page 10 of
the Member Contract. These procedures are
intended to apply to service-related issues, such
as assignments, evaluations, suspensions, or
release for cause, as well as issues related to
non-selection of members, and displacement of
employees, or duplication of activities by
AmeriCorps Members.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Nondiscrimination Policy
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Participation in AmeriCorps is based on merit and
equal opportunity for all, without regard to factors
such as race, color, national origin, sex, sexual
orientation, religion, age, disability, political affiliation,
marital or parental status, military service, or
religious, community or social affiliations.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against any person
who, or organization that, files a complaint about
such discrimination. Each campus and/or service
site that receives the services of an AmeriCorps
Member agrees to abide by Federal laws and CNCS
policies on Equal Opportunity.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Reasonable Accommodation
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Programs and activities must be accessible
to persons with disabilities, and the Bonner
AmeriCorps Program at your campus must
provide reasonable accommodation to the
known mental or physical disabilities of
otherwise qualified members, service
recipients, applicants, and staff.
All selections and project assignments must
be made without regard to the need to
provide reasonable accommodation.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Drug-Free Workplace
•Consistent with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988,
The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation and The
College of New Jersey are committed to providing a
workplace that is free from the unlawful manufacture,
distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled
substances.
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The program member must notify the Bonner Program
in writing, within five (5) calendar days, if he or she is
convicted of a criminal drug violation in the workplace.
Violations of the Drug-Free Workplace policy will result
in personnel action against the program member, up to
and including dismissal pursuant to The College of
New Jersey procedures relating to program member
discipline.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Informed Consent
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Bonner Foundation Staff, your Campus/Site
Supervisor, and the Corporation for National and
Community Service with your consent may:
• release your name, interests and any training you
have received.
• write a recommendation or give a verbal
recommendation for employment, etc. at the end of
your term of service.
• photograph you at your service site for
recruitment/promotional purposes (you may opt out
by checking the box on page 16 of the enrollment
workbook).
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Enrollment
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As you complete the Enrollment Workbook,
please remember to:
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Sign in ink and date on all required
signature lines (signature date must be on
or before your requested start date).
Initial any cross-outs, overwrites, etc.
Do not use pencil or “white out.”
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Enrollment Documents
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Along with your completed Enrollment Workbook,
you must:
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Submit a legible copy of government-issued
citizenship, naturalization or resident alien
documentation (e.g. state-issued birth
certificate, permanent resident card, etc.)
Submit a legible copy of government-issued
photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, or passport)
Provide documentation of any legal name
change.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
BWBRS
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Once you are enrolled in Bonner AmeriCorps, you are
required to report regularly using the Bonner Web-Based
Reporting System (BWBRS).
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Create a Community Learning Agreement (CLA)
each semester
Log your hours each week
Print out monthly time logs, get appropriate
signatures and submit to campus administrator
Log your Service Accomplishment at the end of
each semester.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Community Learning Agreements
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Create a new CLA each semester for
your main service placement
Discuss goals with your community
partner and/or campus administrator
Remember: COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY,
COMMUNITY!
Even if you serve at the same site for
multiple semesters, you need to create a
new CLA with new goals!
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Timesheets
• Log Hour Entries into BWBRS every week
• One log entry per site per day (even if you went
multiple times)
• Log hours according to: CLA service, non-CLA service
(i.e. one-time opportunities), Training & Enrichment or
Fundraising
• If the time was spent in fundraising (i.e. Relay for Life),
you must check the box “this time was spent
fundraising”
• Entries may not exceed a 12 hour maximum per day (or
16 with prior approval from Bonner Foundation Staff)
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Timesheets
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Each month:
Print out an Hour Log from BWBRS by month (on
“Report page” choose the correct month from the “show
hours in” and click “update”; the print command is under
“available actions”)
Student, site supervisor & campus administrator must
all sign logs on or after the last day of service logged
that month
Signatures must be original and in ink (no pencil or
stamps accepted)
Any written changes must be initialed by Member and
Campus Administrator
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Evaluation
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At the end of each semester, members
complete a Service Accomplishment
in BWBRS for their CLA.
• Your supervisor will conduct an end of
term evaluation of your personal
development and the quality of your
service as part of your Exit process.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Exiting
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If (1) you have logged enough hours to complete your
term, or (2) your end-of-term date is past, or (3) you
are withdrawing from your term:
You must submit an AmeriCorps Exit Form to the
Foundation within 20 days of your last day of service.
Exit forms must be signed and dated on or after
your last day of service.
Exit forms are processed by the Foundation and
BWBRS will notify you once it has been filed.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Education Award
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Once you have been officially exited from your
AmeriCorps term, you can begin the process of
accessing your educational award.
Register with www.myamericorps.gov to access your
Ed Award online. The online system allows members
and alumni to request Ed Award benefits, including
interest accrual and forbearance online.
Members are also able to update their contact
information, view their account information and the
status of their requests and contact the trust online.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Education Award
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An Education Award can be used to:
Pay back qualified student loans.
Pay current educational expenses at a Title IV institution
of higher education.
An Education Award can only be used by the member
who received it.
A Member has up to 7 years to use his/her Education
Award.
A Member is only eligible for up to two Education
Awards in a lifetime.
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College
Resources
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Need more information?
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Read through your Enrollment Workbook
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Read the AmeriCorps pages on the Bonner
Network Wiki: bonnernetwork.pbwiki.com
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Explore BWBRS: www.bwbrs3.org (see
your campus admin for login information)
Visit the AmeriCorps website:
americorps.gov
Presentation created by the Bonner Foundation;
Adapted for video by the Office of Academic Community Engagement at Siena College

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