This September, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) enters its fifth year as a program administrator for AmeriCorps, a service-based, talent development program of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that has improved lives and transformed communities. As their slogan says, AmeriCorps members get things done.
IALR’s Dan River Year (DRY) AmeriCorps program has helped build the area’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) capacity with literacy coaching. DRY members have served at over 15 sites, including regional middle schools, local Boys and Girls Clubs, Danville Church-Based Tutorial sites, the Danville Science Center, IALR and other local higher education partners. Supporters include CNCS, the Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) and IALR.
IALR’s ServeIT AmeriCorps program has provided a pre-apprenticeship route for acquiring information technology (IT) and work readiness skills, certifications and placement in an apprenticeship or employment at the end of the service year. This year, ServeIT members will support IT staff at IALR and local schools. Supporters of the program have included CNCS, DRF, IALR and J.T. Minnie Maude Charitable Trust.
Since 2015, IALR has grown its AmeriCorps program into one of the largest in the state. While many sites manage 10 or fewer members, IALR fills more than 40 service positions each fall. As a result, multiple nonprofit sites across the region benefit. AmeriCorps members may receive multiple benefits as well like student loan deferment, training, a stipend, tuition assistance and more. Visit www.ialr.org/americorps to learn more.
Program Highlights, 2015-Present:
• 104 members served 91,828 hours, tutored 384 children and engaged 9,496 individuals in STEM.
• Members received $330,199 in living allowances and $245,884 in education awards.
• Of the 35 2018-2019 members, 57 percent plan to pursue additional education or enter the workforce. Thirty-four percent plan to serve another AmeriCorps year.
AmeriCorps Alumni Success Stories
2015-18 AmeriCorps STEM Tutor/Coach at Pittsylvania County Schools STEM Academy
NOW: Program Coordinator, IALR
“I was afforded the opportunity to return to college where I earned a bachelor’s degree and set new goals.”
2018-19 AmeriCorps STEM Outreach Coordinator at Danville Science Center
NOW: Teacher, Oakwood Elementary School
“I was able to bring STEM education to the local youth, … [and] the education award will help pay my student loans.”
2018-19 AmeriCorps STEM Tutor/Coach at Gretna Middle School
NOW: Teacher, Cornerstone Christian Academy
“I got to work with teachers in the classroom … to realize I had a passion and drive to teach.”