FSU’s Institute for Service-Learning AmeriCorps*VISTA project, in partnership with the Garrett County Office of the Maryland Cooperative Extension and the Garrett County Health Department, recently celebrated the successful completion of its 2004 Summer Associates Program.
Ten Summer Associates worked in Garrett County. Summer Associates coordinated after-school programs, assisted with the Garrett County Youth Farmers Market, and worked with children at the Garrett County 4-H camp.
“They provided programming for youth camps held there throughout the summer, serving over 1000 youth ages 8-16,” said Ann Sherrard, acting county extension director and extension educator, 4-H Youth Development. “The SAs who helped at after-school programs filled a vital need, as some state-supported budgets were cut this year.”
Summer Associates taught swimming, water safety and skills useful for integrating agricultural activities into the market place.
The project was funded with a federal grant through the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Rhonda Schwinabart, program director at FSU’s Institute for Service Learning, said the AmeriCorps*VISTA project is similar to a “domestic Peace Corps.” Summer Associates are part-time AmeriCorps*VISTA members who serve for 10 weeks during the summer. Summer Associates are given a modest living allowance during their service and after their service is complete, they received a $1,000 educational award. The educational award can be used to pay off any student loans or any educational expenses.
For more information about FSU’s Institute for Service-Learning AmeriCorps*VISTA project please call Rhonda Schwinabart at 301-687-4210.