It’s all about service – to youth, to schools, and to communities across southern and eastern Kentucky.
Operation UNITE’s Service Corps (AmeriCorps) initiative provides before and after school math tutoring and healthy choices programs to address drug prevention and nutritional education. Members also serve as sponsors for anti-drug UNITE Clubs and recruit volunteers for school-based prevention programs and community service projects.
Recently released statistics indicate the UNITE Service Corps (USC) had a very positive impact during the 2013-14 school year:
- 2,151 students were tutored in mathematics. Math test scores for these students increased 34% during the year.
- 2,336 students were taught the “Too Good For Drugs” and “Healthy Futures/Take 10!” curricula. Test scores for these students showed a 40% increase drug education knowledge and healthy decision-making information.
- 3,266 students were provided one-on-one mentoring assistance.
- 2,097 volunteers were recruited for school-related activities. They contributed 12,363 volunteer service hours.
- All UNITE Service Corps members were state certified in disaster and emergency response from the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. This certification enables members to become leaders on local disaster response teams when the need arises.
“UNITE’s Service Corps initiative has been a catalyst for addressing the needs of our fourth- and fifth-grade youth – in one of the poorest Congressional Districts in the United States – for seven years,” said Eugene Newsome, director of the program. “I am so proud of the dedication and effort shown by our AmeriCorps members. They have been a proactive force for positive change not only in their schools, but in the communities they serve.”
For the 2014-15 school year, the UNITE Service Corps has placed 44 AmeriCorps members at schools in Bell, Breathitt, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Laurel, Leslie, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Rockcastle and Wolfe counties, as well as the East Bernstadt Independent school system.
To view list of UNITE Service Corps members and the schools they serve click here.
AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS), part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The UNITE Service Corps is one of 14 programs funded statewide.
In September, USC members attended the 20th Anniversary AmeriCorps Conference in Louisville, showcasing initiatives such as UNITE’s “On The Move!” drug prevention initiative, “Hope Wall” for those overcoming addiction, and a new, teen-focused education campaign detailing “Life With a Record.”
“Substance abuse is impacting our children at very early ages,” noted Nancy Hale, co-program director for the UNITE Service Corps. “It is so important for us to equip students with knowledge that they are in charge of their own choices, to help them make the proper choices, and to lay a foundation of hope and promise for their futures.”
AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies and community- and faith-based groups across the country.
Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
AmeriCorps programs do more than move communities forward. They serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education and develop an appreciation for citizenship.