It’s AmeriCorps Week, March 4-11, 2017, a time to salute AmeriCorps members for their service, thank AmeriCorps' community partners, and showcase AmeriCorps members’ impact on our school communities and the lives served.
Thank you, Port Angeles AmeriCorps, Michell Gentry and Carrie Sanford. You're the BEST!
This time of year everyone is starting to come out of hibernation mode and look for the sunshine. AmeriCorps are right in the thick of it. Most of the school year our members have been in school Mon-Fri, done a few late nights for special activities at their schools and taken part in a few community events. Now that it's spring, look for members to be out on the weekends as well. This is the time when they have made good community connections and are being called upon to lend a hand at all kinds of events.
For example, the annual Blockfest events, brought to the community by Parenting Matters and First Teacher. On April 23 and May 7, AmeriCorps members were able to take part in the training and spend the rest of their day building with the families that attended the event. Yes, it looked a lot like playing blocks on the floor but it's really a great way to introduce children to math, science and engineering concepts. Our members were proud to be of service there.
Also on April 23, AmeriCorps members and High School volunteers helped with finishing touches at the the new Elwha River Interpretive Center, sponsored by the Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway Association. A few hours of hard work, a great lunch and a sense of pride each time they pass by on that stretch of highway.
We are grateful for the opportunities the community provides for us to serve. If you are a non-profit and have a project...call us and if you want to join in on the fun...call us. 360-565-1976, Michell Gentry
Our own Mayor Patrick Downie, joined almost 4,000 other Mayors across the country in celebrating the work of AmeriCorps volunteers in their communities. Here in Port Angeles, the school district AmeriCorps members teamed up with RSVP Volunteers (Seniors), An AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and a Reading Corps volunteer to complete a project of the Mayor's choice and have a great day outdoors.
Mayor Downie, working with Corey Delikat from the City Parks & Rec Department chose a couple of clean up projects so we had the opportunity to work in the flower beds at both the Senior Center and Francis Street Park. Mayor Downie got right in and dug dirt with us, presented us with a proclamation declaring the importance of community service and had an opportunity to get to know the volunteers and find out what they are doing here in our area. We were also joined by Jane Covella and Sheila Ramsey, both representing the RSVP programs here on the Olympic Peninsula. Kristen Franklin-Temple who is the Alaska and Washington State Director of the CNCS did her share of the work, enjoyed the barbecue and attended the local City Council Meeting where we were able to share a snippet of what service looks like in Clallam County. She shared that over 240 individuals from Port Angeles have served in AmeriCorps Programs since it's inception.
On the Olympic Peninsula, we believe service to our community is important. Thank you Mayor Downie for all your support.
The Port Angeles community really showed up for AmeriCorps recognition week. Parents, Principals and the Port Angeles School Board all did their part to let the AmeriCorps Members know how much their work is appreciated here on the Olympic Peninsula. Parents shared letters describing successes their children have experienced, which they felt could be attributed to their AmeriCorps Mentor. Principals and school staff recognized their members with cake, balloons and sincere Thank You's. The week culminated with a presentation and recognition opportunity at the March 10 school board meeting. Superintendent Marc Jackson thanked the members and presented each with a Certificate of Appreciation. Thank you Port Angeles for your continued support of the AmeriCorps program and it's members who are here serving in our schools.
Our AmeriCorps are here serving with a focus on academic support. In most schools that means math and reading help for those who need catching up. While we believe that is important work, we want you to know some of the other great things our members are participating in while they are here serving our community. Here is a quick snapshot of the service they gave last week. On Monday, (and Wednesday) several AmeriCorps partnered with The Boys and Girls Club and 4-H to provide a Tech Wizards club, using pvc pipe to practice engineering. On Tuesday, (and all the other days of the week) Ceci led a group of students in drama club. They are preparing for their second production of this year. On Wednesday, Kerry-Ann participated and helped lead a Girls Circle at Stevens. Helping young women find their way through adolescence with strength and confidence. On Thursday, Cheyanne led an art class at Hamilton and on Friday when there were no students in school, our AmeriCorps Team helped serve the Friendship Dinner at the 1st United Methodist Church. Our wonderful AmeriCorps Members embody the spirit of service and are here to provide support, caring and a little bit of fun.
“As our state celebrates AmeriCorps Week,” Governor Jay Inslee said to members, “I am writing to thank and commend you for your service to the people of Washington state through your participation in AmeriCorps…the work that you and your fellow national service members perform – tutoring and mentoring youth; preparing communities to respond in a natural disaster; providing assistance to veterans and military families; preserving the environment and restoring salmon habitats; and recruiting and training volunteers – greatly contributes to the success of this outstanding program and helps to improve the quality of life for some of our state‘s most vulnerable residents.”
“Thank you to all AmeriCorps members serving in our schools,” Superintendent of Port Angeles Schools Marc Jackson added. “We are grateful they, and Michell Gentry, are part of our School District team, and we are thankful for their continued service.”
Read more about it! http://www.portangelesschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=142102&pageId=8446547
Doug Whatton from the James E. Whatton Family Fund, a “named fund” with the Clallam Community Foundation, donated $5,000 to the PASD AmeriCorps program for use during the 2015-16 school year. This donation helps our with its federal match requirements.
AmeriCorps has a long history on the Olympic Peninsula with a legacy of service and support that has impacted both communities and individuals over the years.
Most recently the AmeriCorps program has come under the umbrella of the Port Angeles School District. With the support of local foundations we are proud to place members in each of the area schools including the Lincoln High School site. Partnerships are in place which also allow us to provide service for Crescent School District and The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. As of January 19, we have 13 members serving full time in our schools and other agencies that support youth here on the Peninsula. It is exciting to watch the impact of the program grow in the months to come.