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AmeriCorps 101 for 2013-14 program year
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AmeriCorps 101 for 2013-14 program year


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Please use this powerpoint for introducing your Bonner AmeriCorps members who are enrolling in the 2013-14 Program Year.

Please use this powerpoint for introducing your Bonner AmeriCorps members who are enrolling in the 2013-14 Program Year.

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  • 1. Bonner AmeriCorps 101
  • 2. What is AmeriCorps? National Service Program that is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Federally funded; Locally implemented. Benefits the localities in which Members serve by meeting critical community needs. Benefits Members by educating them about their community and responsible citizenship. Access to an Education Award for successful completion of a term of service.
  • 3. What is AmeriCorps? A program of service not longer than one or two years with many regulations that must be followed by organizations and Members. Members make a commitment to complete a Term of Service. A Term of Service is comprised of service hours plus training & enrichment hours. A Member receive an Education Award if the Member completes all hours required in their Member Contract.
  • 4. The National Service Network Created in 1993, AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which also oversees Senior Corps.
  • 5. National Service History 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 were created to enable older Americans to serve their communities.
  • 6. National Service History 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 two main streams of service: • AmeriCorps and • Senior Corps
  • 7. AmeriCorps Aims to Meet 3 Different Goals Getting Things Done Developing Participants Strengthening Communities
  • 8. Bonner AmeriCorps 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 40 campus in the Bonner network
  • 9. Eligibility Requirements Must be 17 years of age or older. Must have a High School Diploma or Equivalency or must be working towards completion of a GED. Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Legal Resident of the U.S. • Government Documentation Required: State or County-Issued Birth Certificate plus Driver’s License or unexpired U.S. Passport or Legal Permanent Resident Card
  • 10. What do AmeriCorps Members Do? As part of the National Service 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. • Build Capacity by recruiting and training local volunteers • Provide Academic Support and Mentoring during non-school hours • Bridge the Digital Divide • Renovate and Rebuild Abandoned Homes • Assist the Homeless • Educate local communities about Environmental Issues • Provide Support to People with Disabilities • Support Immigrants through a variety of Human Services
  • 11. AmeriCorps is NOT: • A job • A job program • An internship • Free labor • A staff builder for community partners
  • 12. AmeriCorps Members DO NOT: • Focus on clerical work for community partners • Primarily answer phones or perform purely administrative functions • Perform janitorial duties • Supervise other Members at service sites • Manage paperwork or financial issues for community partners
  • 13. AmeriCorps Lingo Individuals who serve in National Service programs are always referred to as Members - they are not Volunteers or Employees! AmeriCorps Members serve at their sites - they do not “work.”
  • 14. 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 $2,775.00 Education Award $1,468 Education Award $1,175 Two-year term (minus one day) One-year term (minus one day) One-year term (minus one day)
  • 15. Rules of Conduct • At no time may a Bonner AmeriCorps Member: • Devote more than 20% of the hours during their term of service to Training and Enrichment activities. • Spend more than 10% of their term of service engaging in approved fundraising activities. • Devote any of their service hours to fundraising for any purpose other than directly supporting their service activities.
  • 16. Acceptable Service Fundraising Provisions 1. AmeriCorps members can spend no more than 10% of their hours on fundraising activities. 2. Members can raise resources to support projects only related to their issue area or community partner's direct service activities. 3. Members cannot raise resources for an local or national organization’s general operating expenses or endowment.
  • 17. Acceptable Service Fundraising Provisions 4.Members cannot fundraise for their own living expenses. ! 5.Members cannot write a grant application to any Federal agency including the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • 18. Acceptable Service Fundraising Provisions ! 6. Members cannot engage in any fundraising where the beneficiaries are international. If the goods or funds collected will be sent to an community, overseas, the fundraising time cannot be approved for AmeriCorps.
  • 19. Prohibited Activities 1. Participating in efforts to influence legislation, including lobbying for your program; 2. Organizing a letter-writing campaign to Congress; 3. Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office; 4. Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials; 5. Printing politically charged articles in a Corporation-funded newsletter or discussion list;
  • 20. Prohibited Activities (continued) 6. Taking part in political demonstrations or rallies; 7. Engaging in any efforts to influence legislation, including state or local ballot initiatives; 8. Any activities related to Voter registration drives; 9. Organizing or participating in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; 10. Assisting or deterring union organizing; 11. Impairing existing contracts or collective bargaining agreements;
  • 21. Prohibited Activities (continued) 12. Religious activities, including engaging in religious instruction; conducting worship services; providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship; constructing, operating, or maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship; or engaging in any form of religious proselytization; 13. Activities that pose a significant safety risk to participants or AmeriCorps Members; 14. Assignments that displace employees; 15. Placement of Members into internships with for-profit businesses as part of the education and training component of the program; 16. Providing assistance to a business organized for profit;
  • 22. Prohibited Activities (continued) 17. Raising funds for an AmeriCorps stipend; 18. Raising funds for an organization’s operating expenses or endowment; 19. Writing grant applications for AmeriCorps funding or for any other funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service; 20. Writing grant applications for funding provided by any federal agencies; 21. Administrative work unless it benefits the Member’s approved service activities; and 22. Activities providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services.
  • 23. Prohibited Activities (continued) 23. Internships with a for-profit business as a part of the education and training component of the program; and 24. Medical research; 25. Service that is paid through an hourly wage other than Federal Work-Study; 26. Activities (service or trainings) performed internationally or for the benefit of individuals residing overseas; 27. Activities performed that serve or educate about individuals residing outside the US and US territories
  • 24. Release from Service Term If a Member has a compelling personal circumstance and has completed at least 15% of his or her service commitment, the Member may apply to receive a portion of the Education Award. • This means that the situation is absolutely beyond the Member’s control (e.g. illness of the Member or immediate family member) • Documentation provided by Member is MANDATORY • Compelling Personal Circumstances do not include: • (1)Enrolling in school, (2) Obtaining employment (other than moving from welfare to work), or (3) Dissatisfaction with the program. • Member leaving for any other reason other than compelling personal circumstance, will not qualify for an Educational Award.
  • 25. Suspension 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. 4. 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 and Member has applied for Reinstatement as an active Member.
  • 26. Grievance Procedures 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 in 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.
  • 27. Nondiscrimination Policy 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.
  • 28. Reasonable Accommodation 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.
  • 29. 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. • The 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 Member, up to and including dismissal pursuant to The College of New Jersey procedures relating to Member discipline.
  • 30. Informed Consent The staff of the Bonner Foundation, The College of New Jersey, your Campus, your Site 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 appropriate box in the Enrollment Workbook).
  • 31. Enrollment As you complete the Enrollment Workbook, please remember to: • Sign in ink and date on all required signature lines (signature date must be on or before your requested start date). • Simply initial any cross-outs or overwrites • Do not use pencil or correction fluid.
  • 32. Enrollment Documents Along with your completed Enrollment Workbook, you must: • Provide documentation of any legal name change that may have occurred since you originally submitted your eligibility documents with your AmeriCorps Application Packet (for example a Marriage Certificate or Court Order to resume a Maiden Name).
  • 33. BWBRS Once you are enrolled in Bonner AmeriCorps, you are required to report regularly using the Bonner Web-Based Reporting System (BWBRS) and must: • Create a Community Learning Agreement (CLA) each semester • Log your hours each week • Sign your hour logs monthly along with your site supervisor and campus administrator • Log your Service Accomplishments at the end of each semester.
  • 34. Community Learning Agreements Create a new CLA each semester for your main service placement. Always discuss your service goals with your community partner and campus administrator Remember: COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY! Use resume language on your CLA Even if you serve at the same site for multiple semesters, you need to create a new CLA each semester with new goals!
  • 35. Hour Logs Entries • Log Hour Entries into BWBRS every week. • Log hours according to the correct category: CLA service, non-CLA service (i.e. One-Time service opportunities),Training & Enrichment or Fundraising Hours. • Sign your hours after at the end of your service time, not during your service shift. Pre-signed hours cannot be counted toward your Award.
  • 36. Hour Logs Entries • If the time was spent in fundraising, you must check the box “This time was spent fundraising” for each such entry. • Entries may not exceed a 12 hour maximum per day (or 16 with prior approval from Bonner Foundation Staff)
  • 37. Hour Logs eSignatures After the end of each month: • eSign your Hour Log from BWBRS by month (On “Report Tab” page, choose the correct month from the “show hours in” and click “update”; then type your name at the bottom of the hour log report and click “Save”.) The Member, Site Supervisor & Campus Administrator must all eSign logs on or after the last day of service logged that month The eSignatures must be signed in this order: 1. Member first; 2. then Site Supervisor; 3. Campus Administrator last.
  • 38. ! What to do if Supervisor is not eSigning If a Member’s site supervisor is not signing electronically, then each month the Member must first eSign their log and then: Member prints out the 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”) and takes hard copy to supervisor. The Site Supervisor must sign logs on or after the last day of service logged that month. Campus Administrator eSigns after receipt of signed hard copy from Site Supervisor and retains hard copy on campus! Supervisor’s signatures must be original and in ink. Any written changes must be initialed by the Member, Site Supervisor and Campus Administrator.
  • 39. Member Evaluation At the end of each semester, Members complete Service Accomplishments in BWBRS for their CLA. An end-of-term evaluation of your personal development and the quality of your service will be conducted as part of your Bonner AmeriCorps Exit Process.
  • 40. Exiting • If (1) you have logged enough hours to complete your term, or (2) 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. Be sure all hour logs are up to date and fully signed. • 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 you have been officially exited.
  • 41. Education Award • Once you have been officially exited from your AmeriCorps term, you can begin the process of accessing your Education Award. • Register with to access your Education Award online. The online system allows AmeriCorps alumni to request Education Award payments to a qualified institution of higher education or a student loan holder. • Members are also able to update their contact information, view their account information and the status of their Education Award payments.
  • 42. Education Award An Education Award can be used to: • Pay back qualified student loans. • Pay current educational expenses at a Title IV institution of higher education.
  • 43. Education Award • An Education Award can only be used by the Member who received it, unless the Member is over the age of 55 at the time of enrollment. Members 55 and over can transfer the Education Award to a child, foster child or grandchild. • A Member has up to 7 years to use his/her Education Award. • An individual is eligible to receive the aggregate value of up to two full-time Education Awards in a lifetime.
  • 44. Resources Need more information? Read all provisions in your Bonner AmeriCorps Enrollment Workbook Visit the AmeriCorps website: Read the AmeriCorps pages on the Bonner Network Wiki: Explore BWBRS: (see your Campus Administrator for login information)