Bonner AmeriCorps 101


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Bonner AmeriCorps 101 is an orientation presentation for new members.

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Bonner AmeriCorps 101

  1. 1. AmeriCorps 101 Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  2. 2. What is AmeriCorps? • A National Service Program (Domestic Peace Corps) • Members complete a Term of Service. • A Term of Service is a commitment of hours to direct service and training. • Participants receive an Education Award at the completion of their Term of Service. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  3. 3. What is AmeriCorps? • Federally funded; Locally implemented. • Benefits the communities in which members serve by meeting critical community needs. • Benefits members by educating them about their community, citizenship, and by giving them means to continue their education. • A program of service not longer than 1 or 2 years that has many regulations that must be followed by organizations and members. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  4. 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 and Learn and Serve America. • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, includes $201 million in funding for CNCS to support an expansion of AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps VISTA programs. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  5. 5. 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 are created to enable older Americans to serve their communities Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  6. 6. 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 three main streams of service: • AmeriCorps • Senior Corps • Learn and Serve America Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  7. 7. AmeriCorps Aims to Meet 3 Different Goals Getting Things Done Developing Participants Strengthening Communities Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  8. 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 50 Bonner campuses. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  9. 9. Eligibility Requirements • Must be 17 years of age or older. • Must have a High School Diploma or Equivalency, or must be working towards the GED. • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident of the U.S. • Government Documentation Required: State-Issued Birth Certificate, unexpired U.S. Passport or Permanent Residency Card Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  10. 10. What do AmeriCorps Members Do? As part of a National 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. • Tutor Students • Educate communities about their environment • Renovate and Rebuild Abandoned Homes • Provide Mentoring During Non-School Hours • Recruit Volunteers • Teach Parenting Skills to Teen Parents • Bridge the Digital Divide • Assist the Homeless • Provide Support to People with Disabilities • Support Immigrants through a variety of Human and Educational Services Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  11. 11. AmeriCorps is NOT: • A job • A job program • An internship • Free labor • A staff builder Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  12. 12. AmeriCorps Members DO NOT: • Do only clerical work • Answer phones • Perform janitorial duties • Supervise other members • Manage paperwork or financial issues See the full list of prohibited activities (in member enrollment workbook and on the web) Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  13. 13. AmeriCorps Members Common Myths • Individuals who serve in National Service programs are called members--they are not volunteers, participants or employees. • AmeriCorps Members serve--they do not “work.” Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  14. 14. What do AmeriCorps Members Receive? Half-Time Quarter-Time Minimum-Time Members Members Members 900 Hours of Service 450 Hours of Service 300 Hours of Service Education Award Education Award Education Award $2,362.50 $1,250 $1,000 Two-year term One-year term One-year term (minus one day) (minus one day) (minus one day) Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  15. 15. Rules of Conduct At no time may an AmeriCorps Member: • Spend more than 20% of their term of service in Training and Enrichment activities. • Spend more than 10% of their term of service in Fundraising. • Devote any of their service hours to fundraising for any purpose other than directly supporting their service activities. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  16. 16. Prohibited Activities • Attempting to influence legislation. • Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes. • Assisting, prompting, or deterring union organizing. • Engaging in partisan political activities or other activities designed to influence the outcomes of an election to any public office. • Engaging in religious instruction. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  17. 17. Prohibited Activities • Engaging in any form of religious proselytization. • Providing a direct benefit to a for-profit entity, labor union or partisan political organization. • Coordinating or participating in Voter Registration drives. • Providing abortion services or referrals for such services. Other activities as determined by the Corporation will be prohibited upon notice Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  18. 18. Release from Term • If a member has a personal, compelling circumstance and has completed at least 15% of his/her service commitment, they may receive a portion of the educational award. This means that the situation is absolutely beyond the member’s control (e.g. illness) Documentation provided by member is MANDATORY • If a member leaves for other reasons, they will not receive an educational award. Unacceptable reasons include leaving the program (1) to enroll in school, (2) to obtain employment (other than moving from welfare to work), or (3) because of dissatisfaction with the program. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  19. 19. 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. • 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. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  20. 20. 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 on page 10 of 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. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  21. 21. 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. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  22. 22. 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. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  23. 23. 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 program 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 program member, up to and including dismissal pursuant to The College of New Jersey procedures relating to program member discipline. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  24. 24. Informed Consent Bonner Foundation Staff, your Campus/Site Supervisor, 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 box on page 16 of the enrollment workbook). Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  25. 25. 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). • Initial any cross-outs, overwrites, etc. • Do not use pencil or “white out.” Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  26. 26. Enrollment Documents Along with your completed Enrollment Workbook, you must: • Submit a legible copy of government-issued citizenship, naturalization or resident alien documentation (e.g. state-issued birth certificate, permanent resident card, etc.) • Submit a legible copy of government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, or passport) • Provide documentation of any legal name change. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  27. 27. BWBRS Once you are enrolled in Bonner AmeriCorps, you are required to report regularly using the Bonner Web-Based Reporting System (BWBRS). • Create a Community Learning Agreement (CLA) each semester • Log your hours each week • Print out monthly time logs, get appropriate signatures and submit to campus administrator • Log your Service Accomplishment at the end of each semester. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  28. 28. Community Learning Agreements • Create a new CLA each semester for your main service placement • Discuss goals with your community partner and/or campus administrator • Remember: COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY! • Even if you serve at the same site for multiple semesters, you need to create a new CLA with new goals! Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  29. 29. Timesheets • Log Hour Entries into BWBRS every week • One log entry per site per day (even if you went multiple times) • Log hours according to: CLA service, non-CLA service (i.e. one-time opportunities), Training & Enrichment or Fundraising • If the time was spent in fundraising (i.e. Relay for Life), you must check the box “this time was spent fundraising” • Entries may not exceed a 12 hour maximum per day (or 16 with prior approval from Bonner Foundation Staff) Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  30. 30. Timesheets Each month: • Print out an Hour 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”) • Student, site supervisor & campus administrator must all sign logs on or after the last day of service logged that month • Signatures must be original and in ink (no pencil or stamps accepted) • Any written changes must be initialed by Member and Campus Administrator Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  31. 31. Evaluation • At the end of each semester, members complete a Service Accomplishment in BWBRS for their CLA. • Your supervisor will conduct an end of term evaluation of your personal development and the quality of your service as part of your Exit process. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  32. 32. Exiting If (1) you have logged enough hours to complete your term, or (2) your end-of-term date is past, or (3) 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. • 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 it has been filed. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  33. 33. Education Award Once you have been officially exited from your AmeriCorps term, you can begin the process of accessing your educational award. Register with to access your Ed Award online. The online system allows members and alumni to request Ed Award benefits, including interest accrual and forbearance online. Members are also able to update their contact information, view their account information and the status of their requests and contact the trust online. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  34. 34. 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. An Education Award can only be used by the member who received it. A Member has up to 7 years to use his/her Education Award. A Member is only eligible for up to two Education Awards in a lifetime. Wednesday, July 1, 2009
  35. 35. Resources Need more information? • Read through your Enrollment Workbook • Visit the AmeriCorps website: • Read the AmeriCorps pages on the Bonner Network Wiki: • Explore BWBRS: (see your campus admin for login information) Wednesday, July 1, 2009