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, citizenship, and by giving them means to continue their education.
What is AmeriCorps?• A program of service not longer than 1 or 2 years that has many regulations that must be followed by organizations and Members.• Members complete a Term of Service.• A Term of Service is a commitment of hours to direct service and training.• Members receive an Education Award at the completion of their Term of Service.
The National Service Network• Created in 1993, AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which also oversees Senior Corps.
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 are created to enable older Americans to serve their communities.
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 • Senior Corps
AmeriCorps Aims toMeet 3 Different Goals Getting Things Done Developing Participants Strengthening Communities
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 60 Bonner campuses.
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 Legal Resident of the U.S. • Government Documentation Required: State or County-Issued Birth Certificate, unexpired U.S. Passport or Legal Permanent Resident Card
What do AmeriCorps Members Do?As part of the National Service Movement, Members take action and findsolutions to address community needs while learning new skills and sharingtalents to make a difference across the country. • Educate communities about their environment • Renovate and Rebuild Abandoned Homes • Provide Mentoring During Non-School Hours • Recruit Volunteers • Bridge the Digital Divide • Assist the Homeless • Provide Support to People with Disabilities • Support Immigrants through a variety of Human and Educational Services
AmeriCorps is NOT: A job A job program An internship Free labor A staff builder
AmeriCorps Members DO NOT:Do only clerical workAnswer phonesPerform janitorial dutiesSupervise other MembersManage paperwork or financialissues
AmeriCorps Common Myths• Individuals who serve in National Service programs are referred to as Members--they are not volunteers, participants or employees.• AmeriCorps members serve--they do not “work.”
What do AmeriCorps Members Receive? Half-Time Quarter-Time Minimum-Time Members Members Members900 Hours of Service 450 Hours of Service 300 Hours of Service Education Award Education Award Education Award $2,675.00 $1,415 $1,132 Two-year term One-year term One-year term (minus one day) (minus one day) (minus one day)
Rules of ConductAt no time may a Bonner AmeriCorpsmember:•Spend more than 20% of their term ofservice in Training and Enrichment activities.•Spend more than 10% of their term ofservice engaging in fundraising activities.•Devote any of their service hours tofundraising for any purpose other than directlysupporting their service activities.
Acceptable Service Fundraising Provisions1. AmeriCorps members can spend no more than 10% of their hours on fundraising activities.2. Members can raise resources to support projects related to their issue area/ sites direct service activities. 3. Members cannot raise resources for an organization’s general operating expenses or endowment.
Acceptable Service Fundraising Provisions4. Members cannot fundraise for their own living allowance.5. Members cannot raise funds for an organizations general operating expenses or endowment.6. Members cannot write a grant application to any Federal agency including the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Acceptable Service Fundraising Provisions•Members cannot engage in anyfundraising where the beneficiariesare international. If the goods orfunds collected will be sent to aninternational community, thefundraising time cannot be approvedfor AmeriCorps.
Prohibited Activities(cont.) 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;
Prohibited Activities(cont.) 6. Taking part in political demonstrations or rallies; 7. Engaging in any efforts to influence legislation, including state or local ballot initiatives; 8. 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;
Prohibited Activities(cont.) 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; 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;
Prohibited Activities(cont.) 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 Members approved direct service activities; and 22. Activities providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services.
Prohibited Activities(cont.) Activities that pose a significant risk to AmeriCorps Members or others; 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; •Activities performed that serve or educate about individuals residing outside the US and US territories
Release from Term• If a Member has a compelling personal circumstance and has completed at least 15% of his/her service commitment, the Member may receive a portion of the education award. This means that the situation is absolutely beyond the Member’s control (e.g. illness) Documentation provided by Member is MANDATORY• Compelling Personal Circumstances do not include: (1) to enroll 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 receive an educational award.
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 Conduct3. 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.
Grievance ProceduresIn the event that informal efforts to resolve disputes areunsuccessful, AmeriCorps members, labor unions, andother interested individuals may seek resolution throughthe grievance procedures detailed in the MemberContract. These procedures are intended to apply toservice-related issues, such as assignments, evaluations,suspensions, or release for cause, as well as issuesrelated to non-selection of Members, and displacementof employees, or duplication of activities by AmeriCorpsmembers.
Nondiscrimination PolicyParticipation in AmeriCorps is based on merit and equalopportunity for all, without regard to factors such as race,color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age,disability, political affiliation, marital or parental status, militaryservice, or religious, community or social affiliations.It is also unlawful to retaliate against any person who, ororganization that, files a complaint about such discrimination.Each campus and/or service site that receives the services ofan AmeriCorps Member agrees to abide by Federal laws andCNCS policies on Equal Opportunity.
Reasonable AccommodationPrograms and activities must be accessible topersons with disabilities, and the BonnerAmeriCorps Program at your campus must providereasonable accommodation to the known mental orphysical disabilities of otherwise qualified members,service recipients, applicants, and staff.All selections and project assignments must be madewithout regard to the need to provide reasonableaccommodation.
Drug-Free WorkplaceConsistent with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, TheCorella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation and The Collegeof New Jersey are committed to providing a workplace thatis 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.
Informed ConsentThe staff of the Bonner Foundation, The College of New Jersey,your Campus, your Site and the Corporation for National andCommunity 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).
EnrollmentAs you complete the Enrollment Workbook, pleaseremember 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 correction fluid.
Enrollment DocumentsAlong 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, passport, permanent legal 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.
BWBRSOnce you are enrolled in Bonner AmeriCorps, youare required to report regularly using the BonnerWeb-Based Reporting System (BWBRS). • 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.
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!• Use resume language• Even if you serve at the same site for multiple semesters, you need to create a new CLA each semester with new goals!
Hour Logs• 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
Hour Logs• 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)
Hour Logs eSignaturesEach month:•eSign an Hour Log from BWBRS by month(on “report page” choose the correct monthfrom the “show hours in” and click “update”; thentype your name at the bottom of the hour logreport)•The Member, site supervisor & campusadministrator must all eSign logs on or afterthe last day of service logged that month•The eSignatures must be signed in this order: • Member; • Site Supervisor; • Campus Administrator.
Timesheets Hard CopiesEach month:•Print out an Hour Log from BWBRS bymonth (on “Report page” choose thecorrect month from the “show hours in” andclick “update”; the print command is under“available actions”)•The Member, site supervisor & campusadministrator must all sign logs on or afterthe last day of service logged that month•Signatures must be original and in ink (nopencil or stamps accepted)•Any written changes must be initialed bythe Member and Campus Administrator
Evaluation• At the end of each semester, Members complete Service Accomplishments 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 Bonner AmeriCorps Exit process.
ExitingIf (1) you have logged enough hours to complete yourterm, or (2) you are withdrawing from your term:•You must submit an AmeriCorps Exit Form to theFoundation within 20 days of your last day of service.Please be sure all hour logs are up to date and fullysigned.•Exit Forms must be signed and dated on or afteryour last day of service.•Exit Forms are processed by the Foundation andBWBRS will notify you once you have been exited.
Education AwardOnce you have been officially exited from yourAmeriCorps term, you can begin the process of accessingyour Education Award.Register with www.my.americorps.gov to access yourEducation Award online. The online system allowsAmeriCorps alumni to request Education Award paymentsto a qualified institution of higher education or a studentloan holder.Members are also able to update their contact information,view their account information and the status of theirEducation Award payments.
Education AwardAn Education Award can be usedto:•Pay back qualified student loans.•Pay current educationalexpenses at a Title IV institutionof higher education.
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.
ResourcesNeed more information?•Read through your EnrollmentWorkbook•Visit the AmeriCorps website:my.americorps.gov•Read the AmeriCorps pages on theBonner Network Wiki:http://bonnernetwork.pbworks.com•Explore BWBRS: www.bwbrs.org (seeyour campus administrator for logininformation)