Educational programs that supplement our state’s public schools are essential for helping communities to develop economically, achieve higher standards of living, and produce more well-rounded and community-minded citizens. Many of Utah’s AmeriCorps programs have an educational focus that benefits young people through many activities and educational opportunities throughout the year. If you have considered partnering with or supporting an educational AmeriCorps program — or are simply interested what these programs are doing to help young people in our state, here’s a glimpse at what four AmeriCorps programs are accomplishing:
Utah STEM Initiative AmeriCorps Program. The fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) offer many opportunities for today’s youth. To help prepare students statewide for careers in these fields, the Utah STEM Initiative AmeriCorps program focuses on teaching STEM topics to children and teens. Not only are students given opportunities to learn new skills, discover new passions (which could lead to future career paths!), and become more engaged in technical work, they also are given the chance to meet real-life STEM professionals who can mentor them and provide valuable networking opportunities.
Utah Campus Compact. This branch of AmeriCorps operates on seven college campuses in Utah, engaging more than 34,000 Utah college students annually. The mission of Utah Campus Compact is to build higher education’s capacity to serve the public good.
Mentoring for Success and Read.Graduate.Succeed. AmeriCorps also offers the Mentoring for Success and Read.Graduate.Succeed programs to help at-risk youth in elementary schools with services including homework tutoring, general school mentorships, family case management, at attandance tracking for students missing class on a regular basis, and beneficial behavioral management activities and guidance for younger students. The main purpose of the Mentoring for Success program is to increase school attendance and performance. On the other hand, Read.Graduate.Succeed focuses on tutoring elementary and high school students.
Playworks AmeriCorps. This initiative operates in one dozen elementary schools in Salt Lake County, teaching students valuable life skills such as social skills, the benefits of physical exercise and active play. It also aims to improve student learning outcomes with fun approaches to education. Rather than forcing students to sit still and learn at desks, Playworks takes a unique approach to learning by incorporating empowering, playful activities that will imbue students with life-long skills and an appreciation for play for the rest of their lives.