Applications Are Being Sought for Position to Coordinate Program
Wilkes University has received a grant that will help to bring the America Reads America Counts, Study Buddies program to the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. The University received the AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Program grant through the Campus Compact of New York and Pennsylvania.
The grant funds a yearlong position under Wilkes’ office of civic engagement. The person hired will operate the Wilkes University America Reads America Counts Study Buddies program. The University is currently seeking applications for the position. In addition, Wilkes students will be able to use federal work study money to work in this program.
The America Reads America Counts program will offer tutoring in the areas of reading and math and provide mentoring that enriches learning opportunities for both college and elementary school students. The pilot program is in partnership with Dodson and Kistler elementary schools in Wilkes-Barre and the Wilkes Barre YMCA. The program is expected to start in early 2020. With the success of the pilot program, America Reads America Counts Study Buddies would expand to other interested schools in the Wilkes Barre Area School District.
The Study Buddies portion of the program will operate during the school day. In both locations the children will be with their teacher and a Title I professional. The program will use the Magic Tree House book series to create more fun, interactive activities for students. Title I is a federally funded supplemental education program that provides financial assistance to local educational agencies to improve educational opportunities for educationally deprived children.
Wilkes will provide high-quality training focusing on making a lasting change through education, policy, and reform to student tutors, based on United Way’s “Poverty to Possibility” initiative. Students also will work at the YMCA After School Program. Every month the elementary students will receive a grade-level book funded through the YMCA annual campaign.
VISTA projects must focus on objectives including economic opportunity, education, healthy futures, military and veteran families as well as mental health, opioid intervention and housing legal aid. AmeriCorps *VISTA is a national service program that for 50 years has been at the forefront of building the capacity of communities to fight poverty. VISTA members devote a year or more of their lives to address poverty’s root causes.