The Buffalo AmeriCorps program based at The Belle Center has been given a brand new year to serve the community. They received a grant totaling $677,542 from the NYS Commission on National and Community Service.
Mayor Byron Brown will be swearing-in the new 53 AmeriCorps members for a brand new year of service at 11:00 a.m. January 30, 2012 at The Belle Center located at 104 Maryland Street Buffalo, NY. A “Future Leaders” service project will follow the ceremony. AmeriCorps members will proceed into the Early Childhood Wing of The Belle Center and read their favorite books and work on a “When I Grow Up Exercise” with the students. This will allow the Early Childhood students to begin thinking about education in greater depth as they work with a Corps member to identify a career goal for their future and artistically design a personalized book with the steps needed to reach their goal.
Throughout the year Corps members will be a part of the Mayor’s Impact Team; working to beautify the City of Buffalo by working in Clean Sweeps, removing graffiti, shoveling snow for senior and disabled citizens, cleaning abandoned lots, and planting flowers and trees. “I wish to congratulate the newest members of the Buffalo AmeriCorps Program for making a vigorous but vital commitment to a year of service in the Buffalo community,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “A few weeks ago, we remembered America’s great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who stood for service. Buffalo AmeriCorps members have always delivered on their promise to help and serve those in need, be it through my Mayor’s Impact Team, or tutoring youth. I look forward to working with AmeriCorps’ newest members in the months to come.”
The AmeriCorps program has a major impact on the Buffalo community as it provides vital resources towards socio-economic advancement for members in the community through service. From its inception in 2007, the Buffalo AmeriCorps program hasawarded over $500,000 in education awards and over one million dollars in stipends. Members have tutored over 1,000 school-aged children in kindergarten through grade 12, eradicated over 26 miles of graffiti, shoveled snow for 500 senior and disabled citizens and have recruited over 30,000 volunteers to work in low income communities.
Pamela James, Buffalo AmeriCorps Program Director stated- “Having the opportunity to serve the Buffalo community is something that we count as a privilege. We are excited to partner with the Mayor’s Impact Team, and work in Clean Sweeps. We are also enthused about working on our predominate focus which is education- as we help to strengthen and build the capacity of academic programs throughout the City of Buffalo.”
Corps members will be embedded in fourteen community based organizations and local schools. Buffalo AmeriCorps is partnering with such organizations as Buffalo Promise Neighborhood (BPN) and the Westminster Charter School; Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Perry Choice Neighborhoods (PCN) and University of Buffalo; Roswell Park and others.
*Buffalo AmeriCorps is its own entity based at The Belle Center and is separate from WNY AmeriCorps.