Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome to the CAC AmeriCorps recruiting blog

Our blog is where we keep you informed on the CAC AmeriCorps application process and team selection for our program. The website has character count limitations and I thought that a blog would be a better forum for answering your questions.

We have a 46 week term - we start on August 17, 2009 and end on June 30, 2010. Most AmeriCorps Programs are 50 or 52 weeks (for the same benefits). By ending before July 1st, our successful members can enroll in grad school, law school, med school or undergrad with enough time to get their ed awards and settle into their new situation.

Our program has been in operation since 1994. I am an AmeriCorps Alum with this program. We have great service sites that are facilitating awesome environmental education and service in low wealth communities in Knoxville. Three of our sites have sponsored AmeriCorps members since 1995 and we have great supervisors that will develop you for your term of service and your life after AmeriCorps.

You must be able to start on August 17, 2009. We have 7 days of pre-service orientation and training. This is a fun and interactive period with many training sessions that will be important to your service. Our training includes: AmeriCorps 101, Leadership Development, Volunteer Management, Communication, Diversity Training, Red Cross First Aid and CPR, Defensive Driver Training, and a team building ropes course.

Here are the benefit basics:

$11,400 per 46 weeks

$495.65 / pay period before taxes

$4,725 educational award at end of service term to use for school or student loans

Health insurance provided Training provided

These positions are available for the 2009-2010 year:

Ijams Naturalist (1 position): Team member will facilitate Environmental Education (EE) activities for 5000 pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students visiting Ijams Nature Center on GO! Hikes. Facilitate School Yard Field Trips at area schools for Elementary students. Member assists in development, promotion and facilitation of the new Research in the Park programming. Member assists in curriculum development for new EE programming for K-8th grade and special needs students. Member leads presentations of non-releasable wild animals for GO! Hike students. Member assists in volunteer field guide recruitment and retention.

Knox County Solid Waste (1 position): Joining the Knox County Solid Waste and Recycling Program team provides an excellent opportunity to build your resume. The Knox County team member will gain experience working on the front lines of public administration and public policy. Knox County sponsors events and programs with several partners. On a regular basis the team member will work side by side with government agencies, non-profits, businesses, the media, and community organizations to accomplish shared goals. Team members will have the opportunity to gain substantial event planning experience with particular focus on waste reduction, zero waste, and carbon neutral events. Knox County is seeking a motivated dependable volunteer that is ready to take the lead in making a difference in their community.

Water Quality Team (7 positions remaining): Members serve with the Water Quality Forum Adopt-A-Watershed Program (AAW) to teach students how to protect their local watershed. They facilitate teacher AAW teams, teach hands-on science activities (chemical and biological sampling and analysis, water pollution, land use, and other related topics) in the classroom. They organize stream monitoring field events (water sample collections and monitoring, fish collection, stream physical assessment). They provide technical assistance and support to students and teachers in the planning and implementation of AAW projects.

EarthFlag Team (Team filled): Each team member individually works with 10 elementary or middle schools to increase their overall school sustainability. They teach students about solid waste issues in the classroom, facilitate the set-up and operation of school-wide composting and recycling programs, be a resource providing opportunity for hands-on learning. They also encourage students to recycle at home. They work with teachers and students to implement sustainable living practices (school gardens, nature trails, arboretums, etc).

Knoxville Recycling Coalition Team (1 position):The Knoxville Recycling Coalition Team Member will focus on educating the greater Knoxville/Knox County community about recycling opportunities, especially to those whom otherwise would not know about or do recycling. The Team Member will:
• Give on average two presentations a month to community groups.
• Assist organizations in conducting waste audits and/or developing recycling programs.
• Attend various community events with the KRC information display. Some events will involve children activities. Also, Team Member will create handouts and posters for publicizing events.
• Help organize, advertise, and find volunteers for KRC’s quarterly collection events.
• Attend EarthFest (Knoxville’s yearly Earth Day event) meetings and be involved with planning.
• Help plan and organize America Recycles Day on November 15th.
• Help organize research into different areas of recycling, and help update the yearly Recycling Guide.
• Contribute a short article for each quarterly newsletter.
• Assist with KRC’s recycling trucks. This means the loading potentially heavy items.
• Be allowed to pursue other projects areas based on his/her abilities.

Sustainability Team (1 position): Member will work with the UT Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment to assist the Tennessee Solid Waste Education Project (TNSWEP) program in its goals to promote solutions to solid waste issues. Member will also facilitate and develop sustainable projects such as Earth Fest and Sundown in the City recycling events.

Urban Agriculture Team (team selected as of 3-5-09): Members maintain a 1-acre urban community farm and the surrounding park area. They grow and distribute over 2,000 pounds of produce to volunteers, local food pantries and kitchens. They promote principles of gardening, composting, seed starting, and nutrition to 100 elementary students in 4 local schools. They increase community awareness of Beardsley Community Farm by planning festivals and special seasonal events.

Litter Prevention (1 position): The Litter Prevention Team serves with Keep Knoxville Beautiful, providing litter-prevention and introductory environmental education to 10 neighborhood/community associations, and 10 school groups as well as individuals to clean and maintain some of Knox County’s most littered areas.

Air Quality Team (1 position remaining): This team facilitates environmental outreach and education within the community through a variety of mediums, including the Young Biodiesel Leaders Program, workshops, community events and festivals. Team members also serve with students, schools, administrators, teachers, community members, businesses, stakeholders, and government agencies to communicate, plan, develop and implement clean air related projects in order to attain regional environmental goals of the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition.