Erin Balleine: Americorps VISTA and Florida Literacy

As you may know, the Florida Literacy Coalition has partnered with AmeriCorps*VISTA to place VISTA volunteers in community based literacy organizations throughout the state.  AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) provides full-time members to nonprofit, community organizations, and public agencies to create and expand programs that ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.

AmeriCorps*VISTA members leverage human, financial, and material resources to increase the capacity of low-income communities across the country to solve their own problems.  Currently, VISTAs within our statewide project work on 3 main goals including:

  1. Financial Literacy
  2. College/Career Pathways
  3. At least one of the following
    1. Health Literacy
    2. Family Literacy
    3. Prison Re-entry
    4. GED/TOEFL readiness

VISTAs must work on the projects mentioned above, they must have a desk, computer and phone and have a full time supervisor.  Sites pay a $500 administrative fee to the Florida Literacy Coalition per year for a full time (35-40 hours a week) VISTA placement.

VISTAs are paid a small living stipend ($10,692) through the Corporation of National and Community Service and receive health care and their choice of a educational award worth $5550 or a $1500 cash award at the end of their service.

Our partnership with AmeriCorps*VISTA has been incredibly successful over the past 7 years.  Over the past year, statewide, our VISTAs have recruited over 1000 volunteers and solicited almost half a million dollars in cash and non-cash resources.  Organizations have benefited greatly from the services that a full time VISTA member has been able to provide to the organization and the community!

If you are interested in becoming a VISTA site, contact me at balleine@floridaliteracy.org or 407-246-7110 X202.

You can also find more information about VISTA at http://www.floridaliteracy.org/vista.html or http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/choose/vista.asp.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s