By working one-on-one with at-risk students throughout the school year, AmeriCorps tutors can effectively identify learning obstacles, target each child's individual needs, evaluate students' progress, and develop strong mentoring relationships. Since 2006, 91 percent to 100 percent of students who participated in the tutoring program ended the school year at their target reading grade levels or higher.
During five weeks of consecutive Saturday-morning sessions, groups of 12 students between the ages of 8 and 15 undertake hands-on lessons about bicycle safety and maintenance, solving individual and group problems. Students who graduate from the program receive a free bike, helmet, light, and lock, and get to participate in a group safety ride with their peers. With funding aid, BicycleWorks can supply bike helmets, locks, and safety lights for students who would not otherwise have access to a bicycle in their Earn-a-Bike program.
Drive A Tank teaches civilians how to handle tanks by placing them at the controls of an FV433 Abbot tank. Comprehensive tank experiences include lessons on the history of its use, from World War I up to its present function as the vehicle of choice for the most aggressive holiday shoppers. During certain packages, tanksters complete their militaristic forays by test firing WWII-era weaponry or crushing cars beneath behemoth treads.
Food Outreach's team of staff and volunteers supports a growing number of local clients from diverse backgrounds and ages that now numbers more than 1,700 annually. To help foster a sense of community among its clients and their caregivers, Food Outreach hosts a Monday Hot Lunch program in its dining room. Guest chefs from the area or Food Outreach's own resident chef prepare the weekly three-course meal, and clients who attend enjoy restaurant style dining, complete with china, silverware, and linens. The nutritious meal changes every week, and an average of more than 100 clients attend each Monday Hot Lunch.
VIPink assembles an evening of art, lively libations, and quiet bidding to benefit Bright Pink, a nonprofit organization focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Sip on complimentary cocktails and peruse retina-regaling work from local artists, mingling with other attendees or cheering on the Cardinals at the select TVs broadcasting the World Series. Hors d’oeuvres accompany drinks, as well as prevent stomachs from committing the egregious faux pas of calling out during the silent auction.
The Mission Continues fellowship program helps soldiers reorient their abilities and talents for the benefit of local nonprofits. Via 14- to 28-week paid service opportunities, The Mission Continues fellows can both fulfill their drive to help others and translate their military-trained leadership skills and work ethic into civilian work, improving their communities as well as their chances for future success. Each fellowship is performed in honor of a fallen American serviceperson, whom may be selected by the fellow or by the Travis Manion Foundation.