Matthew Harper ? TNCC VISTA at Tennessee Wesleyan College
The AmeriCorps*VISTA member at Tennessee Wesleyan College has been working on developing new partnerships, finding more sponsors, and getting the Love Thy Neighbor Projects? name out to the surrounding community this past month.? The VISTA member held convocation this month about the project in order to recruit possible student volunteers.? Also, the VISTA member gave a presentation at a donor luncheon for the college in order to recruit more sponsors for the project.? Along with presentations, the VISTA member has developed a sponsor document and has been contacting local businesses and community members to help sponsor the Love Thy Neighbor Project.? The VISTA member has also made two new community partnerships with the McMinn County Veterans Affairs and Kids Connection in order to help provide food to veterans and more children in need in the community.? The VISTA member also received some training through workshops at the Tennessee Conference on Volunteerism and Service-Learning. Since the Food Bank started on October 28, 2013 the program has been able to rescue 6,014.80 pounds of food, serve 1,676 individuals, serve 5, 012.33 meals (converted from total pounds of food), and receive $1,253.08 in in-kind food donations (converted from total number of meals).
Matthew Callo ? Pellissippi State Community College
A plethora of early Spring crops have been planted in the Pond Gap Elementary School Community Garden this month, including peas, carrots, radishes, lettuce, and onions.? The students at Pond Gap have shown the power of numbers, high energy, and an earnest desire to try something different.? Forty-five third through fifth graders help and learn in the garden on a daily basis during recess.? The Pond Gap Land Scout troop of nine not only help, but learn the ins-and-outs of gardening during the University-Assisted Community School after-school program, including topics such as germination and cultivation.? Students are continuously excited to try something new, and cannot wait to eat their harvest; some have even commented on hoping to bring home veggies to their parents!? Beyond Pond Gap students, so too did this March feature over thirty students from Pellissippi State Community College and Wake Forest University fixing up some loose ends in the garden as an Alternative Spring Break volunteer opportunity.? As Spring plants bloom, so too do the spirits of students of all ages in the Pond Gap Community Garden!
Kourtney Yonge – Cleveland State Community College Service-Learning
Kourtney continues to help plan and organize the Habitat for Humanity event for next Saturday; ?Hard Hats and High Heels?.? She has worked to get local businesses involved with the event by contacting a number of agencies and businesses to decorate Hard Hats for the fashion show at the event.? She was recently interviewed for a local Television show and spoke about the event and about Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland.? She is continues to facilitate the Housing Coalition Task Force and Housing Coalition efforts in regard to the upcoming homeless survey.? She is nailing down the details for this second survey in May that will again, give Bradley County a better idea of what Homelessness in our area looks like and how we can better serve their needs.? Finally, she has continued to track and report on the progress of the FYS students this semester and is working with the faculty to give them a final report of their students? service hours.
China Horton-Jackson State Community College
This month has been a busy time for me.? On April 2, 2014, China, coordinated a Campus Health Fair at Jackson State Community College.? She also had 30 organizations to participate in this offering free health checks, choices, and diets for a healthier you.? The name of the fair was ?Total Body Concept.?? She had shoes donated from my community, the Jackson community, and other organizations bought shoes and donated to me.? China collected and donated 92 pairs of shoes to Haiti.? Also, on April 26, 2014, I held a ?Shoe Shoppe? in the Jackson State Community College Gym.? The Shoe Shoppe allowed those that needed shoes to get them for free.? The shoes that were left over were donated to Haiti, Jesus Cares in Selmer, and other area organizations.
Westside School ASD
This October the Blue Read Program became an official program at Westside Middle School in Memphis. The Blue Read is a tutoring program at Westside Achievement Middle School that was proposed by Literacy Specialist Elizabeth Swoboda and VISTA Coordinator Joia Erin Thornton this year to target 6th-8th graders who are increasing their reading levels & comprehension by partnering the student with a Memphis City Police Officer as a Mentor.
Beverly Johnson ?Georgian Hill
The month October VISTA Beverly Johnson researched and secured Grant Award notification of funding for a Family Resource Center for the elementary schools in the Frayser community. Budget is being prepared for implementation in early 2014. A requirement of a partner in the grant has also been met.? Porter Leath is partner.? Representatives attended the Regional Coordinated School Health and FRC meeting in Jackson, T. N.