AmeriCorps plans to leave lasting legacy at the Douglass Campus

AmeriCorps plans to leave lasting legacy at the Douglass Campus
This article was origianally published in the Democrat and Chronicle.  Due to a D & C server change, the photo are missing.
See AmeriCorps plans to leave lasting legacy at the Douglass Campus

October 29, 2013

Beginning this year, the Rochester AmeriCorps team, sponsored by Monroe Community College, has found a new home within the Rochester City School District. Of the 45 members serving this year, 33 are placed in schools K through 12 while the remaining members are working with community agencies directly in contact with students of RCSD.

This year, Northeast / Northwest at the Frederick Douglass Campus has a team of six AmeriCorps members placed at the school on a full time basis. The members spend their days working with the students in small group tutoring sessions, enhancing school culture and community, and, when they are not taking part in Extended Learning Time, assisting in developing the new Career and College Prep Center located within the school.

What started as an empty room with a stack of chairs and a chalkboard, has transformed in the last four weeks into the College and Career Prep Center. The walls are covered with promotional materials from schools located from New Orleans to Rochester, with populations from 500 to 50,000 students. Students can set up appointments to work on the college search process, applications, financial aid, and attend visits from college admissions officers. In addition, the center also helps students search and apply for part-time jobs.

No longer does the process of getting ready for college start in high school. According to the ACT, college readiness needs to begin in middle school, which makes the Douglass Campus a prime location for a College and Career Prep Center. In a 7-12 building the AmeriCorps team has access to middle school students, and can plant the idea of college in this impressionable age group. With high hopes, the students can come to the center and see the opportunities ahead of them, as well as observing high school students working through the admissions process.

The AmeriCorps members at the Douglass Campus are passionate about the Rochester community and hope, through focusing on college and career readiness, to make a lasting impression on the future leaders of this community.

(Co-written by AmeriCorp member Elizabeth Appel who holds a degree in Social Studies Education from Michigan State University and is now loving life in Rochester.)

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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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