Belleville AmeriCorps

Back to Top Our Mission

As part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Belleville AmeriCorps supports neighborhood and school efforts to strengthen the community. 

To carry out the mission, Belleville AmeriCorps members:

• Increase academic success by tutoring
• Encourage community engagement through youth and adult volunteerism
• Provide positive recreational and enrichment activities for youth during after-school hours and summer months
• Promote computer literacy

 

History

Belleville AmeriCorps was established in 1995 in partnership with SWIC, Belleville School District 118, the City of Belleville and the Franklin Neighborhood Community Association.

Since then, more than 1,000 members have served 600,000+ hours tutoring students, rehabilitating homes, promoting neighborhood beautification and convening neighborhood watch groups.

Diversity

Belleville AmeriCorps believes that only a diverse team can best serve and represent the community. This is why our members have varying educational backgrounds, ages, abilities, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, religions, motivations to serve, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc.

Students with disabilities and/or diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Local Needs

According to the DoSomething.org website:

Children living in poverty have more school absenteeism or drop out.

Students age 16-24 from low income families are seven times more likely to
drop out.

Poverty rates are higher for young adults without a high school diploma than those who completed high school.

The Local Need

The Need in Belleville

The Illinois State Board of Education 2011 annual school report
card stated:

  • More than 50 percent of school students in Belleville are living
    in poverty.
  • Some schools reported levels as high as 80 percent.

Meeting the Need

Belleville AmeriCorps members assist students through individualized tutoring and after-school and out-of-school-time activities that help with the skills necessary for academic success.

We help schools provide intervention to as many as 50 percent more students. We are vital to the academic success of these students.

Back to Top Our Staff and Partners

Staff

Abdul Ursani, Program Director
618-235-2700, ext. 5711
Abdul-Fatah.Ursani@swic.edu

Partners

Back to Top Where We Serve

Belleville School Districts 118 & 175

  • Abraham Lincoln School
  • Central Jr. High School
  • Douglas School
  • Franklin School
  • Henry Raab School
  • Jefferson School
  • Roosevelt School
  • Union School
  • Washington School
  • Westhaven School
  • West Jr. High School
  • Ellis School
  • Emge School

Neighborhood Associations, After-School Programs, SWIC


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  • Franklin Neighborhood Community Association
  • Harmony Neighborhood Association
  • Lebanon Kids, Inc
  • 17th Street Corridor Neighborhood Association
  • SWIC Kids Club
  • SWIC Success Center/Veteran

Back to Top Our Members

Who are we looking for?


Members

An ideal candidate ...

  • Enjoys working with kids
  • Has experience working with kids
  • Has a passion for service
  • Has experience serving
  • Demonstrates effective organizational/communication skills
  • Is open, flexible, proactive and can set goals
  • Has strong letters of recommendation
  • Cannot be a SWIC employee or current student worker

Minimum Qualifications and Eligibility

To become a member, you must:

  1. Be a citizen of the United States, a U. S. national or a legal permanent resident of the United States.
  2. Be at least 17 years of age as of the first day of service.
  3. Have a high school diploma or GED. Members serving as tutors must pass a basic skills test or have completed 60 hours of college credit.
  4. Pass a comprehensive background screening to include:
    • A search of the National Sex Offender Public Registry
    • A Department of Children and Family Services check of the Child Abuse and Neglect tracking system
    • An FBI fingerprint check
    • Criminal history checks in state of residence and state where service site is located
  5. Failure to pass any of the above background checks is grounds for termination for cause. Decisions on acceptable hits will be made by the partnering organization.
  6. Applicants for Education Award Only positions must qualify for Federal Work Study.
  7. Applicants with previous volunteer experience and/or experience working with children are preferred.
  8. Applicants must be open to new and challenging experiences.
  9. Qualified individuals with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Belleville AmeriCorps provides reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals and conducts all activities in fully accessible settings.

Back to Top What Our Members Do

Currently, Belleville AmeriCorps places members in the following positions:

  • Tutors—preschool through college (no high school)
  • Computer Tutors—elementary and junior high school
  • Volunteer Coordinators—neighborhood/school partnerships
  • Summer Camp Counselors—elementary and junior high school

Multi-Subject Tutor (Belleville School Districts 118 and 175)

Tutors provide academic assistance to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students working with small groups of students or with one student at time.

Service Responsibilities and Requirements:

  • Work with assigned teacher(s) to develop a schedule focused on the needs of each identified student, taking into account activities such as art, music, and P.E. If possible, this schedule should be maintained throughout the year.
  • Tutor a minimum of 15 assigned students as part of the tutoring and Response to Intervention (RtI) program addressing academic challenges and monitoring progress; members will also tutor various students in the classroom or in smaller groups to fill in their schedule.
  • Work with teachers in order to tutor in a manner consistent with classroom teaching.
  • Communicate with teachers to report progress or challenges and garner resources.
  • Develop structured games or activities to engage students. Activities should then be implemented when the student does not have an academic assignment.
  • Work with your assigned teacher(s) to plan and implement B.L.A.S.T. reading sessions as required.
  • When not engaged in a tutoring session, assist with school assignments, tutoring and before and after school activities.
  • Assist teachers with classroom work during periods of time when students cannot be dismissed from class for individual tutoring (i.e. testing periods).
  • Maintain records of students tutored and duration. Those records will then be turned in to the AmeriCorps office at the end of each month.

Computer Lab Tutor (Belleville School Districts 118 and 175)

Tutors will facilitate computer instruction to kindergarten through sixth grade students in the school computer lab.

Service Responsibilities and Requirements:

  • Prepare lesson plans addressing students’ needs working with teachers to identify areas of greatest need.
  • Instruct students on software and web-based programs - including Study Island and keyboarding, educational and research websites, and other classroom assignments.
  • Manage students’ behavior.
  • Comply with computer lab rules and regulations.
  • Assist with tutoring, school assignments and before and after school programming.
  • Maintain a clean and orderly computer lab.
  • Maintain records of students tutored and duration. Those records will be turned into the AmeriCorps office at the end of each month.

Volunteer Coordinator (Franklin Neighborhood, Harmony Neighborhood, Lebanon Kids Inc.)

Positions supporting the neighborhood organizations will recruit community residents to support a host of activities including after school programs, tutoring and community events. This is a capacity-building position.

Service Responsibilities and Requirements:

  • Become familiar with school based activities, students, families and community based resources. Attend board meetings for neighborhood associations.
  • Attend various school functions and community events to recruit volunteers.
  • Recruit, interview and select parents and community residents to serve as volunteers.
  • Organize and conduct training programs for volunteers.
  • Schedule volunteers for tutoring during the school day and after school.
  • Provide overall support to volunteers.
  • Develop recognition programs for volunteers.
  • Assist with coordination of other school based volunteers and activities.
  • Provide consistent communication to site coordinators and AmeriCorps staff regarding volunteer activities. Maintain records of volunteers recruited, demographics and number of hours each volunteer serves. Those records will then be turned in to the AmeriCorps office at the end of each month.

Attend monthly volunteer coordinator meetings.

Summer Camp Counselors (Franklin Neighborhood, Lebanon Kids Inc., 17th Street Corridor Neighborhood Association, Harmony Neighborhood Association)

  • Be a role model and leader for elementary school-aged children.
  • Assist camp director and counselors in the daily set up, service and clean-up of lunch and afternoon snacks to campers; set up and clean-up of camp activities; and upkeep of camp facilities.
  • Tutor campers before camp in an identified subject area such as elementary math, reading, spelling or language skills.
  • Organize recreational and enrichment activities in partnership with the camp director and fellow counselors.
  • Manage camper behavior and enforce camp rules as required.
  • Supervise children on field trips.
  • Have the physical ability to endure activities occurring outdoors during summer months.

Service Project Requirements

Due to the Belleville AmeriCorps commitment to our partners and to of service:

  • Members are expected to participate in community projects in addition to their primary service placements and regularly assigned duties.
  • Certain projects will be considered mandatory, and members are expected to achieve the required quarterly amount of projects.
  • Members are encouraged to bring their own ideas for service projects to the AmeriCorps program director for discussion and approval. The director must approve member-initiated service projects before members participate in that service project to receive credit.

Members are required to attend trainings and complete service projects throughout their term of service.

Back to Top Member Benefits

Member Positions and Compensation

Member Positions and Compensation

Type

Hours

Commitment

Hours Per Week

Length of Term

Living Allowance

Education Award

Full Time

1,700

35-40

Aug. 16-Aug.15 
(12 months)

$12,300.00

$5,645

Part Time

900

25-30

Aug. 16-May 31 or 

July 31 
(10-12 months)

$6,060.00

$2,822

Minimum Time

(Summer)​

300

35-40

June 1-Aug. 15 
(summer only)

$2,000.00

$1,195

Living Allowance

The living allowance is the taxable income of the member. It is divided into equal installments over the length of your contract. Members will be paid twice per month. Disbursements will be handled by the Southwestern Illinois College Payroll office. The living allowance is not an hourly wage or a salary and will only be paid in months of service. The member is not an employee of the program. The member must satisfactorily complete the hours as documented on time sheets and activity reports. The member will receive the same prorated amount of living allowance for each period, regardless of the number of hours served during that period, unless on suspension. Members are strongly encouraged to have living allowance payments deposited directly into his or her checking or savings account. If automatic payroll deposit is not elected, payments will be sent to the address on file. Questions regarding checks, W-4 or W-2 forms should be directed to the AmeriCorps office. If necessary, the AmeriCorps staff will contact the Payroll office directly.

MetroLink and MetroBus Pass

All Belleville AmeriCorps members are eligible for a MetroLink and MetroBus pass. Passes may be picked up at the Public Safety office at the SWIC Belleville Campus. Passes are only valid with a current SWIC employee identification card which can also be obtained from Public Safety.

Loan Postponement

AmeriCorps members who are earning a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award are uniquely eligible for one type of postponement of the repayment of their qualified student loan called forbearance. During this forbearance based on national service, interest continues to accrue. If you successfully complete your term of service and earn an education award, the National Service Trust will pay all or a portion of the interest that has accrued on your qualified student loans during this period. This accrued interest paid by the trust, like the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award itself, is subject to income taxes. However, if the member leaves for non-compelling reasons, even if the loan was in forbearance, the trust will not pay any portion of the interest accrued. Members must request forbearance from their loan holders with the National Service Trust through the online portal, My AmeriCorps. The National Service Trust does not grant forbearances; loan holders do, therefore members must also contact loan holders to apply for forbearance as well. Members whose loans are in current default status are not eligible for this benefit.

Eligibility:

AmeriCorps members enrolled in an AmeriCorps program are eligible for forbearance for most federally-backed student loans. For other types of student loans, ask your loan holder if your AmeriCorps service qualifies you for a deferment or forbearance.

Health Insurance

Full-time members are eligible for health insurance. Eligibility is dependent upon whether or not a member has health care coverage at the time of enrollment, or if enrollment in the program will cause the member to lose their current coverage. Coverage is also provided if a full-time member loses coverage during the term of service through no deliberate act of his or her own. Full-time members covered by Medicaid may not waive coverage of the AmeriCorps plan. A member is not eligible if they are covered on someone else’s policy. Please see the program director for more information.

Child Care Assistance

To qualify, the following criteria must be met:

  • Member must be full time,
  • Reside with and be a parent or guardian of a child under the age of 13,
  • Need child care in order to participate, and
  • Have a total family income that is less than 75 percent of the state median income (defined by Illinois state poverty guidelines).

Unemployment Benefits

Members do not qualify to receive unemployment benefits after the completion of their term of service or their release from the program. By signing the member agreement, members agree not to apply for unemployment benefits from the program following their term of service.

Back to Top Education Award

Members are eligible for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of a term of service in accordance with the member contract with one of the following approved AmeriCorps programs:

  • AmeriCorps*State and National
  • AmeriCorps*VISTA
  • AmeriCorps*NCCC

Members must have received a high school diploma or the equivalent of such diploma at the time the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is used.

General Education Award

  • The trust does not make payments to anyone else other than qualified schools and loan holders. See your financial aid counselor for information on how they handle disbursements and reimbursements.
  • If you withdraw from the school at which you have used the education award, the school may be required to refund the trust. If any refund is owed, it is credited to your education award "account," and is subject to the seven-year time limit.
  • You have seven years to use the education award from the date of your completion of service. You can divide up your award and use portions of it at different times, as long as it is for authorized expenditures within the specified time period.
  • Payments from Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards are considered taxable income in the year the corporation makes the payment to the school or loan holder.

Maximum Terms

AmeriCorps, VISTA and NCCC members can enroll in multiple terms of service equal the value of two full-time education awards, i.e., you can blend summer, part-time, and full-time service positions and receive awards as long as the combined service terms don't exceed two full terms. (Or serve without an award up to the maximum number of terms).

The maximum number of terms for each stream of service:

  • Four terms with AmeriCorps State and National (Belleville AmeriCorps is an AmeriCorps State program)
  • Two terms with VISTA (you can do a third term with VISTA and not receive an Education Award)
  • Two terms with NCCC

Additional Information

  • If you max out the number of terms you serve with one stream of service, you can start a new term with another and receive additional awards–as long as you have not yet reached the full value of two full-time awards. You can also serve terms (and elect not to receive an education award) up to the limits shown under Maximum Terms.
  • If you wish to enroll in a new term that exceeds your eligibility, you can do so and receive a pro-rated award. The amount of the award will be determined by the full-time award amounts in the years you served and will bring your total awards to the amount of two full-time awards.
  • If you exit a term "for cause" and do not receive an award, it counts as term of eligibility. For example, if you leave midway through a full-time service term and don't receive an award, you lose a full-time term of future eligibility. The same is true with part-time and summer service terms.
  • If you receive full or partial education awards from a parent, grandparent, or foster parent, the amount you receive will diminish your ability to receive awards in the future through your own service.

 

Back to Top Volunteer Resources

Events


Project Schedule
ProjectLocationDateTime
Belleville Helping Belleville -
9/11 Project
VariousSaturday, Sept. 7, 20137-11 a.m.
MLK Day of ServiceVarious     Monday, Jan. 20, 2014     Various
Walk for Character Downtown BellevilleFriday, Sept. 27, 201311 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Storytelling FestivalLindenwood University - Belleville CampusFriday, April 4th, 20149-11 a.m.
Volunteer FairSWIC - Belleville CampusWednesday, April 16th, 201410 a.m. to 1 p.m.
National AmeriCorps Week     Joseph Gass ParkSaturday, March 29th, 20148 a.m. to noon
Art on the SquareDowntown BellevilleTBDTBD

Back to Top Alumni Resources

Get connected. Stay connected.

AmeriCorps Alums

Visit americorpsalums.org

  • Keep up with happenings
  • Connect with other alums
  • Get your taxes done for free

Life After AmeriCorps

Visit nationalservice.gov

  • Choosing a school
  • Establishing a career
  • Continuing service
  • AmeriCorps on your resume

Education Award Tutorial

Visit the education award website

  • Alternative uses for the award
  • Tax implications
  • Basics

My AmeriCorps

 Visit the My AmeriCorps page

  • Manage your education award
  • Print a letter verifying service
  • Apply for a second term