ISU Headlines

AmeriCorps members in programs administered by Idaho State University provide more than 64,000 hours of service annually to Idaho health care programs

Posted March 31, 2014

The efforts of Idaho State University AmeriCorps members, who annually contribute more than 64,000 hours of service work to communities throughout Idaho, will be recognized by Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad April 1 at the Pocatello City Chamber Offices.

Blad will join more than 1,600 mayors nationwide who recognized national service during the second annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. He recognized community service and volunteer groups, including ISU AmeriCorps members.

“Idaho State University is highly involved in service through the AmeriCorps programs,” said Barbara Cunningham, senior grant project coordinator at the ISU Institute of Rural Health, and director of two ISU AmeriCorps programs that have a statewide scope. “Our AmeriCorps members are involved with meaningful community service.”

The two AmeriCorps programs administered through ISU are Idaho Health Care for Children and Families program and the Idaho Community HealthCorps program.

The Idaho Health Care for Children and Families program provides health care screenings and education for children and their families throughout Idaho.

“It provides aid where there are holes in health care needs that relate to a child’s or family’s health,” Cunningham said.

For the Idaho Health Care for Children and Families program, there are 10 stipend members that each provide 1,700 hours annually. There are 22 education-award-only members who contribute 450 hours per year, and three education-award-only who each provide 675 hours annually.

For the Idaho Community HealthCorps program there are 21 full-time members each providing 1,700 hours annually. This program directs health services to community health centers, Cunningham said.
Full-time education-only members receive $5,500 for education, either to apply towards tuition or to pay off student loans. Full-time stipend members received the education award, plus $12,100 annually for working 1,700 hours.

Cunningham said that AmeriCorps programs do more than move communities forward; they serve their communities by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. Nationwide, AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

In a study released December 2013, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) ranked Idaho third among the states for volunteerism and civic engagement carrying out tutoring and teaching, assisting with general labor, mentoring youth, collecting and distributing food and fundraising all noted in the study as the top volunteer activities to which Idaho volunteers dedicate their time. These volunteers are meeting local needs, strengthening communities and increasing civic engagement through national service in Idaho. The CNCS and NCoC study indicated that one in three Idahoans volunteer, compared to one in four Americans who volunteer nationally.

“It is clear that the AmeriCorps volunteers working through programs administered by ISU contribute significant time to easing the burdens of others,” Cunningham said. “Through this work, they are spreading kindness in our communities and they are inspiring the good actions of others.”