January 8, 1999

Southwestern College Students Tutor for the AmeriCorps/America Reads Program

By Elizabeth Posadas

Forty Southwestern College students have volunteered to serve the community by becoming Ameri-Corps literacy tutors. There will be a ceremony to recognize the beginning of the students' year-long commitment as literacy tutors Friday, January 15, 1 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Student Union East on the college campus. Volunteers will begin tutoring kindergarten through third-grade children for 15-hours every week.

The program is designed for college students who are positively motivated and like to help children with their English skills. This tutoring service will not only improve children's language skills, but it will also benefit Southwestern College students who will be earning college credit and transcript recognition as literacy tutors. Literacy tutors also have the opportunity to gain 900-hours of employment service credit if they are participants of the Cal-WORKS program.

Southwestern College students interested in teaching, child development, and human services may be eligible to be a literacy tutor for the AmeriCorps/America Reads Program by meeting certain requirements. Volunteers must be at least 18-years-old and be a CalWORKS student or participate in a federal work-study program. Participants should be majoring in child development, general studies/liberals arts, or English and must work well in team settings.

Once literacy tutors are selected, they must participate in a week-long intensive training session. Participants must be part of an Ameri-Corps team that meets weekly. While taking part in this program, students are required to enroll in a service learning class and a child development class. Upon successful completion of the program the student will be eligible to receive a $2,362 education award.

In addition, AmeriCorps/America Reads members are required to participate in three to six community service projects, assist with the recruitment of community volunteers and with a community book donation drive.

For more information about applying for the Ameri-Corps/America Reads Program and/or to RSVP for the swearing in ceremony call Silvia Cornejo by Wednesday, January 13 at (619) 482-5812.

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