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March 18, 2011 / HandsOnCorps

AmeriCorps Week Guidelines and Requirements

HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps Week 2011  

What Is AmeriCorps? 

 AmeriCorps provides opportunities for 85,000 Americans to give back in an intensive way to their communities and country each year. It consists of three main programs: AmeriCorps State and National, whose members serve with more than 2,900 national and local nonprofit and community groups; AmeriCorps VISTA, through which members serve full time fighting poverty; and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), a team-based residential program for young adults 18-24 who carry out projects in public safety, the environment, youth development, and disaster relief and preparedness.

What Is AmeriCorps Week?

AmeriCorps Week is a recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.  AmeriCorps Week provides an opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on the work done by members in communities across the country — and to motivate more Americans to join AmeriCorps or volunteer in their communities.


The fifth annual AmeriCorps Week will take place May 14-21, 2011.

What Activities Are Planned Nationally?

AmeriCorps Week events are happening across the country.  They include statewide AmeriCorps gatherings, award ceremonies, “AmeriCorps for a Day” events with local VIPs, Government Representatives, community service projects, recruitment fairs, and more.

What Activities Are Planned Specifically with HandsOn  Corps?

Modeled after the A*NCCC Corps Ambassadors Program (CAP), HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps National Direct and VISTA Members will conduct our largest community outreach program ever. Corps Members will reach out to a myriad of organizations and individuals to increase awareness of AmeriCorps while highlighting the HandsOn Corps program and building our HandsOn Corps national identity.

Current members of national service are the most valuable recruiters for our AmeriCorps programs.  Their passion is fervent and their experience is real.  We will harness their influence to mobilize potential members, celebrate the national service movement and recognize the private and public sector partners.

Virtual: Utilizing social media (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc.) members will promote their current projects with personal reflections and anecdotal stories of impact to create digital deliberate dialogues on the significance of the national service movement.  Members and host sites will also spread the word about the power of service by writing letters to the editor of print periodicals and blog about their AmeriCorps service online.

Personal: Strong volunteer and AmeriCorps recruitment efforts involve various methods of marketing through personal networks.  Members will create and facilitate opportunities to engage in conversation around national service with their community utilizing the CAP model.  These information/ recruitment sessions may take place in a host of public spaces such as high schools, universities, shopping malls, libraries, and local nonprofit organization offices.   HandsOn Corps Host Sites may also stage an open house, service project, or volunteer fair.  Local officials and leaders could be asked to serve as an AmeriCorps member for a day. 

Community: HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps Members will be encouraged to invite local government officials and those who represent their districts and communities on Capital Hill.  Very detailed and strategic information will be given to members, including a webinar training, on how to properly engage governmental officials.  We believe that is crucial during this time that they are invited and made aware of all activities planned for this year’s AmeriCorps Week and beyond.

What are our goals for HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps Week?

Our goals are to increase awareness of HandsOn Corps and AmeriCorps in the larger community; engage and inform potential recruits; recognize our AmeriCorps members for their service; and build the identity of HandsOn Corps and our HandsOn Corps Host Sites. We will measure this impact in the following ways at the national level:

  • # of members that submit pictures or videos of their activities during A*C week – goal: five per host site
  • # of hits on our HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps Week Facebook Fan Page (either part of HON page or separate, TBD) – goal: 1000 “Tweets of light”( #1000TWOL)
  • # of events completed by HandsOn  Corps Sites – goal:  2 events per host site
  • # of new individuals that hear the A*C Week Messaging – goal: 2000 people

How will HON prepare our HandsOn Corps Members to be Corps Ambassadors?

Each host site (National Direct, VISTA, State) will designate an individual (Corps Member or staff person) to become a primary contact for the AmeriCorps Week Leadership Committee (AWLC). The AWLC will be made up of approximately 10 members that will be involved in developing initiatives, communicating, training, and evaluating.

A three part series of training webinars will be conducted on the following topics:

  1. The Personal Appeal-Talking About AmeriCorps
  2. Promoting the National Service Movement Through Your Virtual Network
  3. Building Partnerships To Celebrate Service

All modules will be formatted in train-the-trainer lessons.  Each member of the AWLC will be responsible for preparing any Corps Members located at their particular host site as Corps Ambassadors and will be the lead contact for organizing CAP events.

All Host Site will receive the AmeriCorps Week Presentation Kit provided CNCS which includes a DVD, Facts sheets on AmeriCorps, as well fun handouts, such as stickers, bookmarks, and posters. 

We will request at least two events*** from each host site during AmeriCorps Week, May 8-15, 2010. In addition, all members are asked to engage in social media outreach and marketing efforts.

 ***Event is defined as a happening to recognize AmeriCorps Week –

  • At least one event must be a public outreach/presentation event based on the CAP.
  • At least one event must be submission of a press release or information to media outlets

Each host site will be asked to submit a brief plan noting their proposed events for AmeriCorps Week.  

 What is the Host Site Supervisor Role during AmeriCorps Week?

Site Supervisors are critical members of our National Service programs, and thus are also asked to be engaged in A*C Week Activities, as supporters of members, participators in activities, and recognizers of members!

We ask that Site Supervisors

  • Support the participation of AmeriCorps members in A*C Week activities by sharing the plans with other affiliate staff; ensuring that members have sufficient time for the A*C Week training and activities given their other workloads; sharing ideas to support the planning of A*C Week activities, and helping the members to find the resources and information they need for successful events.
  • Recognize your AmeriCorps members during the week in a more formal manner, whether through a press release, recognition at a staff meeting, or other recognition such as a certificate of accomplishment.
  • Participate if able on the AWLC.

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