University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

NEWS RELEASE

News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

UW-Eau Claire Awarded VISTA Slots
To Develop Service-Learning Partnerships

 MAILED:  April 19, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been awarded one to three AmeriCorps*VISTA slots as part of a VISTA grant awarded to the Wisconsin Campus Compact K-16 Service-Learning Project.

Low-income, school-age children and others in the Chippewa Valley will benefit from the grant, which was the nation’s largest VISTA grant in fall 2003, Donald Mowry, director of UW-Eau Claire’s Center for Service-Learning, said, noting 35 AmeriCorps*VISTA members will serve as service-learning coordinators throughout Wisconsin.

“The VISTA members at UW-Eau Claire will help expand and develop partnerships among higher education institutions, low-income communities, community agencies serving low-income families and K-12 educators in the Chippewa Valley,” Mowry said.

Middle- and high school-level literacy and tutoring needs that are currently underserved will be a focus of the VISTA members, Mowry said.

“College students do volunteer and complete service-learning projects through volunteer coordinators at Eau Claire’s three public middle schools,” Mowry said. “But it’s primarily on an individual basis. The VISTA members will help strengthen and expand current efforts.”

One member will help UW-Eau Claire’s School of Education imbed service-learning into the education of future K-16 teachers, Mowry said. A second will help expand literacy and tutoring programs for middle-school youth, and help develop and coordinate trainings, orientations and reflection activities for high school and college volunteer tutors and mentors. In addition, a member will help the Family Resource Center develop programs, including volunteer development, program evaluation and school partnerships, he said, adding that programs will be planned in a way that will allow them to continue after VISTA members complete their work.

“Everybody wins,” Mowry said. “University students will gain real-life experience in their field through service-learning, faculty will have help imbedding service-learning into courses, and there will be more and stronger collaborations among K-12 educators, non-profit agencies, local government and neighborhoods.”

The one-year grant may be renewed for three years, Mowry said. Local VISTA members will work from an office on UW-Eau Claire campus and maybe in another community location.
Wisconsin Campus Compact is a coalition of 28 college and university presidents dedicated to strengthening civic engagement and service learning partnerships among Wisconsin’s colleges and universities and their communities.

Wisconsin Campus Compact is recruiting VISTA members to serve as service-learning coordinators. A college degree or equivalent is required.

For more information, contact Mowry at mowryd@uwec.edu, or project director Carie Goral at carie.goral@uwp.edu. AmeriCorps*VISTA information is available at www.americorps.org.

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JW/JB


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
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Updated: April 16, 2004