PATERSON, NJ- AmeriCorps, the national service initiative created by Congress and President Clinton to "get things done for America,” is the bloodline of NJCDC. Our first program back in 1994, AmeriCorps gave NJCDC its start and allowed us to grow into an organization that now serves 3,000 children and families each day in the City of Paterson.

We're currently looking for dedicated individuals who possess a passion for community development, parent engagement, and education to join our AmeriCorps program, which we call the Paterson Community School Corps (PCSC). Full-time members will dedicate 1,700 service hours over one year to help eliminate barriers to academic achievement in Paterson at neighborhood schools and sites including Paterson Public School #5, the Community Charter School of Paterson, and our new Great Falls Youth Center; part-time members will dedicate 900 service hours.

Throughout the year, PCSC members will serve as tutors, mentors, and leaders in the site they serve at, as well as in the City of Paterson. They'll provide individual assistance to students who need extra help, plan and implement after-school programming, conduct parent engagement and youth development workshops, facilitate parental involvement, and lead community service projects, including food, clothing, and toy drives, community cleanups, and other neighborhood revitalization projects.

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In return for their service, PCSC members will receive a living stipend ($12,630 for full-time members), an education award of up to $5,815, and federal loan deferment, as well as professional training and development. The complete job description is available here and interviews can be scheduled online.

NJCDC also has a robust AmeriCorps VISTA program. The mission of AmeriCorps VISTA--which was conceived by President John F. Kennedy as a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps and later incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs--is to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources. NJCDC is currently looking for Early Childhood VISTA Associates, preferably Spanish- and/or Bengali-speaking.

The Early Childhood VISTA Associates will promote our early learning programs to parents of Paterson children ages 0-5 to make sure they have the guidance and support needed to raise healthy children that are entering kindergarten ready to thrive. They'll also support our Early Learning Network (ELN), a collaboration of preschools and childcare centers in the Great Falls Promise Neighborhood working together to improve the quality of early childhood educational services delivered to preschool-aged children. The full job description is available online.

NJCDC CEO Bob Guarasci said, "We're proud to have the longest continuously running AmeriCorps program in the State of New Jersey. Please consider applying to join us in creating opportunities to transform lives for Paterson residents. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.'"


This story is shared with permission from NJCDC