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A BRIEF HISTORY OF SERVICE IN AMERICA

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF SERVICE IN AMERICA Powered By Docstoc
					LINKING HIPPY AND NATIONAL SERVICE
I. A BRIEF HISTORY OF SERVICE IN AMERICA
AmeriCorps AmeriCorps was created in 1993 with bipartisan support by Congress, the President, and community groups nationwide. In his inaugural address, President Bill Clinton challenged Americans to “seasons of service” around the country. In May 1993, President Clinton introduced historic legislation to expand opportunities for Americans to serve our county, build up their communities, and earn awards for their own education in return. Months later, members of Congress from both parties joined together to pass the bill creating AmeriCorps and the agency that administers it, the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that encompasses the work and staff of two previously existing agencies, the Commission on National and Community Service and ACTION. The legislation creating AmeriCorps and the Corporation, formally known as the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, builds upon a history of service in our country. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) During the Great Depression of the 1930's, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps. Four million young people joined in response -- restoring the nation‟s parks, revitalizing the economy and supporting their families and themselves. For 11 years, the CCC provided billions of dollars in services and enabled millions of families to live in dignity. The GI Bill With World War II, the GI Bill linked service to education, offering war veterans the opportunity to pay for school in return for service to their country. Because of the GI Bill, veterans improved their own lives by attending college. They also contributed mightily to America‟s future: With the education they received, those citizens helped spark the economic boom that gave America the world‟s leading economy. The principles of the CCC and the GI Bill -- encouraging Americans to serve and rewarding those who do -- inspire AmeriCorps today. The Peace Corps In the 1960s the call to service came from President John F. Kennedy, who challenged Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” From this thought, the Peace Corps was born. The Peace Corps continues to engage thousands of volunteers who travel far and wide, building schools where none existed, helping farmers provide food for the hungry and creating hospitals to care for the sick. After returning from overseas, Peace Corps volunteers put their new knowledge of others to work at home, in the spirit of citizenship, changing America for the better. Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 President Lyndon B. Johnson brought the spirit of the Peace Corps home to America in the 1960s by creating Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). VISTA, which is now part of AmeriCorps, continues to serve under the sponsorship of local public agencies or nonprofit organizations to improved the condition of people living in under-served, low-income communities throughout America. Other initiatives such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Corps, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program were also developed in order to engage older Americans in the work of improving the nation, and now make up the “Senior Corps” component of the Corporation for National and Community Service. VISTA and Senior Corps programs, administered through the Corporation, are funded under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973. National and Community Service Act of 1990 Introduced in and passed by Congress and signed into law in 1990 to establish the Commission on National Service, the Act was amended significantly by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 to establish the Corporation for National and Community Service. Through the 1990 Act, Congress sought to create new opportunities for service by “renewing the ethic of civic responsibility in the United States.” The

full implementation of the Community Service Act began in 1992, when the Commission on National and Community Service awarded $64 million in grants to support four broad types of state and local community service efforts during 1992-1993. These included Serve-America programs which involve school-aged youth in community service and service learning through a variety of school and community-based activities; Higher Education Innovative Projects aimed at involving college students in community service and at promoting community service at educational institutions; American Conservation and Youth Service Corps, supporting summer and year-round youth corps initiatives that engage both in-school and out-of-school youth in community service work; National and Community Service Demonstration Models, which support programs that demonstrate potential models for large-scale national service. Presidential Politics and National Service National service is not the property of any one President or party. In 1990, President Bush signed into law the first National Service Act, which created the Corporation‟s predecessor, the Commission on National and Community Service. It is George Bush, whose Points of Light signature initiative is an important part of the national service effort, who keeps urging us to make service part of the definition of a successful life in America. In 1992, Senator Dole helped persuade President Bush to sign into law the legislation that created an early part of AmeriCorps (the National Civilian Community Corps), and the 1993 National and Community Service Trust Act was introduced and passed with bipartisan sponsorship and support. The 1993 Act merged the Bush-era Commission on National and Community Service and the ACTION agency to create the Corporation for National and Community Service. The successful passage of the 1993 Act is what gives us AmeriCorps as we know it today. It was this Act that also mandated the establishment of state commissions for the purpose of selecting and supporting state AmeriCorps programs. AmeriCorps flourished under the Clinton administration, and has been even further expanded under the Bush administration. In 2002, President Bush called for the creation of the USA Freedom Corps, challenging all Americans to give 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime and calling for an increase in the number of AmeriCorps members, which is accomplished in 2004 when Congress passed a funding increase bringing the number of members up to 75,000 per year. To date, more than 400,000 Americans have served as AmeriCorps members.

II. HIPPY + AMERICORPS = HIPPYCORPS
The Colorado HIPPYCorps is Colorado‟s oldest AmeriCorps program, having received its original funding in the first year of AmeriCorps programming, in 1994. The original Colorado HIPPYCorps supported four sites, including Alamosa, Grand Junction, Edgewater (now Jeffco), and Clayton. Currently, Colorado HIPPYCorps supports five sites, including Alamosa (and Conejos and Costilla), Adams, Focus Points, Metro, and Jeffco. Other sites in the past have included Fort Collins, Barrett, Clayton, and Grand Junction. The Colorado HIPPYCorps was also the first HIPPYCorps in the nation, blending the AmeriCorps member role with that of the HIPPY home visitor to allow for education awards for those completing a term of service. HIPPY USA followed the Colorado HIPPYCorps model and created a national HIPPYCorps project in 1995, which supports several states including California, Nevada, Oregon, and Alabama. Other states have also followed the Colorado HIPPYCorps model and generated support through their state commissions, including Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. HIPPYCorps is not simply HIPPY. Rather, HIPPYCorps incorporates a service orientation to the basic HIPPY program. As HIPPYCorps members, there is a service commitment of 900 hours over the course of the program year. This is what allows for members to receive the education award upon completion of the 900 hours. The “ed award” amounts to $2,362, and can be used for a variety of educational costs, including college level courses in whatever topic you might want to study, paying back existing college loans, and other costs related to furthering your education. The centerpiece of the AmeriCorps ethic (that is, the way we do something good that matters for the larger society), is “GETTING THINGS DONE” – improving communities by helping solve problems in the areas of

education, public safety, the environment, and other human needs. The other key aspects of the ethic are strengthening communities and developing the AmeriCorps members‟ own opportunities and civic responsibility. The Colorado HIPPYCorps “gets things done” – improving communities in the area of education. The program goals are: 1) To improve children‟s school readiness – making sure HIPPY children enter school ready to succeed. This is done through the weekly home visits and the HIPPY curriculum. 2) To increase positive parenting practices among HIPPY parents, including increasing parent involvement in their own child‟s education. This is also done through the home visits, as well as through group meetings and providing other resources for families in the program. 3) To ensure that HIPPY children enter kindergarten fully immunized. This is done by providing families with information about the importance of immunization, reviewing immunization records to make sure the child is up-to-date on their immunizations, and providing information to families about where and how to get their children immunized. These three goals are the main “direct service” aspect of the HIPPYCorps program. By doing these activities and meeting these goals, HIPPYCorps members are “getting things done” for the community. These efforts help children and help families to help themselves, making a lasting impact on the larger community by making sure that children have the tools they need to do well in school, and helping parents to be involved in their child‟s education so that they can be the best teacher in their child‟s life. The fourth goal of the program is to help the HIPPYCorps members succeed. The program works to ensure that HIPPYCorps members are well-trained in the HIPPY curriculum, family services, developmentally appropriate early childhood education, diversity, conflict resolution, communication, emergency services, time management, and community resources in order to perform their AmeriCorps service effectively. In addition, programs provide ongoing career development assistance to help HIPPYCorps members be able to transition to other work after they have completed their service in AmeriCorps.

III. A FEW TIDBITS ABOUT HIPPY, AMERICORPS, and CPCF
          HIPPY is typically written in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. HIPPY stands for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters. AmeriCorps is a combination of the words America and Corps. HIPPYCorps is a combination of the words HIPPY and AmeriCorps. The „C‟ in AmeriCorps or HIPPYCorps is always CAPITALIZED. Corps always has an „s‟ on the end of it. Corps is pronounced „KOR‟ – not „KORP‟ and not „KORPS‟. HIPPY home visitors that are part of HIPPYCorps are also called „AmeriCorps members‟ or „HIPPYCorps members‟. HIPPYCorps members are considered “part-time” for AmeriCorps purposes. The service commitment for HIPPYCorps members is 900 hours, which includes your direct service to the program (such as home visits, program related community service/volunteerism, and group meetings), as well as your training (such as weekly “staff” meetings when you role play the curriculum for the week, conferences, orientation, etc.). Of the 900 hours that you have committed to, no more than 180 hours can be spent in training. HIPPYCorps members are supervised by the HIPPY Coordinator at their HIPPY site, such as Jeffco HIPPY, Focus Points HIPPY, Adams County HIPPY, Metro HIPPY, and Alamosa HIPPY. The Colorado Parent and Child Foundation (CPCF), is not the supervisor of the program. Rather, CPCF serves as the state office for both HIPPY and PAT (Parents as Teachers). In this role, CPCF is a major funder of the program – CPCF is the entity that generates and provides overall management of the large public grants that help support the program, such as AmeriCorps, TGYS, and CPIRC. Also, CPCF is a major partner in providing training and technical assistance to program staff (coordinators, administrators, and fiscal staff at the program site), and in providing evaluation, quality assurance, monitoring, policy, advocacy, communication and networking, and a state level voice for the issues facing the programs as a collective.

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IV. WHO’S WHO IN COLORADO HIPPY
Colorado Parent and Child Foundation State Office for HIPPY and PAT in Colorado. Includes 6 HIPPY programs and 45 PAT programs. Melissa L. Kelley, Executive Director Erica Severson, Program Associate Sara Marquez, Grants Manager/Accountant San Luis Valley HIPPY/PAT Year Started: 1990 13 home visitors/AmeriCorps members serving 195 families Jackie Vigil, HIPPY/PAT Coordinator – Overall program and Alamosa County Theresa Maldonado, Assistant Coordinator – Costilla County Clayton HIPPY/Head Start Year Started: 1994 7 home visitors, none of which are AmeriCorps members, serving 84 families Olga Gonzales-Robinson, HIPPY Coordinator Jeffco HIPPY Year Started: 1994 12 home visitors/AmeriCorps members serving 180 families Michelle Brown, HIPPY Coordinator Focus Points HIPPY/PAT Year Started: 1998 6 home visitors, 4 of which are AmeriCorps members, serving 88 families Crystal Munoz, HIPPY/PAT Coordinator Metro State HIPPY/PAT Year Started: 1998 7 home visitors, 6 of which are AmeriCorps members, serving 90 families Angie Acosta, HIPPY/PAT Coordinator Adams County HIPPY/Head Start Year Started: 2005 7 home visitors/AmeriCorps members serving 84 families Lorrel Esterbrook, HIPPY Coordinator


				
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