My name is Geri Lester and I am an AmeriCorps currently serving at Ruskin Elementary School in an impoverished inner-east Dayton neighborhood. I learned so much about school districts while I served with VISTA last year at Prescott Unified School District. I was able to coordinate and support the development and implementation of district wide practices in volunteerism and service for education environments preschool through 12th grade that support and enhance the academic, social, and youth development experience.
We directly impacted poverty by increasing the number of volunteers in the classroom and increasing the time spent with the children who needed additional service to regain and maintain grade level proficiency. Now I work with the students assisting in classroom management, student assessments, tutoring and speech assessment. I have also had the opportunity to develop data management tools and perform assistant teaching duties.
The VISTA team and I loved all the folks at Prescott Unified School District. The highlight of my time as a VISTA was sustaining the volunteer program after only its 2nd year. This was an amazing and wonderful accomplishment. I would encourage everyone to consider a year of service. You can do amazing work in your field of interest doing work on policy, system, and environmental changes.
[If you enjoyed this story and are interested in having a year of rewarding experiences with VISTA or AmeriCorps in Arizona click on the following link and sign up http://eepurl.com/beldJf ]