The Institute was awarded a nine person AmeriCorps NCCC team to lend a hand to the hard-working Island farmers preparing for an abundant summer and to work with young people learning to be Island leaders.
For the next two months, the team, Raven 1 — ages 18 to 26 from seven U.S. states — are living and working on the Island. They are helping to create the Institute’s physical infrastructure and contribute valuable support for the Institute’s non-profit partners who are striving towards sustainable development.
They are working on several projects, including: getting their hands dirty and building a greenhouse at The Farm Institute; helping prepare Vineyard Voyagers to set sail for the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellows; developing the Institute’s pilot Global Technology Initiative, editing the Institute’s training videos, and documenting projects with the Martha’s Vineyard Community Television (MVTV).
They will also help repair a building to serve as the Institute’s office and meeting place for the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative. Their service will culminate by working as the logistics team for the Institute’s 7thannual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development.
Raven 1 will conduct Days of Service with various non-profits, farms and schools including: building a pergola for an outdoor classroom at West Tisbury School with Island Grown Schools; relocating a greenhouse for Whippoorwill Farm; helping Jim Norton plant his blue ribbon tomato seedlings and getting a history lesson on the Island’s sustainable farming; creating garden beds for Island Cohousing; planting “Three Sisters Garden” of corn, beans, squash – New England’s historically sustainable agriculture at Native Earth Teaching Farm; beach clean up with BiodiversityWorks; repairing trails in the Menemsha Hills with The Trustees of the Reservations, and a presentation and project with the Martha’s Vineyard Charter school students.
“We enthusiastically welcome AmeriCorps to the Island,” says Marianne Larned, author and the founding director of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute. “Their energy, hard work, and spirit of service is a real gift to us all. We are grateful for everyone”s support of our team.”
AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,100 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other local needs. The Atlantic Region campus in Perry Point is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves fourteen states in the northeast part of the country. The other campuses are located in Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and Vinton, Iowa.
In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.
AmeriCorps Volunteers Digging the Island, Vineyard Gazette, May 13, 2011
AmeriCorps pitches in on Martha’s Vineyard, MV Times, May 12, 2011