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A place to get ABE news from across Minnesota.

Turn a Dream Project into Reality: Host a Minnesota Literacy Council VISTA - By Meghan Paul-Cook, National Service Director

With Literacy VISTA, you can turn a dream project into reality while investing in emerging community leaders. 

Literacy VISTAs help organizations serve more individuals, reach a greater audience, more deeply impact causes of poverty and illiteracy, and expand the quality and quantity of program offerings – maximizing your impact while minimizing staffing costs. At the same time, VISTA members build leadership; explore career paths in public service, social service, and education; and engage deeply in community work. To learn more, visit our website or attend an Info Session.

What can a Literacy VISTA do?

Literacy VISTAs can serve in any community in Minnesota, in programs that serve any age (children, youth, adults, families), on a wide variety of types of projects within education and literacy. A Literacy VISTA can expand your organization’s impact, efficiency, and effectiveness in many ways. A few examples of successful projects:

  • Develop a community partnership to provide on-site English Language classes to residents in a low-income housing facility.
  • Add services that increase the intensity of instruction and retention of students (such as volunteer-led tutoring and conversation groups, distance learning, employment readiness activities, navigation, and more).
  • Create learning events and resources, or even a parent education course, with a curriculum focused on supporting early learning at home, nurturing social-emotional skills, and navigating the school system.
  • Take a program to scale by establishing volunteer pipelines; improving systems for volunteer recruitment, training and management; developing pathways for adult learners to participate as volunteers and interns; and streamlining systems for tracking data.

In exchange for their full-time, 12-month volunteer service, VISTA members receive a modest living allowance, an Education Award scholarship for school tuition or student loans, training and professional development, and other benefits.

In the words of one host site supervisor:

“I have found it is helpful to have someone working with our organization that has a specific scope of focus for [their] work and a specific term limit to [their] time with us. It allows [them] to have a bit of an outside perspective that we may miss otherwise so that [they] can, at times, see gaps or opportunities that, for various reasons, may not be as obvious to permanent staff. Also, because we are a small organization, all of our permanent staff members have many responsibilities that include but are not limited to specifically identifying ways for us to better build our capacity. It is nice to have someone here (especially full time) that can zero in on finding ways to help us not only maintain but also grow.”

I’m interested in learning more. Now what?

Contact us with questions or to discuss project ideas, and sign up to attend an Info Session. Interested in all the details? Read our Request for Proposals and check out our website. Host site applications are due by January 25, 2018. CONTACT: email Meghan Paul-Cook or call 651-251-9069.

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