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MN ABE News

A place to get ABE news from across Minnesota.


Two Days Left to Apply for an Adult Literacy VISTA! - By Meghan Paul-Cook & Courtney Zaato

Turn a dream project into reality while investing in emerging community leaders. Host an AmeriCorps VISTA with Minnesota Literacy Council!

With Literacy VISTA, you can 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, Literacy VISTA members build leadership; explore career paths in public service, social service, and education; and engage deeply in community. In exchange for their full-time, 12-month volunteer service, they receive a modest living allowance, an Education Award scholarship for school tuition or student loans, training and professional development, and other benefits.

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 variety of behind-the-scenes projects to expand your organization’s impact. A few examples of successful projects:

  • Take a program to scale by establishing volunteer pipelines; improving systems for volunteer recruitment, training and management; creating targeted marketing materials; and streamlining systems for tracking data.
  • Add services that increase the intensity of instruction and retention of students and that can be easily implemented by volunteers or staff (such as volunteer-led tutoring and conversation groups, distance learning, navigation services, college and career readiness activities, and more).
  • Organize learning events and resources for parents to support early learning at home, social-emotional skills, and navigating the school system.
  • Develop tools and systems to support program evaluation and create an action plan for continuous program quality improvement that ensures learner outcomes are met.

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 (January 18 webinar, or recorded webinar by request). Interested in all the details? Read our Request for Proposals and check out our website

Literacy VISTA host site applications are due by January 25, 2018. 

CONTACT: Email Meghan Paul-Cook or call her at 651-251-9069
                   Email Courtney Zaato or call her at 651-251-9151

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