Public Spirit March 2012

What you’ll find in this month’s edition:

  • Upcoming Events Calendar
  • AmeriCorps Member Spotlight Joseph Troszak, Minnesota Math Corps
  • AmeriCorps Week
  • AmeriCorps Week of Service Projects
  • Super-Charge Your Service Training Day
  • Social & Networking Events

Upcoming Events Calendar

March 10 – 18, 2012 AmeriCorps Week:

  • Sunday, March 11: 
    • ICC Dodging Hunger Dodgeball Tournament
  • Monday, March 12:
    • AmeriCorps Week Day of Service*
  • Wednesday, March 14: 
    • “Super-Charge Your Service” Training Day
    • Trivia Night at Darby’s
  • Thursday, March 15:
    • Program Staff Appreciation Day

AmeriCorps Member Spotlight

Joseph Troszak, Minnesota Math Corps by Riley Lindberg

While studying Math at the University of Minnesota, Joseph Troszak was considering pursuing a teaching license, but he wanted to get some experience in the public school system first. When a friend told him about the Minnesota Math Corps, Joseph knew it was a great opportunity. “It sounded perfect, so here I am.”

Well into his second year of service with the Minnesota Math Corps, Joseph knows he made the right decision.

“So far my experience has been great! I feel privileged to serve full-time along such dedicated staff at my school. It has certainly been a challenge and there are ups and downs with the students I am working with, but the challenges have helped me grow professionally and as an educator.”

Joseph says one of the biggest challenges he faces at his site, Humboldt Secondary School in St. Paul, is scheduling. Minnesota Math Corps members aim to work with each of their students for a total of 90 minutes per week, but attaining this goal in not always easy.

“Students have a lot of things going on already: tests, projects, assemblies, guest speakers, other educational interventions, or they miss several days and are behind in normal classwork. It has been very helpful to maintain relationships with teachers and stay updated on what the students are missing when they come to tutoring.”

Despite the challenges, Joseph says Math Corps has been very well received at Humboldt.

“The administration and staff are moving toward data driven teaching strategies, which is what Math Corps is, so most people at Humboldt are on board.”

Math Corps is significantly smaller than its sister program, Minnesota Reading Corps, but Joseph sees growth in the future for the young program.

“Judging by the growth that Math Corps has had since its beginnings as a pilot program in St. Cloud four years ago and the results we’re seeing, I think it will continue to grow.”

As for his own future, Joseph hopes to be a math educator.

“Math Corps has given me such a great experience with the actual teaching of content and being in a public school full time. It has been very helpful.”

For more information about the Minnesota Math Corps, visit

AmeriCorps Week

 The ICC of Minnesota invites you to attend AmeriCorps Week 2012! Many events have been organized between Saturday, March 10th and Sunday, March 18th in appreciation of your commitment to service. We hope you will join us in participating in various service projects, training opportunities and social events during this exciting week. You’ll find information and links to registration for the events listed below.

The InterCorps Council of Minnesota

AmeriCorps Week Of Service Projects

Click here to sign up for any of the follow events!

MONDAY 3/12: Day Of Service Events

Feed My Starving Children – Coon Rapids                             
8:00 PM – 9:30 PM, 401 93rd Avenue NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433

Volunteers will hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. Meals will be shipped to one of 70 countries in need that this organization serves.

BINGO at Minneapolis Veteran’s Home                             
2pm – 3:15pm, 5101 Minnehaha Avenue South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55417-1699

Volunteers will be helping residents enjoy a recreational BINGO game by assisting residents in watching their cards for the combinations called.

Powderhorn Park Clean-up                             
1:00pm – 3:00pm, Meet at Powderhorn Community Center off of 15th Ave S.

Volunteers will help clean Powderhorn Park pond and shoreline to improve the environment, the park, and the local community. This project is outside, so please dress accordingly!

Project for Pride in Living                             
1pm to 4pm, PPL Park Crossing Apts., 1068 Raymond Ave., St. Paul, 55108

Volunteers will re-organize and deep clean a community room used for kids and programs with PPL, a nonprofit agency that works with lower-income individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency through housing, employment training, education, and support services.

ARC Value Village: Saint Paul                             
9AM to 12PM, 1650 White Bear Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55106

Volunteers will sort donations for a thrift store that benefits and empowers people with disabilities.

ARC Value Village: Brooklyn Center                             
1PM to 4PM, 6330 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Center, MN 55429

Volunteers will sort donations for a thrift store that benefits and empowers people with disabilities.
ARC Value Village: Richfield                             
1PM to 4PM ,6528 Penn Avenue South, Richfield, MN 55423

Volunteers will sort donations for a thrift store that benefits and empowers people with disabilities.

Second Harvest Heartland                             
9AM to 12PM, 3100 California ST NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

Help fight hunger! Volunteers will sort and pack food items to be distributed to food shelves across MN.

Habitat ReStore                             
1-5pm, 510 County Rd D West, New Brighton MN

Volunteers will be working inside, counting inventory, pricing items, sorting stock, etc. Please make sure to wear closed toed shoes, as well as clothes that you’re comfortable working in!

Gardening Matters         
2:30-4:30pm, 310 East 38th St # 200 Minneapolis, MN 55409-1337                    
Volunteers will pack seeds for use in Minneapolis / metro community gardens.

1:00pm-3:00pm, 1707 Lydia Avenue W Roseville, MN 55113

Volunteers will do yard work and cleanup for a Roseville house church.

Waite House                             
9am-12:30pm, 2529 13th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN

Volunteers will be helping Waite House clean and organize, as they are preparing to move into a new space.

African Immigrant Services (AIS)                             
12:00pm-4:00pm, 7710 Brooklyn Blvd Suite 206B Brooklyn Park, MN 55443

Volunteers will be assisting the staff of AIS with a variety of tasks, as needed by the organization. Work will most likely be indoors.

Catholic Charities – Branch 1 Food Shelf                             
11am – 3pm, 1308 Franklin Ave E, Minneapolis, MN

Volunteers will assist in a food shelf reorganization project involving organizing, stocking, cleaning the food shelf to benefit the Branch 1 Food Bank which distributes food products to community members in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis.

St. Cloud: Talahi Senior Center                             
2:15-3:45pm, 1717 University Drive SE, St. Cloud, MN

Volunteers will help senior citizens from their room to the bingo hall. They will assist several residents during the weekly bingo game!

Marshall Kitchen Table Food Shelf                             
TBD (This will be provided ASAP….sorry for any inconvenience!), 1400 S. Saratoga St. Marshall, MN 56258

Volunteers will organize the food storage room and help to unload and sort shipments of new food in order to help the Kitchen Table Food Shelf meet their mission of sharing food and resources with those who need them most.

Mankato: Kids Against Hunger                             
6pm-8pm, Kids Against Hunger – 100 Sibley Parkway, Mankato, MN 56001

Volunteers will be packaging food at Kids Against Hunger. Please wear close-toed shoes.

Albert Lea: Freeborn County Historical Society                             
5 – 7 PM, Freeborn County Historical Society: 1031 Bridge Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007

Volunteers will be organizing books and/or changing displays at the Freeborn County Historical Society.

Bemidji: Bemidji Community Food Shelf                             
9:00-12:30pm (option to stay until 3:30), 310 4th St. Bemidji, MN
Volunteers will help stock the shelves of the Bemidji Food Shelf. Volunteers will also help participants “shop” for food during the weekly distribution of food to community members in need.

Northfield: Northfield Retirement Community                             
1pm-3pm, Northfield Retirement Community: 900 Cannon Valley Drive, Northfield, MN 55057

Volunteers will be helping the master gardener prep for spring! Activities include trimming, potting, digging and raking. This project will take place outside so DRESS WARM and gardening equipment including gloves will be provided.

 Additional Day Of Service Events

SATURDAY 3/10 Duluth : Damiano Center     
8:30am-1:30pm, 206 W. 4th St. Duluth, MN

Volunteers will prepare, cook, and serve breakfast for the community members who attend the Damiano Soup Kitchen’s daily meal program, the largest of its kind in the city of Duluth. Volunteers will be part of Damiano’s vision to build a stronger community and serve those in need.

SUNDAY 3/11 BINGO Night at Our Saviour’s Community Services             
8:00pm – 9:30pm2219 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Volunteers will help run a game of bingo for residents of Our Saviour’s Housing shelter. Hosting a game of bingo provides a way for residents to have fun and relax. Volunteers are expected to be outgoing and energetic. Volunteers are also encouraged, but not required to bring prizes such as laundry soap, granola bars, razors and shaving cream, deodorant, new socks, or t-shirts.

There is a parking lot next to our building that you can use. Come around to the front door and ring the doorbell. Shelter staff will greet you and show you where to set up. Once you’re ready to play, ask the staff to announce the game over the intercom.

SUNDAY 3/11 St. Cloud: American Cancer Society             
2:00pm-5:00pm, Colbornes 1725 Pine Cone Rd. Sartell MN 56377

Volunteers will be helping to package flowers for the annual Daffodil Days fundraiser.

TUESDAY 3/13: Minneapolis Parks Invasion Removal                             
9:00am – 12:00pm, TBD

Volunteers will help with invasive plant removal, getting beds ready for planting. The project is outside so please dress accordingly!

TUESDAY 3/13 Moorhead : Dorothy Day House Food Shelf                             
11am-4pm ,1308 Main Ave, Moorhead, MN

Volunteers will help stock shelves of the Dorothy Day House Food Pantry and prepare the room for the food distribution at 1pm, and help families shop for food at the food pantry.

WEDNESDAY 3/14 Mankato: VINE – Faith in Action                     
5 – 7 PM, Faith in Action: 1618 3rd Avenue, Mankato, MN 56001
Volunteers will be moving furniture and reorganizing the thrift store at VINE – Faith in Action. Please wear closed toed shoes.

Click here to sign up for any of these service events!

“Super-Charge Your Service” Training Day

Join the InterCorps Council of Minnesota’s Training & Education Committee for a full day of training
opportunities specifically for AmeriCorps members in Minnesota!When: Wednesday, March 14 from 10 AM to 5 PM
Where: Center for Changing Lives – 2400 Park Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404 (
Registration Link:
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 7


10-11:30 AM

Program Evaluation with Emily Sienkiewicz, Minnesota Literacy Council
Come learn about one of the most sought after nonprofit skills! Participants will leave with a better understanding of what program evaluation is, how it can benefit their program, and key points for developing an evaluation.Experiencing Wellness with Sarah Ullmer, Minnesota Alliance With Youth Health and Wellness often fall to the wayside as we balance our jobs, education, social lives and everything in between. Participants will learn with strategies for cultivating wellness in their lives and explore the benefits of living a healthy, well life.

12:30-2 PM

Personality Assessments with Milt Thomas and Kathie Martin, Minnesota Literacy Council
Attend this training for an introduction to Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder personality assessments.

Participants will learn what these two assessments can offer and how to use the results for professional development. Please note: actual assessments will NOT be administered as a part of this training.Practicing Balanced Spending with Jared Rendell, Thrivent Financial

This session on financial literacy is designed specifically for Americorps members! Participants will explore the 8 key action steps for laying good foundation for personal financial sanity. This training will be interactive, relevant to your current financial situation, and will provide strategies for making the most of what you have now and help you be ready for what comes next.

2:15-3:30 PM

Serving Across Borders with Vanessa East, Minnesota Opportunity Corps, and Ashley McVey, Minnesota Reading Corps

This training will provide information and techniques for successfully leading, communicating,
and serving in cross-cultural situations. It will include sections on defining culture, intercultural
communication, and working with diverse conflict and leadership styles. Time will be allotted for small-and large-group discussions and questions.AmeriCorps and Student Loans Repayment with Bob Francis, Minnesota Alliance With Youth Promise Fellows
This training includes a presentation on how to consolidate students loans, how to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, Perkins loan benefits forbearance and deferment options, and more. Specific information on different lenders such as Direct Loans, AES, ACS, and Sallie Mae, will be included as well as information on the AmeriCorps Education Award. A question and answer session will conclude the event.

3:45-5 PM

AmeriCorps Alumni Panel with AmeriCorp Alumni
Join the Twin Cities AmeriCorps Alums for an alumni panel to discuss life after AmeriCorps from the perspectives of local professionals. Come with plenty of questions, hear stories of social, service, and advocacy engagement in the Twin Cities, and leave inspired to continue your lifetime of service locally.Conflict Resolution with Karmit Bulman, Conflict Resolution Center of Minnesota
Interested in understanding the nature of conflict and how to address it at the workplace? This training will help participants identify different conflict resolution styles and apply these in simulated conflict situations. Participants will additionally learn basic tips for de-escalating difficult situations and resolving conflict.

Social & Networking Events

Dodging Hunger Dodgeball Tournament (Dodgeball And Board Games)

“Dodging Hunger” is the kick-off event for what is sure to be an epic AmeriCorps Week in Minnesota. Gather a team of national service members to compete in the ultimate dodgeball tournament, or come and cheer on your friends and fellow national service members.

The last team standing will be rewarded with a year’s worth of bragging rights, and a general feeling of superiority. All players will leave with a warm and fuzzy feeling of having contributed to a greater cause because every player is asked to bring at least one canned food item that will be donated to a food shelf to support Minnesota Food Shelf Month. The individual that brings the largest amount of donations for the canned food drive will win a GRAND PRIZE!

This is a win-win-win situation (except for those that don’t win the tournament). Team uniforms heavily encouraged. Register here as a team or as a free agent by Sunday, March 4.

Want to participate but not fond of having projectiles sent your way?  There will be bleachers for spectators as well as board games and snacks in the social room for everyone’s enjoyment and an area to take team pictures.

Date:                      March 11th, 2012
Time:                     11:30 AM – Tournament Completion
Location:              179 Robie Street East, St Paul, MN 55107 (In the Neighborhood House/Rio Vista Gymnasium)
Parking:                Available in the attached parking ramp.
Contact:                Ryan Kierczynski at

Trivia Night

Whether you’ve spent your day Supercharging Your Service or serving at your site, join your fellow AmeriCorps members on March 14th for an evening of trivia at Darby’s Pub and Grill! Trivia kicks off at 7pm so be sure to get there early to snag your team a good table.

Darby’s is located at 315 N 5th Ave. Minneapolis, has free parking just across the street, and is accessible from the Center for Changing Lives by the number 5 bus, from Chicago Ave to N 7th St. / Olson Memorial Hwy. Register online today either as a team or come out to meet new people.  The winning team will receive $75!

Date:                      March 14th, 2012
Time:                     Pre-7PM
Location:              315 N 5th Ave. Minneapolis
Parking:                Free across the street.
Contact:                Michelle Beaulieu at