Public Spirit, February 2019

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Announcing our Service Challenge for February 2019!

We had such a wonderful experience on #MLKDayMN, that we wanted to keep the spirit of service alive through the month of February! Service doesn’t stop at MLK Day, and we want to encourage you to continue the mission of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. going forward.
 

As this is the month of love and showing your feelings to those you care for, we ask for every AmeriCorps member in Minnesota to extend that love further by serving at least one more time other than your regular service this month.
 

Tied to this project, we are having a social media challenge! Anyone who volunteers in February and posts on their social media with the hashtag #continuingservicemn will be entered to win a surprise prize that will be announced in the March issue of our newsletter, Public Spirit, along with the winner!
 

For more information, or ideas on where to volunteer - check our website. We can’t wait to see what everyone can accomplish in their continued service!


Program Feature

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This month’s Program Spotlight is shining on the True North AmeriCorps Program, facilitated by the Duluth Area YMCA sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and ServeMinnesota. This program was put in place to focus on enhancing the future success of at-risk children up north by increasing the number of positive adult role models in the children’s lives.

Members facilitate academic enrichment activities to get kids excited about learning and outdoor education in partnership with Youth Outdoors Duluth. They work with students in grades K-5 who struggle academically, both as a group and individually. True North members have started many different types of clubs, invited guest speakers, planned holiday parties and field trips, and many other activities that promote healthy development. They help get children involved with volunteer opportunities to fulfill the AmeriCorps goal of engaging all citizens with community service. Members provide these enrichment activities, along with academic help, and social-emotional support to students outside of school time.

There are 35 full-time members currently serving at 23 locations including elementary schools, youth-serving agencies, and community centers throughout the Duluth and Proctor area. They support approximately 1000 at-risk children annually.

To learn more about True North AmeriCorps, check out their website at http://truenorthamericorps.org.
 

*Fun Fact: the picture at the top is from True North's event on MLK Day at the Twin Ports' MLK Day Tribute March*


Member Spotlight

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Meet your fellow AmeriCorps members and the programs they serve with our monthly member spotlight.

This month’s member spotlight is on Lowanna Anderson, a VISTA member serving with the Northwest Indian Community Development Center!

What program do you serve with? 
Boozhoo, fellow AmeriCorps members! My name is Lowanna Anderson and I live in frigid Bemidji, Minnesota, originally from the Redlake Nation. 
The program I serve with is the Northwest Indian Community Development Center (NWICDC) in Bemidji MN! I work in the ABE/GED classroom as a postsecondary education data specialist.    

What do you do in your position?
I help develop student surveys so we can use the information to better the program and find ways to make it an even better program for future students. I recently became a proctor for the GED testing center at our organization. I helped get the Common Core curriculum ready for use in October 2018. 
I also had the opportunity to use my creativity in the classroom, putting the student success boards up and giving the classroom a pop of color! We use the boards as a place to put student achievements up for everyone to see.

What interested you in serving with AmeriCorps and with your specific program?
I have the privilege of serving next to some pretty amazing people who have helped me in so many ways.

What do you like to do in your free time? 
In my free time, I like to watch movies and spend time with my daughters. I like to ice fish when I get the chance, take walks, bead and sketch.  I thoroughly enjoy the opportunities that the NWICDC and AmeriCorps Vista have given me.


We’re waiting to hear from you!

Part of our mission as a council is to help the programs serving in Minnesota to get to know each other and the great things they accomplish together. Not just that, but we love to share personal successes and alumni stories to show just how great service can be! We’re looking to you - send us your story, a contact for someone else’s story, or any information on what’s going on in your program.
 

Service is less fun in isolation, so we want to create a community of love and positivity; what better way to do that than sharing with each other!


Taco Tuesday with Alumni!

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Calling all alumni and current members!

If you’re interested in connecting with current and former AmeriCorps members, this is the event for you! In connection with the Twin Cities AmeriCorps Alums, we are having an event in February to meet and greet with our alumni living in the metro!  We’re excited to share the bonds of service, both past and present! It’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

February 19th
Blackstack Brewing in St Paul
Taco Tuesday with Alumni - 6:30-8pm.


Fun and Free Events

At the Minneapolis Convention Center, there will be a Healthy Life Expo and tickets are just $6! Attendees will have chances to win prizes and see 200 exhibitions on healthy living and eating, among other bonuses.

  • See the 100 Years and Counting exhibit at the Minnesota Museum of American Art for free. 100 Years and Counting is a collection of artworks from different eras, genres, media, and perspectives. The exhibit closes on February 17.

  • Visit the Eelpout Festival from February 21-24: For the past 40 years, and for three days every February, crowds that are more than 10 times the population of tiny Walker, Minn. (pop. 1,069) gather on Minnesota’s third largest lake (112,000 acres), Leech Lake, for a festival named for one of the ugliest bottom-dwelling fish, the eelpout. In a state where it is common to embrace the quirky and find great fun in the most unlikely circumstances and weather conditions, this festival is pure Minnesota fun.

  • Find a local high school or college performing fun and low-cost plays or musicals, like Riverland Community College’s The Game’s Afoot on February  27 and 28 ($12).

  • CanCan Wonderland hosts karaoke for all ages many dates through February. ($2)

  • On February 20, there will be a free yoga event at the Union Depot in St Paul.


Program News

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Members from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity raised money to go on the Global Build Trip to the Dominican Republic outside of their service. Check Habitat’s blog to see a post from them while they’re gone between Feb 2-10.

Share program updates with us and we will post them in the next month's issue!


Stay tuned next month for information about our programs, fun events, professional development tips, and more!

Are you looking for something in our newsletter? Let us know, and we’d love to put it in a future publication! We’re always looking for new ideas on what to share with our AmeriCorps members!