VSLC Community Initiatives
Ontario Street Education Initiative
The Ontario Street Education Initiative began in February 2012. It is the collaborative effort of the VSLC AmeriCorps ABLE member, the AmeriCorps EAP Peer Leader Program, the members of the host church and various community and student led groups . It is located in the Ontario Street United Methodist Church at 179 Ontario Street.
The mission of the Ontario Street Education Initiative is to improve and revitalize the educational and social environment of Riversideís youth, by providing education assistance and enrichment activities in a safe environment.
During the school year there is an afterschool program that partners with various service-learning courses from Buffalo State, such as SED 200, SWK 319, and CRS 302, for homework help, science experiments, visual art classes, and other educationally enriching activities. This past summer, a 3 week summer camp was held that focused on providing educationally enriching activities to deter summer learning loss for youth ages 4-12. Children participated in safe, fun activities such as gardening, painting, baking, read-alouds, teamwork games, sensory stations, and athletics.
Future plans include an adult English Language Learner class, and a language lab.
AmeriCorps Education Award Peer Leader Program
The AmeriCorps Peer Leaders provide 300 hours of service through direct work with communities in one of three ways:
- AmeriCorps Community Service Work Study
In partnership with Financial Aid, Community Service Work Study Peer Leaders are federal work study students who work with an identified community-based organization to recruit, supervise, and oversee volunteers and service-learning students at the organization and support the organization with additional identified responsibilities.
- AmeriCorps After School Volunteer Corps
After School Volunteer Corps members are highly qualified afterschool volunteers through the Buffalo State Community Academic Center (CAC) who provide homework help and afterschool supports with community partners, while additionally recruiting and supporting volunteer and service-learning connections.
- AmeriCorps Community Service Internships
Community Service interns from the Sociology and Psychology departments meet organizational needs through direct experience with not-for-profit organizations and apply capstone learning experiences while understanding the role of community and civic engagement. Additional volunteer hours above and beyond internship commitments are required.
Upon successful completion of 300 hours of service in one of these VSLC programs during a calendar year, students are eligible to receive a $1,175 AmeriCorps Education Award to be applied toward outstanding federal student loans or the cost of attendance at a college or university.
The next AmeriCorps Peer Leader program will begin in the Fall 2013 semester. For more information contact the VSLC.
City Partners Program
In keeping with the Buffalo State Year of the City focus for the 2012-2013 academic year, the Volunteer and Service-learning Center is offering community agencies, neighborhood groups, local non-profits, and student groups the opportunity to develop long term reciprocal partnerships.
- On the community side, groups and organizations can describe their mission and the kinds of activities and tasks where they would like volunteer help.
- Campus student groups will then have the opportunity to match the goals and emphases specific to their service agenda to Buffalo neighborhood projects and organizations.
It is hoped that lasting partnerships will form, providing the city with needed energy and talent, and students with lasting relationships and city connections. Please consider becoming a "City Partner".
If you are a community organization, you can access an application here.
If you are a student group, you can access an application here.
Members of the sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi plant a memorial tree with their city partner, Ontario Street Education Initiative.
The following options are available to your organization. Please call the VSLC to discuss these options and/or submit a Request Form to the VSLC. Donít let the opportunity pass to have an enthusiastic and reliable Buffalo State student, volunteer, or work study for your organization!
- Service-learning is a form of experiential learning that links learning in the classroom with activities that students participate in to address the needs of the community.
- The Volunteer and Service-Learning Center staff will help link community projects to appropriate faculty who will connect the service project to classroom learning.
- Service-learning projects developed by your community group or agency can enhance the effectiveness of your organization and assist you in serving more people.
- Utilize this service learning partnership checklist to develop a high quality partnership.
What are the Benefits to Communities?
- Long-term partnerships between community organizations and the college develop, and allow students to provide support and assistance to community organizations.
- Through participation in Service-Learning courses students assist community organizations reach more people and improve the quality of their services.
- Enthusiastic students inspire and energize community residents to become more active in their community.
- By participating in a Service-Learning course, students are more likely to continue to service with your organization and in their community.
- Buffalo State student volunteers can be recruited for one-time, short term or ongoing projects with community agencies.
- Individuals or groups of students can assist with projects that require extra assistance.
- Examples include but are not limited to, community revitalization projects, tutoring, mentoring, clerical work, mailings, fundraisers, or special events.
Federal Community Work Study:
- Under the Federal Work Study program, eligible undergraduate and graduate students can work off campus in community agencies.
- Eligible worksites include private nonprofit organizations or public agencies, and the work performed must be in the public interest.
- The amount of hours per week that a work study student can work is determined by the Financial Aid Office each semester.
- Community agencies pay 25 % of the wage. Currently the wage is $7.75 per hour, so the agency is responsible for $1.94 for each hour worked.TUTORIAL STUDENTS HAVE ALL OF THEIR WAGES COVERED BY THE FEDERAL WORK STUDY PROGRAM.
Click to view the current community partners.