Parsells Ave. Community Church
Youth Community Service Coordinator
VISTA Objectives to be Addressed:
Objective 1: To engage neighborhood young people in positive youth development and community service activities.
The project’s primary emphasis is on educational enrichment of youth in the 3rd – 8th grades that will lead to success in middle and high school years. This will be done in a four day per week after school program. Individualized basic skill tasks will be practiced daily, followed by enriching group learning activities chosen by students. A three day a week open lab will be available to other youth and adults who wish to use computers. Those who show leadership interests and technology abilities will be trained as computer lab assistants to help other youth access machines and software as well as help take care of the lab.
Objective 2: To provide children and youth with prevention and intervention services.
As a part of a larger neighborhood consortium the members will receive children and youth who enter the Center feeling unsafe and help them reach their family or other authorities for assistance.
Objective 3: To recruit and utilize community volunteers to expand and enhance services at AmeriCorps host sites and other organizations addressing community needs in the above areas.
AmeriCorps members will recruit tutors, group coaches and other volunteers for scheduled programs, open labs and lab technical help from many sources. They will use the media, including neighborhood outlets, church-related newsletters and bulletins, to inform the public of opportunities to serve. They will also make presentations at churches and other venues to recruit, and will provide follow-up and coordination of volunteers who are either committed or exploring the possibility of joining the Center lab staff. They will also use various occasions to recognize the work of the volunteers, including letters of thanks, recognition parties, and small tokens of appreciation.
Doreen attends collaborative meetings at Baden Street Center, Monroe County Youth Bureau, and Webster Recreation Center on a regular basis. She participates in their dance programs (Partner with Dazzle Theatre) and sports and health programs. She was instrumental in having 15 students participate in a filmmakers project, a collaboration between youth organizations, agencies, churches, WXXI, University of Rochester, and Road To Success. Youth were given an RCA video camera to shoot a 3 minute film. She instituted a case-management component to keep the participants/youth focused on their assignments/goals. She was able to recruit a significant number of volunteers over the period under review to repair computers, do etiquette training, and work on filmakers project.
“Our Church would not be able to financially support ongoing staffing of the Computer Technology Center. The VISTA member is competent and represents a vision and sustainable service to the community.”
- Doc. Peter Grinion, supervisor
CTC Program Building
Goal 1: To reorganize our existing CTC into a community information and networking center to benefit neighborhood residents and resource people.
Goal 2: To increase volunteer and program capacity to provide after-school and weekend assistance to students, adults, and organizations seeking training, information technology access, homework help, and job seeking assistance.
Goal 3: To expand the capacity of the Parsells CTC to serve adults and children with varied disabilities, the CTC will increase its resources to adapt the lab to a wide range of learners and users.
Goal 4: Each VISTA worker will work to increase creative educational alternatives for persons with different learning styles, preferences, and needs by offering digital storytelling, photo editing, website development, and other options accessible for all children, youth, and adults who use the computer CTC.
Marcia worked during the year to reorganize the task force/coordinating board of the Parsells and Denver Computer Technology Center. She also coordinated with the Academy for Career Development, which provided computer software, support, and long-distance learning classes for neighborhood adults in basic computer skills. Marcia took several classes herself through the Academy to upgrade her skills and improve her ability to find volunteers for the center. Marcia worked throughout the year with neighborhood groups developing a website based on the needs of these groups, preparing a listserv for the community group, and working to improve communication among various committees and services in the community. Marcia attended meetings of the Youth/Adult Partnership grant, a capacity-building youth-serving grant from NY State, which worked to bring neighborhood groups together and work on youth-chosen activities. Marcia recruited, trained, scheduled, monitored, and evaluated volunteers for the CTC lab. Marcia worked with church members and other volunteers to maintain and expand outreach services to neighborhood youth and adults. Marcia worked on One Voice/One Vision.
Marcia worked with the local neighborhood organization, the Beechwood Organization, to set up a website and improve communication between individuals in the organization and members of the community. She sought input from various parts of the neighborhood and communicated effectively with the web designer and the president of the organization. She was always positive and friendly to the youth who attended the CTC lab. She was also encouraging to volunteers and supporters.