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Education Nation & NBC News Shines Light on Importance of AmeriCorps

November 5, 2013

The 4th annual NBC News Education Nation Summit in NYC in early October highlighted the many ways in which AmeriCorps national service is supporting the education needs and impact goals that are critical for the success of ALL young people. The Summit theme of “What It Takes” referenced what we as nation need to do to help students succeed, and as AmeriCorps Alums each of us have unique insights into exactly this from our own service experience.  Experts from the AmeriCorps family, including FoodCorps, City Year, College Possible and Teach for America were lead participants in the event.  Below is a detailed summary of videos and blogs you should definitely cheek out.  And look for more opportunities for Alums to get involved in Education Nation events in Spring 2014 – leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments below!

Deb Eschmeyer (left) discuss food deserts and how AmeriCorps members build a culture of healthy eating.

  • What It Takes: Healthy Living – This panel discussion focused on the roles of health, nutrition, and physical activity in supporting student success. The panel included Deb Eschmeyer, co-founder of FoodCorps,which uses AmeriCorps members to change schools’ and students’ food environments. AmeriCorps members teach students about food and nutrition, build and tend school gardens, and bring high-quality local food into school cafeterias.
    • Panel footage on the Education Nation website
    • Huffington Post article about the panel: Olympian Allyson Felix and Activist Debra Eschmeyer on Healthy Living in Schools. “Eschmeyer explained that kids throughout America are suffering from a nutrition gap, where a vast majority of kids are not eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. In an effort to narrow this gap, FoodCorps places fellows from AmeriCorps — a federally funded community service organization — into limited-resources schools, where they teach kids about healthy food, improve the quality of cafeteria meals and develop school gardens.”
  • What It Takes: All of Us – This panel discussion focused on the role of caring adults and community support in supporting student success. The panel included Evelyne Santiago, a City Year team leader at Belmont High School in Los Angeles. Evelyne spoke about how City Year corps members use their consistent and close relationships with students to drive behavioral and academic improvement. Evelyne spoke about the power of the City Year “near peer” mentoring model to change student outcome
  • What It Takes: Access to Higher Ed – This “What It Takes” item focused on college access, specifically for low-income and minority students. Jim McCorkell, CEO and Founder of College Possible, wrote a blog post for Ed Nation about how College Possible supports students’ postsecondary success.
  • Teacher Institute: K-5 Workshop – Sayuri Stabrowski, a TFA alum, delivered a Common Core-aligned model lesson during the Teacher Institute at the 2013 Summit. Following her lesson, Sayuri participated in a debrief about the strategies and tools she used during the lesson. Here is a link to the video of her lesson and debrief.
  • Value Your Education: A Conversation with the Class of 2020 – The Summit included a special session with 50 members of the future college class of 2020 (currently 10th graders), three current college student panelists, and four “experts” who gave advice from the audience. The panelists talked about their goals, college admission processes, and the challenges and successes they encountered while applying to and attending college. The experts in the audience gave concrete advice to students; these experts included David Coleman (President/CEO of The College Board), Caroline Hoxby (Stanford economist and author of recent studies about high-achieving, low-income students and college success), John Gomperts (President/CEO of America’s Promise Alliance), and Jeff Nelson (Co-Founder and CEO of OneGoal). The session (roughly 45 minutes) was quite powerful and informative. Here’s a link to watch and/or share with your network.

Evelyne Santiago wears the AmeriCorps ‘A’ proudly as she discusses how it takes ‘All of Us’

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