AmeriCorps Members Celebrate Service

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Cape Girardeau -- The United Way of Southeast Missouri is among the thousands of organizations across the country preparing to serve in the nation's largest day of service, to celebrate Inauguration Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 19th.

United Way's twenty-three AmeriCorps members serving the Cape Girardeau community will participate by serving at Capetown Assisted Living Facility. At least 50% of the residents at Capetown are veterans. The AmeriCorps members will be cleaning the windows in the 12 cottages and 4 patio homes.

These same individuals have been serving the Cape Girardeau community since September, 2012 as coordinators and tutors in the Cape Girardeau Public School District through the United Way's Read to Succeed Program sponsored by the Untied Way's GRACES Women's Council thanks to a grant from AmeriCorps. Over one-hundred and fifty kindergartners and 1st graders in all five Cape Girardeau Elementary Schools are being served through this reading intervention program.

Over 150 volunteers work alongside Americorps Members to help ensure our youngest learners develop the reading skills critical to their overall success in school. Research indicates that children who are not reading at the appropriate levels by the end of 3rd grade will have a four to five times higher chance of dropping out of high school.

Results from this program are on track, with 80% of students participating reaching anticipated goals of reading at an appropriate level.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, (CNCS) is the federal agency that is implementing this day as part of their Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and also funds AmeriCorps programs, said Americans will come together in all 50 states to serve local communities.

"Service is a core American value in both good times and moments of great challenge," said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. "As we stand on the precipice of a new chapter for America, we will witness citizenship and service in action in communities across our great nation. I am convinced that, as Americans work alongside each other, the spirit of unity will inspire many of them to continue to volunteer throughout the year."

CNCS is urging Americans to visit to find volunteer opportunities in their community and make MLK Day a "day on, not a day off."

In 1994, Congress passed legislation encouraging the King Federal Holiday to be observed as a national day of service and charged CNCS with leading this national effort.

Anyone interested in serving the community through Read to Succeed is encourage to contact Monique Johnson by calling 573.334.9634.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Social Innovation Fund, and other programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

About United Way of Southeast Missouri

The Mission of the United Way of Southeast Missouri is to serve as the leader in uniting people and resources to build a stronger and healthier community. We focus on the building blocks of a strong family and a good life: Education, Income and Health. Our proactive methods create lasting change in the community that will continuously reduce the need for emergency services. We envision a community that LIVES UNITED by Giving, Advocating and Volunteering to improve this wonderful place where we live and work. For more information please visit or call 573-334-9634.

About United Way Worldwide

United Way of Worldwide (UWW) is an international organization dedicated to leading the United Way movement executed by 2,000 locally governed United Ways in the United States and 46 countries and territories around the world. Building on more than a century of service as a preeminent community-based fundraiser and facilitator, UWW mobilizes more than 2.5 million volunteers and raises $5.2 billion worldwide. Together, the system will build stronger, healthier and ultimately more sustainable communities. For more information about UWW, visit

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