Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership

Make.A.Difference.Serve.  Join the AmeriCorps Partnership!

Now accepting applications for 2019-20 After School Enrichment Aide positions and Capacity Building positions. Deadline to apply is Monday, September 9, 2019.

After School Enrichment Aide Positions - Download the After School Enrichment Aide application packet to learn more.

Capacity Building Coordinator Positions - Download the Coordinator application packet to learn more.

About the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership

Grinnell College AmeriCorps logo
Grinnell College AmeriCorps logo

The Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership brings together community non-profits, area employers, the Grinnell-Newburg School District, and community volunteers to support kids and families in Grinnell.

By working together in new ways, the partnership aims to:

  • Give students a strong start so they can succeed in school in the early years; and
  • Help students with a strong finish so they are prepared to do well after graduation


The community’s interest in working together to better support local kids and families began when the school district was introduced to the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in the spring of 2013-14. The enthusiasm grew rapidly with a unanimous decision by 20+ community organizations to apply to join the campaign. A 2015 grant transformed the effort by funding a team of AmeriCorps members to support both the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for young students as well as a skills gap initiative at the high school level. AmeriCorps members are placed at community organizations to add capacity and perform direct service so all of Grinnell’s youth can start and finish strong.

To learn more about the history and follow the partnership's timeline, download the Grinnell Education Partnership Timeline Highlights

Campaign for Grade Level Reading 2017 Pacesetter Designation
Campaign for Grade Level Reading 2017 Pacesetter Designation


In the summer of 2018, the local campaign received the Pacesetter designation by the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for outstanding alignment between private, public, and social sectors to achieve measurable progress in literacy achievement. Five community members were inducted into the Council of Champions for their outstanding contribution to the campaign – Sarah Seney, Karen Neal, Chad Nath, Doug Cameron, and Julie Gosselink.


Since 2015-16, the community effort has engaged 110+ AmeriCorps members, 20+ local organizations and 300+ volunteers who have contributed nearly 1,000 hours of volunteer time while piloting or enhancing more than 15 community-based programs.


New in 2018-19, Grinnell is collaborating with statewide Iowa Campus Compact for maximum impact and scale. Between Grinnell College and Iowa Campus Compact, more than 33 summer learning corps members will be supporting summer learning programs across Grinnell.

2018-19 AmeriCorps Team

Two new AmeriCorps Members Nikki Laug (healthy readers) and Mariah Hirsch (community engagement) started their service in early February. Pictured below from left to right: Mariah Hirsch, Nikki Laug, Ellyonna Glenn (after-school enrichment), Carolyn Bittner (after-school enrichment) and Samantha Ramsey (AmeriCorps skills gap coordinator alum and presenter) attend the Life After AmeriCorps Training presented by Samantha.

2018-19 AmeriCorps Members M.Hirsch, N.Laug, E.Glenn, C.Bittner, S.Ramsey
AmeriCorps member Carolyn Bittner discussing the play children in her room were planning to present
AmeriCorps member Carolyn Bittner discussing the play children in her room were planning to present
AmeriCorps member & Grinnell College student Ellyonna Glenn reading a story with a young man
AmeriCorps member and Grinnell College student Ellyonna Glenn reading a story with a young man

2019 AmeriCorps Members Serving in Grinnell this Summer!

During the summer of 2019, 34 AmeriCorps Members served at one of six different community host sites.  Under the direction of host site supervisors, most members provided literacy–based education and enrichment to improve reading skills and mitigate summer learning loss. Summer sites focused on literacy infused programming were Drake Community Library, Grinnell Area Summer Camp, Grinnell-Newburg School District (SLICK), Grinnell College Museum of Art, and Unity Point Health-Grinnell Regional Medical Center Day Camp. Jodi Blackford, AmeriCorps volunteer coordinator, served at the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Blackford focused on volunteer coordination for education efforts.

2019 Summer Learning Corps Member Group Photo
2019 Summer Learning Corps Member Group Photo

Pictured: Front row: Shelly Vokoun, Kaitlyn Goss-Peirce, Kate Kwasneski, Nellie Hatch, Ava Deitrich, Gillian Ferguson, Kenadie Fiebelkorn, Cherise Cox, Francesca Dalla Betta, Lily Hamilton. Second row: Naomi Jackson, Ciara Hirsch, Sophie Shea, Mikayla Trissell, Olivia Montgomery, Zac Lotfin, Jose Nino, Emilee Hulsing, Sophia DeLeonibus, Gabriela Aponte, Madelyn Matsubara, Jodi Blackford. Back row: Claire Eide, Keli Vitaioli, Sandra Skouson, Jarrett Rose, Cici Dugas, Joseph Fitzpatrick, Packard Otto, Kyle Cogley, Elaine Thut, John Osler, Dane Edwards, and Rob Clower.

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 25,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Since 1994, more than 900,000 Americans have provided more than 1.2 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps.

Grade Level Reading

At the national level, the anchor investor for the Campaign for Grade–Level Reading is the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In Iowa, the campaign is supported by the work of the Iowa Council of Foundations and locally by two generous donations from the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance. The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation houses a fund to support the work and has successfully applied for additional grants to enrich that effort. Grinnell College administers an AmeriCorps grant through the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service which provides for the team of AmeriCorps service members serving throughout Grinnell.

How to Get Involved

If you would like to support Grinnell’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading with a financial contribution or would like to get involved as a volunteer through the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership, please contact the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation to express your interest.

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