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Service Impact Award Winner: Waynesville R-VI School District

by Greg Tucker

During the next few weeks, we will be profiling the winners of the 2012 Service Impact Awards. Look for their stories and videos here on the blog.

The transient nature of military life can make life difficult for students in military families, and many are stationed at Fort Leonard Wood for less than two years or experience parental deployment. They often have challenges with making new friends, fitting into social groups, and connecting with the community.

The rural Waynesville School District in Missouri encompasses the Fort Leonard Wood Military Installation, a training facility, seventy percent of its students are military impacted families and in some schools, more than 50 percent of the student population changes annually. AmeriCorps and VISTA teams have partnered with Learn and Serve America to create a comprehensive afterschool program for Waynesville schools to help the students stay on course academically.

The program continues during the summer, as students receive individualized assistance through the summer school program. Forty VISTA Summer Associates and AmeriCorps NCCC members partner with yearlong AmeriCorps members to offer tutoring during school and to provide unique educational enrichment opportunities after school including camping, interactive science experiments, museum trips, leadership camps, fitness activities, and service-learning projects.

AmeriCorps members provide tutoring and academic support to 1,696 students throughout the school day and lead more than 400 students in afterschool programs. Meanwhile, VISTA members work behind the scenes to assess the needs of each program, establish clubs, create workshops for parents and students, and secure grant funding.

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