AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA

Minnesota Literacy Council offers two types of AmeriCorps VISTA opportunities: Literacy VISTA and Summer Reads. Our VISTA programs help schools, nonprofits and public agencies across Minnesota improve their ability to provide high-quality literacy services that empower children, youth, adults and families to move out of poverty. At the same time, VISTA helps the VISTA members build their leadership skills and networks, explore new career paths, pay for college and become lifelong advocates for the communities they serve due to the power of their experience. 

In 2015-16:

18 Literacy VISTAs completed one year of service and:

  • Improved literacy programming for 1,716 adult learners and 2,305 children and youth.
  • Supported the recruitment, training and management of 1,851 community volunteers who performed 27,813 hours of service.
  • Leveraged $39,847 in financial donations plus in-kind donations worth $6,611.

74 Summer Reads VISTAs completed a summer of service and:

  • Helped prevent the “summer slide” – the loss of learning that occurs over the summer – for 2,581 children in grades K-3.
  • Distributed 12,508 free children’s books.
  • Helped 4 out of 5 children maintain or improve their literacy skills and reading engagement.
  • Ensured that 51 schools, libraries and out-of-school time programs could increase the amount of time dedicated to literacy and reduce child to adult ratios for more individualized attention to children.

Check out a brief video demonstrating the impact of Summer Reads VISTAs at host site Keystone Community Services-West 7th Community Center in Saint Paul: Strong Readers, Strong Leaders

Which VISTA program is the best fit for you?

Literacy VISTAs:

  • Serve for one year, typically from July to July.
  • Can serve in the Metro Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.
  • Receive a living allowance and other benefits (e.g., healthcare allowance) and earn an end-of-service education award.
  • Work behind the scenes in programs serving the literacy or academic achievement needs of low-income and immigrant and refugee communities.
  • Gain training, skills, and experience in program development, volunteer recruitment, fundraising, or marketing and outreach.

Summer Reads VISTAs:

  • Serve for 8 weeks, from June to August.
  • Can serve in the Metro Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.
  • Receive a living allowance, training and earn an end-of-service education award.
  • Provide direct service to K-3 children from low-income and immigrant and refugee families.
  • Help children improve their reading and literacy skills.

Learn more about becoming a Literacy VISTA

Learn more about becoming a Summer Reads VISTA