|AmeriCorps Week highlights volunteers and programs|
AmeriCorps Week highlights volunteers and programs (originally published 5-13-10)
AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers Aaron Tebrinke and Janice Jamison are taking part in AmeriCorps Week (May 8-15), a national effort to engage more Americans in serving their communities this summer to eliminate poverty. Tebrinke is taking this opportunity to announce that on June 1, a GIS (geographic information system) street sign inventory volunteer project will begin, as part of the summer service initiative.
On June 7, 2010 in the Lincoln Courtroom in Beardstown, AmeriCorps Summer Associates will begin work on a GIS project for a street sign inventory. At 9 a.m. a brief ceremony will kick off the project, led my AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Aaron Tebrinke.
Tebrinke has been the practicing volunteer GIS technician for the City of Beardstown since last summer. He will conclude his term of service on Sept. 15, 2010, with the intention of keeping the GIS program sustainable for the use of the City of Beardstown.
Some of the completed GIS projects that he has made are a hunter and visitor map for Jim Edgar Panther Creek Fish and Wildlife Area, detailed area maps of the major multifamily structures for the City's fire department, and various public works projects. The hunter and visitor map for JEPC will appear in the Cass County Visitor's Guide that will show up on shelves around the region this month.
The summer project will run from June 7- August 1 and includes three Beardstown residents that have a solid interest in what GIS can do for the Beardstown community. Jonathan Folks, Weston Blake and Braxton Hoenes have volunteered their time to serve the community as AmeriCorps Summer Associates. Each of these men plan to use their knowledge that they gain from this service for their career paths in engineering, information systems and geographic information systems.
The volunteers will also be working on a GIS business profile that was started with Tebrinke and Janice Jamison. Jamison has been the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for the Chamber of Commerce since the fall of 2009. She has contributed to the service of the community with organizing a free tax preparation with Tebrinke and VISTA volunteer Barry Beck from Astoria. She has organized many events for the Chamber of Commerce including the Buy Beardstown Campaign and the Chamber membership silent auction and dinner.
“Volunteers are needed more than ever to help with the safety and health undertakings that the GIS program is encountering,” said Tebrinke. “The budding GIS program is facing increasing demands for GIS projects, and volunteers can help the City of Beardstown fill this growing need. I'm extremely happy with the young men who have given their summer for service to help with this important safety issue. A detailed inventory of what the actual condition of the street signs are in will greatly help for a replacement grant that is coming up shortly. ”
AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.
The website www.americorpsalumsevents.org allows visitors to type in their zip code to find local volunteer opportunities, recruit volunteers by posting their organization’s projects, or get ideas for creating their own projects with friends, families and neighbors.
(image caption: Updated tourism map of Jim Edgar Panther Creek, designed by Aaron Tebrinke with the GIS program.)