In June 2020, Duke Service-Learning received a grant from the NC Commission on Volunteerism in Governor Roy Cooper’s office to launch the Duke University North Carolina LiteracyCorps, a statewide consortium of AmeriCorps members working to build the capacity and impact of community and campus-based education programs. This fall, fifteen half-time Duke University North Carolina LiteracyCorps members were placed in local service agencies. Fifty additional AmeriCorps members will join the group for summer 2021.
Duke’s AmeriCorps members provide direct service and/or capacity-building support to local education nonprofits and schools in Durham, Wake, Orange, Mecklenburg, and Craven Counties. Current activities include implementing an education technology program, supporting a county-wide early childhood initiative, an action research project for a statewide, grassroots education association, distributing books to children and families, teaching English classes to adults, and providing academic support to K-12 students. Kathy Sikes, Senior Fellow for Civic Engagement at Duke Service-Learning, led efforts to obtain the grant and will direct the program. “The Duke University NC LiteracyCorps provides an opportunity for Duke to deepen community partnerships statewide,” said Sikes. “Last winter, we submitted our proposal with a robust program plan just as news of the pandemic emerged.
Even as the pandemic persisted, our partners found new ways to meet their missions and were excited to host this year’s members,” said Sikes. “We are also proud of our Community of Practice, an ongoing and responsive professional development opportunity where members receive high quality training, guide and co-create content, and reflect critically on their service and community issues.”
“I see great potential for enhancing community connections for Duke students, interested faculty, and nonprofit organizations statewide,” Sikes continued.
For more information, contact Kathy Sikes, Senior Fellow, Civic Engagement at Kathy.Sikes@duke.edu.