Americorps Vista help fight poverty

Twenty-two seniors from Mayfield High School will visit Mayfield Elementary School on Friday to read to classes of children in grades K-2nd.  The books are short biographies of Martin Luther King Jr. and his accomplishments.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative.

Sherri Anderson, AmeriCorps Vista, said the United We Serve program calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to most of the pressing national problems. The Americorps VISTA program is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty in America.

The College of Education wrote a grant requesting a VISTA to help facilitate the course at Mayfield High School.  Anderson was selected as the VISTA to lead the new course.

“Basically, we have multiple goals for our event,” Anderson said. “This not only provides a service learning opportunity for the students, but much more.  It is an opportunity to educate our students about history, mentoring will take place, and this will help us build bridges between the different generations.”

She said this is a huge opportunity for the group to reach out to, and strengthen the community.

“This event is taking place because of a partnership with Americorps Vista I formed with the local United Way director, Vanessa Burns.  We want to increase the awareness of the importance of volunteering, awareness of local service opportunities, and make the community an even stronger society.

Graves County United Way is covering the cost of the supplies and all the books.  Afterward the books will be donated to all the classrooms and school library.

“We plan to make this an annual event,” Anderson said. “It is important that we involve the community as much as possible.”

Staff Report.