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AmeriCorps Recognition Ceremony at TAMIU Celebrates Partnership, Community Benefits Posted: 6/22/17

AmeriCorps Recognition Ceremony at TAMIU Celebrates Partnership, Community Benefits


Education Photo
Helping young Laredoans to read is part of AmeriCorps outreach.  

Today, over 600 of Laredo’s most struggling students have worked one on one with a Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) AmeriCorps Literacy tutor…and that benchmark service is bringing these students into the world of literacy, and a brighter lifetime.

It’s this sort of impact that will be celebrated Friday, June 30 at 10 a.m. at TAMIU’s Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Colonnade with a special recognition ceremony for AmeriCorps participants and beneficiaries.

The AmeriCorps grant is making a measurable impact on young Laredoans, said Heather Blagg Thornton of the TAMIU Literacy Partnership AmeriCorps.

“Our Literacy Partnership AmeriCorps members have already served over 25,000 hours this year. In addition, 22 VISTAs will serve 8-10 full time weeks this summer, generating over 7,000 service hours, and they will be joined by three full-time VISTAs serving for a full year, providing over 6,000 hours of service,” Blagg explained.

She noted preliminary results show that students participating in the program have doubled their reading growth over this year, enhancing their futures 

“It’s a phenomenal result which shows the power of community partnership to help others,” Blagg said.

Also worth noting is that TAMIU students and others who are Literacy Partnership AmeriCorps members will earn over $138,000 in Segal Education Awards that can be applied to student loan forgiveness, or used to fund future tuition scholarships, she said 

“Many will also go on to pursue careers in teaching, speech-language therapy, and nursing,” Blagg concluded.

 AmeriCorps is a government program engaging millions of Americans in service through core community service programs. Established in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) funds AmeriCorps, and other programs that strengthen America’s nonprofit sector. It helps address the nation’s challenges through service, empowering Americans and fostering a lifetime of service.

The Literacy Partnership is recruiting now for 2017-2018 AmeriCorps members. The literacy partnership is also funded with $320,000 annual LBV grants beginning January, 2015. Dr. Phil Roberson is Executive Director of the TAMIU-LBV Literacy Partnership. He may be reached at 956.326.3155, 

To learn more about the TAMIU Literacy Partnership AmeriCorps services or opportunities to partner, contact Heather Blagg Thornton at 956.326.3150, email or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room KLM421.

For additional information about AmeriCorps and other CNCS programs, visit