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6/18/2010 - Jackson, Miss.

America Reads-Mississippi members graduated today with a year’s worth of service under their belts and an education award worth up to $4,725.

Of the original 350 corps members in the Class of 2010, about 91 percent – or 319 members – finished out the full program year, most of them completing 1,700 hours tutoring children in select schools across the state in reading and coordinating youth community service activities.

Members have up to seven years from their exit date from the program to use the educational award, and can serve until they earn up to the value of two awards.

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank Bounds thanked corps members for helping to raise the level of educational attainment in Mississippi at an event in their honor this morning.

“To get out of this economic crisis, we need more of our K-12 students to cross the high school finish line and go to college,” he said. “We need more people like you to partner with our schools, put in the extra hours and ensure our students are prepared and successful.”

ARM is currently recruiting members for the Class of 2011, who will serve during the 2010-11 school year. Education awards for a full year’s worth of service are increasing to $5,350 this year. The amount will cover the majority – if not all – of a year’s tuition expenses at any of the state’s public four-year universities.

ARM is made possible through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and operates regionally through a partnership with five of Mississippi’s public universities. School districts select ARM members they want to serve in their classrooms.

ARM oversight at the state level is a joint effort through the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service and the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). The IHL Board of Trustees, which governs public universities, has committed to helping ensure students are ready for college and teachers receive first-rate training at universities across the state.

For more information, including a list of school sites, about America Reads-Mississippi visit americareadsms.org.


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