NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz AmeriCorps Program will kick off its second year on Friday, September 18. Thirty new members will be sworn in at a 2:00 p.m. ceremony to be held in the Purple Lounge located in the Student Union Building on the college campus.

College and community officials will be present to recognize the collaborative efforts the program has created between the SUNY and the Town of New Paltz.

The New Paltz AmeriCorps Project is funded by a grant written by program co-directors, Tonda Highley, associate dean of student advising and director of career advising and fieldwork, and Robin Cohen, assistant dean of students for student development.

AmeriCorps is a domestic Peace Corps, launched in 1994, by President Bill Clinton. This national movement focuses on “getting things done” by serving communities in areas of the environment, human needs, public safety and education.

Now beginning its second year at SUNY New Paltz, the AmeriCorps program has recruited an additional 30 students, and will double the number of sites it assists in the community. “We will have a total of 100 members committed to getting things done in the community,” said Michelle Rosenbaum, program coordinator. More than 520 children and families in Ulster County will receive services from AmeriCorps members this year.

The five new sites joining the AmeriCorps program are United Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County; Wallkill High School; Family of New Paltz; the Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Inc.; and the Flag Program at Ulster County Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

Last year, the New Paltz AmeriCorps Program supported four sites: The Children’s Center of New Paltz, the Migrant Education Outreach Program, the High School Equivalency Program and the New Paltz Youth Center.

Members provide tutoring, mentoring and direct care in not-for-profit agencies and programs throughout Ulster County. “It is a win-win proposition,” said Rosenbaum. “Sites in the community gain hard working AmeriCorps members, and members gain invaluable skills providing community service,” she added.

SUNY New Paltz students join the ranks of the more than 100,000 AmeriCorps members nationwide. Undergraduates in the program serve 305 hours of community serve and earn an $800 education award voucher upon completion of their term of service. Graduates serve 458 hours and earn a $1200 award. Vouchers may be used to offset student loans or other educational expenses, according to Rosenbaum.

For more information please contact, Michelle Rosenbaum at 845-257-3265.