Safe Routes to Health AmeriCorps Program Information

Safe Routes to Health at the Michigan Fitness Foundation (SR2H) focuses on addressing unmet health needs in underserved, low-income communities. It was developed by assessing both barriers to healthy living and opportunities to overcome those barriers. Using a multigenerational approach to reach across an entire community, SR2H engages AmeriCorps Members to connect citizens to health, wellness, and physical activity programs by implementing program components and recruiting local community volunteers to create sustainable change.

This application packet is intended for local organizations interested in being one of five SR2H host sites.

 

BENEFITS OF HOSTING

SR2H Host Sites will have the benefit of 4 trained, dedicated AmeriCorps Members serving at their organization, increasing visibility and capacity to affect local, sustainable change. Host Sites will expand their network of partnerships to build healthier communities and improve conditions where people live, learn, work, and play. Additionally, they will contribute to offering the AmeriCorps Members the opportunity to gain valuable experience while empowering area residents to lead longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

WHO CAN APPLY

We welcome applications from organizations with mission aligned objectives existing in underserved Michigan communities that are able to host 4 half-time members; designate a host site supervisor; abide by the rules, regulations, and responsibilities outlined in this application document; and commit to a $2,000 cash match for the program year.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF PROGRAM

AmeriCorps is a national service program administered on a federal level through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Established in 1993, the Corporation engages millions of Americans in service. CNCS plays a critical role in strengthening America’s nonprofit sector and addressing our nation’s challenges. The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) is the state administrative agent for Michigan’s AmeriCorps. MCSC funds and supports programs including SR2H that encourage all Michigan residents to volunteer and serve their communities. The Michigan Fitness Foundation (MFF) manages the SR2H program in 5 communities and is dedicated to inspiring active lifestyles and healthy food choices through education, environmental change, community events, and policy leadership.

SR2H engages 20 half-time AmeriCorps members for a 900 hour, 10 ½ or 9 – month term of service (October 1, 2019 – August 14, 2020 or November 11, 2019 – August 14, 2020) at host sites statewide in Michigan. Members will serve a minimum of 20 – 23 hours per week and receive a living allowance from MFF of $6,067 and eligibility for a Segal AmeriCorps education award of $3,047.50 upon successful completion of their service term and hours. The education award may be used to pay education expenses at eligible post-secondary institutions, including many technical schools and G.I. Bill approved programs, or to repay qualified student loans. Members aged 55 years or older can likewise transfer their education award to a child, grandchild, or foster child under specific conditions.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

SR2H AmeriCorps Members (Members) will fill gaps and enhance assets in underserved, low-income communities to help residents gain access to supportive environments for healthy eating and physical activity. In addition, Members will leverage 200 volunteers (40 per community) to carry out SR2H programming and affect sustainable change.

SR2H includes six programmatic components that comprehensively feature multigenerational health, wellness, and physical activity behaviors and opportunities. Program components complement and build off of each other to address individual and environmental factors that influence health with the goal of increasing the skills, knowledge, and awareness of how to eat healthy and be active. The components are as follows:

Safe Routes to Health Program Components

Program Area Component Description
Nutrition Education Fresh Conversations Supporting healthy aging and independence, Fresh Conversations is an 8-session series for seniors aged 60 and older and their families and caregivers. Participants gather to discuss current nutrition and health topics, taste low-cost healthy recipes, and discover new ways to stay active and independent. Sessions can be held at congregate meal sites, senior living centers, local community centers, and churches, among others.
Health Through Literacy Promoting health messages geared toward children and their parents, grandparents, and caregivers, Health Through Literacy is a series of one-hour book reading events held primarily at libraries and other community gathering places.
Food Shopping Skills Farmers Markets Food Navigators The Farmers Market Food Navigator program addresses barriers that low-income shoppers face when trying to access the fresh, healthy foods sold at farmers markets. Members trained as Food Navigators will provide resources to market shoppers and experiential nutrition education through tastings and tours, help shoppers effectively stretch their food dollars, and build community awareness of markets and the food assistance accepted there.
Cooking Matters at the Store Tours Families on a tight budget report that the cost of healthy groceries is their biggest barrier to making healthy meals at home. Smart shopping skills can overcome that barrier. During a 90-minute tour, parents and caregivers of children ages 0-5 are empowered with four key food skills: reading food labels, comparing unit prices, finding whole grain foods, and identifying 3 ways to purchase produce.
Physical Activity Get Active! Members will share their community’s inventory of recreational resources with residents, organizing free to low cost excursions relevant to the season and local opportunities to get people out of their houses and being active in a social setting. This could include hikes on wooded, urban, or in-town trails; winter walks at the mall; touring garden areas or nature preserves; ice skating at the arena; kayaking on the river; and so much more.
Rec-ConnectTM This multi-level intervention provides best-practice physical activity education and information to expose community members to a “tasting” of sample physical activities.  Rec-ConnectTM has four phases: 1) assess physical activity (PA) assets/gaps and design a PA Promotion Plan; 2) complete a PA Tasting Action Plan; 3) implement and assess PA tastings for community participants; and 4) complete the Promoting Active Communities (PAC) Assessment to make systems and environmental changes.

Members will also engage in direct outreach efforts at local festivals and community events to interact with community members through health and wellness demonstrations such as recipe sharing, trails outreach, Rec-ConnectTM PA Tastings, basic bicycle safety, local healthy food resources, and other nutrition and physical activity reinforcing activities. Attending local festivals and community events will allow members to gain a broader connection to the community they are serving, encourage potential participants to get involved, receive community feedback, forge community partnerships, and recruit volunteers.

PROGRAM IMPACT

SR2H will:

  1. Mobilize resources for citizens to have healthy futures;
  2. Strengthen communities through a spirit of teamwork by uniting citizens and organizations to collaborate for the common good of all residents;
  3. Assist Members in developing leadership, communication, and conflict resolution skills, a deeper understanding of their community, and transferable skills for future employment through direct service and training; and
  4. Expand Members’ opportunities through the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay educational expenses or repay qualified student loans.

SR2H will impact your community by engaging:

  • 128 Children and their caregivers at Health Through Literacy reading events
  • 40 Seniors aged 60 and over and their family members and caregivers through Fresh Conversations discussions
  • 200 Farmers Market shoppers
  • 20 Parents of children aged 0 – 5 at Cooking Matters at the Store Tours
  • 115 Community Residents at Get Active! and Rec-ConnectTM events
  • 20 ongoing and 20 episodic volunteers

Members will measure an increase in vegetable consumption using the Food Questionnaire for Adults Pre- and Post-Surveys in a minimum of 10 Fresh Conversations participants.

HOST SITE SELECTION CRITERIA

Host sites will be selected on the following criteria:

  1. Mission alignment to AmeriCorps and SR2H goals, values, and proposed activities
  2. Organizational and Staff capacity
  3. Demonstrated need
  4. Understanding of roles and responsibilities
  5. Commitment to Members’ leadership and professional development
  6. Demonstration of clear and consistent member supervision
  7. VISTA, RSVP, or AmeriCorps experience
  8. General application quality

Program start up tasks like contracts, recruitment and selection, etc. will begin in June and continue through the beginning of the program year (October 1, 2019).

Safe Routes to Health Host Site Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibilities Host Site Agency
Financial Provide a cash match of $2,000 due at time of contract signing

Consult on and make connections to local funding opportunities to which MFF could apply

Programmatic Sign a Host Sign Memorandum of Understanding that outlines roles, responsibilities, and other commitments

Assign a staff person as a day-to-day Site Supervisor

Continue host site status for a minimum of one program year without termination

Demonstrate commitment to AmeriCorps by openly displaying on site the official “AmeriCorps Serving Here” sign

Post a list of prohibited activities as detailed below

Member Recruitment and Selection Provide community-specific feedback on member recruitment plan

Connect Program Coordinator to local organizations with relevant applicant pools

Facilitate recruitment of people with disabilities by identifying and removing potential barriers to active involvement and providing reasonable accommodations as necessary

Participate in second interview and selection process of applicants

Support achieving 100% enrollment rate for member slots

Member Orientation and Training Send Site Supervisor to pre-service 1-day training on AmeriCorps and SR2H at a location TBD

Provide on-going training to Members throughout their service year including but not limited to onsite orientation, introduction to staff, overview of site policies/procedures, and service specific training as needed

Member Supervision Assign a designated Site Supervisor to provide general supervision of Members for a total of 4 – 6 hours per week:

  1. Review and approve bi-weekly schedule, time-off requests, and timesheets
  2. Provide day-to-day informal supervision and hold weekly supervision meetings to monitor progress and reflect on accomplishments
  3. Monitor member activity to be aligned with grant appropriate programming and allowable activities
  4. Require Members to wear AmeriCorps gear while serving
  5. Participate in quarterly conference calls with other Site Supervisors
  6. Conduct mid-term and end-of-term member evaluations
  7. Participate in an annual site visit
  8. Provide ongoing feedback on program and member progress
Member Experience Mentor Members in professional development

Facilitate connections to local stakeholders

Arrange opportunities for Members to present program and its outcomes to relevant boards of directors, staff meetings, community groups, etc.

Provide Members with adequate resources including but not limited to administrative support, technology, communication resources, and office space

Support participation in local or regional national service days

Support data collection and reporting of measurable outcomes consistent with overall program design

Support maintaining 85% retention rate of enrolled Members

Safe Routes to Health AmeriCorps Member Information

Position Type Service Term Requirement Service Period Service Term Minimum Weekly Requirement Living Allowance

(provided by MFF)

Education Award
Half-Time 900 Hours 10.5 months / 46 weeks Start Date 1:

October 1

– August 14

20 hours $6,067 $3,047.50
9 months /

40 weeks

Start Date 2:

November 11 – August 14

23 hours
MEMBER ELIGIBILITY

In order to be a member, individuals must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent certification OR agree to purse high school completion during term of service
  2. Must pass a national service criminal history check
  3. 18 years of age or older upon commencement of service
  4. Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States
MEMBER PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

The Program Coordinator, Host Sites, and Host Site Supervisors must be diligent in not putting Members in situations in which Members are at risk for engaging in any prohibited activity, as listed below:

  1. Attempting to influence legislation;
  2. Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes;
  3. Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing;
  4. Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;
  5. Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office;
  6. Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials;
  7. Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization;
  8. Providing a direct benefit to—
  9. A business organized for profit;
  10. A labor union;
  11. A partisan political organization;
  12. A nonprofit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 related to engaging in political activities or substantial amount of lobbying except that nothing in these provisions shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative; and
  13. An organization engaged in the religious activities described in paragraph C. 7. above, unless CNCS assistance is not used to support those religious activities;
  14. Conducting a voter registration drive or using CNCS funds to conduct a voter registration drive;
  15. Providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services; and
  16. Such other activities as CNCS may prohibit.

 

Members may not engage in the above activities directly or indirectly by recruiting, training, or managing others for the primary purpose of engaging in one of the activities listed above. Individuals may exercise their rights as private citizens and may participate in the activities listed above on their initiative, on non-AmeriCorps time, and using non- CNCS funds. Individuals should not wear the AmeriCorps logo while doing engaging in any of the above activities on their personal time.

 

All locations where members serve should post a list of the prohibited activities.

APPLICATION LINK

The application can be completed electronically at https://michiganfitness.formstack.com/forms/2019_host_site_application.