Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Program Staff Superstar! Amanda Resch on Motivating 100% of City Year Chicago Corps Members to Complete Regular Service Logs





Every so often, we’ll post interviews with and tips from program directors and program coordinators who are using the America Learns Performance Measurement & Learning Network.  

These Program Staff Superstars have either found innovative ways to use the Network or have hurdled significant challenges while implementing it.  Meet our first  Program Staff Superstar below!

Meet Amanda Resch

City Year Chicago


Amanda Resch is the Director School Partnerships at City Year Chicago.  She has managed the America Learns Network there since Fall ‘07. 

Amanda ReschWhat Makes Amanda a Superstar? 
If you coordinate a volunteer or an AmeriCorps program, you probably know that it can be challenging to motivate 100 (or even 15) tutors or mentors to complete weekly, biweekly or monthly reports on their service.  Sometimes, program staff members don’t have time to use the collected data, even when 100% of their tutors or mentors are completing their logs. 

For various reasons, AmeriCorps programs using America Learns Network usually see completion rates of their America Learns Network Service Logs in the 80s and 90s;  BUT, over the past year, City Year Chicago rose its Service Log completion rate from the 50s and 60s to 100%! 

How did Amanda Make this Happen?
Click here to hear an excerpt of a conversation we recently had with Amanda.  She’ll explain how she and her City Year Chicago colleagues worked together to accomplish their goal. 

If you don’t have time to listen to the interview, here’s a summary of Amanda’s five keys to success:

  1. Communicate to Corps Members that you invested in the Network for them.   Make sure they understand what the Network’s benefits are for them.

  2. Make the Network a part of your program’s culture.  Make sure all staff members are on board, and implement the Network at the beginning of the program year, incorporating it deeply into Corps Members’ pre-service training activities.

  3. Make sure Corps Members understand that to be successful, they need to take time to reflect on their service and to use the ideas generated during their reflection time to improve their tutoring practice. In order to best support the Corps Members, you need them to share their reflections and plans with you via their service logs.

  4. Show the Corps Members examples of the types of reflections you’re looking for them to share in their service logs.

  5. Use the Corps Member training resources that America Learns created for your program.

Stay tuned!  We’ll be announcing our March 2009 America Learns Network Superstar in a few hours.

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