2011 SC AmeriCorps Member of the Year

Wed, 2011-08-03 09:30 -- athompson

South Carolina’s AmeriCorps Member of the Year 2011

COLUMBIA, SC – Middle school students struggling in reading and writing skills in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties have benefited from two years of tutoring and mentoring from David Kelly, South Carolina’s AmeriCorps Member of the Year.

Commonly known as the “domestic Peace Corps,” AmeriCorps is a national service program governed by a federal agency and administered in South Carolina by the United Way Association of SC.  David Kelly served two years as an AmeriCorps member tutoring struggling middle schoolers at the Claflin University Saturday Academy, one of fourteen AmeriCorps programs in the state.  The program engages AmeriCorps members as interactive instructors to offer one-on-one and small group study to students who are below target in reading and writing skills.

Mr. Kelly, currently a Senior Education Major at Claflin University, was selected as the South Carolina AmeriCorps Member of the Year for his extraordinary commitment to the students he tutors, to his fellow AmeriCorps Members, and to his community.

Mr. Kelly found ways to improve the program by implementing creative teaching techniques to engage and inspire the students.  He incorporated music and art into his lesson plans to make the lessons interesting, enjoyable and challenging for students while encouraging them to relate the lessons to their lives.

Among his AmeriCorps Member peers, David was a team leader during his second year of service and a positive role model who offered suggestions, feedback, and encouragement to help improve the service experience of fellow Members. 

Outside of AmeriCorps, Mr. Kelly is involved with other mentoring and tutoring opportunities in South Carolina.  During the academic year, David travels to local schools 3-5 days per week to work with Hispanic students on English comprehension through a program within Claflin University’s School of Education.  Additionally, he is a member of the Call Me Mister program, which encourages young African American males to become teachers.  As part of the Call Me Mister program, David’s summers are spent tutoring at risk students in the upstate through Clemson University.

David Kelly is deserving of the title AmeriCorps Member of the Year for his demonstrated commitment to service that sets him apart from other Members.  The United Way Association of South Carolina will honor Mr. Kelly at a luncheon on September 9 in Columbia.

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