The MOI Crew is small, but mighty! If you haven't met us, check out the Our Team page for information—and book recommendations! But also take note of the fact that we have not one but two AmeriCorps VISTAs on our team, Natalie and Danielle. VISTA positions are positions that work full-time on our staff to help in our work to mitigate the opportunity gap and the poverty it can create. To learn more about the awesome AmeriCorps VISTA program, click here, but do it after you finish this even more awesome blog post, because we have big news:
We're hiring two AmeriCorps VISTAs for the 2018–2019 school year!
That's right! As Natalie and Danielle wrap up their terms of service, they're looking to pass on the torch to two new VISTAs, who will work at MOI and support with programming, communications, data collection, marketing, development, volunteer training, and more! Hear what Natalie and Danielle have to say about their terms of service below.
Volunteer and Evaluation Coordinator
As we near the end of the school year and begin searching for the next group of AmeriCorps VISTAs to join the MOI crew, I’ve done a little reflecting on my time as one of the current VISTAs. As the Volunteer and Evaluation Coordinator at MOI, I’ve learned that a title doesn’t always capture the experiences a person may have in any particular role. From working with the volunteers who keep our programs afloat, to collecting and analyzing data from each program, to getting to work directly with students on a daily basis, my time at MOI as a VISTA has been as fulfilling as it has been busy! I am thrilled to welcome aboard the new crew members who will have the opportunity to be apart of such an amazing organization as MOI, and who will no doubt have their own incredible memories to create.
Here are just a few of the many moments I’ve been particularly touched by during my time working as a VISTA for MOI:
When an After-School Homework Help student drew an amazing picture of a whale to accompany his poem.
During the Fall Chapbook Release Party, while listening to students proudly share their writing they worked on at the Writers’ Table throughout the semester.
While inputting data from a survey we give to students after they attend Storytelling & Bookmaking Field Trips, and I came across a piece of advice from one student to other authors: “Be good with readers’ emotions in your books!”
During my first few weeks at MOI and all of the staff were so incredibly welcoming and supportive. I especially appreciated the extra support and resources from Max, the former VISTA in my position!
Facilitating weekly orientations for new volunteers who are eager to learn about MOI and how to be involved.
When one mom came to pick up her first grade student at After-School Homework Help one afternoon and chatted with me about how much her daughter loves MOI. The student’s mom said to me, “I told her I wasn’t sure if we were going to come today, but she said she wanted to have fun which to her means coming here! She especially loves all the writing she gets to do.”
Finally, all of the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and the experiences I never would have imagined I got to have makes me excited for the next few months at MOI, but will make leaving this position that much harder. And I can’t wait to meet the next MOI VISTAs!
Community Outreach Coordinator
I just finished my first Minnesota winter. Despite being a native Midwesterner, I wasn't quite prepared for the bitter, bitter cold of Minnesota, but I knew, even as temperatures remained below zero for days on end, that I would have a warm spot in my day at MOI. As the school year wraps up—and my VISTA term starts to wrap up with it—I can't help but reflect on the amazing, warm, bright spot that MOI is for me, and the Twin Cities. Though my title is Community Outreach Coordinator, my role has been much, much more. I've coordinated our Storytelling & Bookmaking Field Trip Program, worked with students on number lines and To Kill A Mockingbird reports, and shared student work on social media to an audience of over 1,000. And that's just in one day! I can't wait to meet the VISTAs for next year, and to watch as they continue to help MOI grow and thrive in new, exciting ways. As I reflect, here have been a few of the highlights of my year as an MOI crew member:
Hearing the cheers of an excited class of third graders as they all receive stellar reviews from our curmudgeonly Captain Barnacle at the end of a Storytelling & Bookmaking Field Trip.
Working with an After-School Homework Help student who occasionally has trouble completing his work, and having him tell me that he liked working with me, because I helped him and was nice
Having the opportunity to work alongside volunteers and staff from the Minneapolis Institute of Art for Storytelling & Bookmaking Field Trips at Mia, expanding the partnership to include more free field trips at the museum than ever before. (And seeing all the cool characters created based on the art!)
Developing relationships with students, which allow me to work with them, but also joke with them and talk to them as people, not just as students. There's something really special about having a student write something they're excited to share with you, because you listen.
Getting to share student writing and MOI's work online. As the Community Outreach Coordinator, I'm responsible for MOI's online presence, and watching people interact with and connect with our students' writing truly makes my heart happy.
Overall, I can't express the joy I have when I come to work every day. From Lauren, who held the position before me, to the rest of the crew, who support one another in incredible ways, I really love my job, and I can't wait to pass on that love of the work—and the organization— to the next MOI VISTAs.
Please note: you must apply to these positions via the AmeriCorps website, linked above.