What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national community service program where people commit to serve with an organization. Nationwide, these people, called AmeriCorps members, commit to either a part-time or full-time position. At Playworks, our full-time AmeriCorps members commit to serving a 1700 hour term of service. This typically coincides with a full school year (about 10 months).
What does a typical week of service look like?
As a member, you’ll be trained and placed at an urban elementary school to bring healthy play and physical activity programming to the schoolyard, creating a positive environment for learning and teaching. Members teach and organize safe and inclusive games, before, during and after school, while working to generate more community and family involvement by recruiting and supporting volunteers. Most Playworks’ members serve at least 43 hours per week, which includes day-to-day service at the school site as well as some nighttime sports leagues. Members build a team and give back to the community by participating in monthly service projects. Playworks members are required to participate in at least one weekend service project per month.
What are the benefits of being an AmeriCorps member with Playworks?
The benefits of joining AmeriCorps include joining an extraordinary movement to change the culture of play in America. You will have the satisfaction of incorporating service into your life by ensuring that kids get a chance to play every day while gaining new perspectives and strong leadership skills.
As a Playworks AmeriCorps member you’ll receive benefits to support yourself during your year of service while gaining valuable skills and knowledge that will accelerate your career and education.
Specific benefits include:
- Living stipend (paid out semi-monthly)
- Health insurance
- Possible child care benefits
- $5,550 AmeriCorps Education Award
- Student loan forbearance
- AmeriCorps gear pack
- Leadership training and development
- Eligibility for exclusive scholarships to dozens of colleges and universities
- Future service opportunities
- Access to online career resource center
- Networking opportunities with more than 15,000 alumni
How does joining AmeriCorps impact my student loans?
During your term of service, all of your qualified student loans may be placed in forbearance. This means you won’t need to make monthly payments while you serve! While loans are in forbearance, they continue to accrue interest; however, once you complete 1700 hours of service, AmeriCorps will pay for interest accrued on qualified loans that were in forbearance during your term. Members also qualify for the College Cost Reduction & Access Act, a federal loan forgiveness program.
What is the Education Award and how do I use it?
Once you complete 1700 hours of service, you receive an Education Award (Ed Award) of $5,550. You can use your Ed Award in a number of ways, including repaying loans, studying abroad, and toward future tuition. Playworks offers a workshop on effective ways to use your Ed Award during the program-year.
 A list of qualified student loans: https://my.americorps.gov/trust/help/member_portal/is_my_loan_a_qualified_loan__.htm
 College Cost Reduction & Access Act information: http://www.americorps.gov/pdf/08_1210_ccraa_faqs.pdf
 Ed Award information: http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/benefits/benefits_ed_award_faq.asp#use)