Literacy VISTA New Project Application

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For detailed information on hosting a VISTA and what the Minnesota Literacy Council is looking for in its request for proposals for VISTA projects, please visit our website

USING THIS FORM

In order to be eligible to apply for a Literacy VISTA project using this form, you must first participate in an Information Session. You will receive a password in the Information Session that is required to complete and submit this application. To sign up for an Info Session, contact Courtney at czaato@mnliteracy.org, 651-251-9151, or see our website.

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Applying for a Literacy VISTA project beginning July/August 2018

Please complete the following form to apply for a Literacy VISTA project. Literacy VISTA projects typically last for 3-5 years. If selected, your first year of hosting a VISTA would be 2018-19, with VISTA members starting their one year term of service typically in late July or early August.

For detailed information on hosting a VISTA and what the Minnesota Literacy Council is looking for in its request for proposals for VISTA projects, please visit www.mnliteracy.org/educators/host-vista.


Before you begin, please review the following important information.


Timeline Please note: exact dates are subject to change.

  • Submit this application by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018.
  • You will be notified of selection decisions by early February 2018.
  • If selected, you will be required to participate in a New Supervisor Workshop in mid-February (see below).
  • You will be asked to submit your VAD (project plan and VISTA Assignment Description) and service opportunity listing by Thursday, March 1, 2018.
  • You may begin recruiting your new VISTA member in March or April 2018 as soon as your VAD and service opportunity have been approved. You must have your candidate selected and approved by both Minnesota Literacy Council and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) by early June.
  • Signed site agreements and an initial, non-refundable $1,000 portion of the cost share payment will be due by April 30, 2018. See below for more cost share details.
  • The new VISTA member will begin service on in July or August 2018 (dates to be determined by CNCS).

Workshops for New Site Supervisors

All site supervisors will be asked to participate in training related to VISTA recruitment; VAD (VISTA Assignment Description and work plan); and orienting, coaching, and supervising a new VISTA member. Site supervisors will be asked to register for one of the following workshops once site selection decisions have been announced. (Dates and locations for the workshops are subject to change.)

 

Workshops will be held in the Minnesota Literacy Council training room (700 Raymond Ave, Suite 180; Saint Paul, MN 55114) on the following dates (select one).

·                Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 9am-3pm (lunch provided)

·                Friday, February 16, 2018, from 9am-3pm (lunch provided)


For host sites located in Greater Minnesota, an alternative training date and location and/or a webinar may be made available.


 Cost Share

 As part of the host site’s agreement to host an AmeriCorps VISTA member, the host agency commits to making a  cost-share financial match. Cost share amounts for 2018-19 are as follows:

            Years 1-3: $5,000 

            Years 4-5: $12,312 (Full Cost Share - equal to VISTA living allowance)

ORGANIZATION INFORMATION

Please provide information on the organization applying to host a VISTA.

 

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Federal tax ID number ##-#######
INFORMATION ON THE SERVICE LOCATION
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CONTACT INFORMATION

Please provide information on the people we may contact regarding this application and this VISTA project.

VISTA site supervisor
Additional staff
PARTICIPATION IN NATIONAL SERVICE PROGRAMS

Please provide information, to the best of your knowledge, about your organization's involvement with national service programs. National service programs include: AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, CTEP, Promise Fellows, Reading Corps, Math Corps, Senior Corps, RSVP, Experience Corps, Public Allies, College Possible, and more. 





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ORGANIZATION DESCRIPTION
Please describe your organization (narrative, 200-300 words). Include all of the following: A brief summary of your organization’s history, including the date your organization was established. A brief summary of your organization’s mission and goals. A description of your current programs or activities. Provide any relevant statistics about how many people you serve and in what way. Highlight any recent accomplishments or strengths of your organization.
SUMMARY OF REQUEST

Organizations are generally awarded one VISTA member per project, which is typically renewable for 3-5 years. If your organization would like to request more than one VISTA for this project, please use the narrative sections to make the case for why this is necessary. If your organization would like to apply for more than one distinct VISTA project, please complete a separate application for each project.

If you chose SCALE/REACH: What new services will the VISTA project help your organization be able to offer, or how will the VISTA project help your organization expand existing literacy services to serve more individuals, particularly those living in poverty?    If you chose EFFECTIVENESS: How will the VISTA project help your organization be more effective in providing literacy services, particularly to individuals living in poverty?
(100-150 words)
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NEED STATEMENT
Please describe the population that will be served by your proposed VISTA project (narrative, 250-500 words). Include all of the following: Information on poverty in this population and the particular literacy needs of this group, as well as any other relevant demographics (i.e. age range, language background, cultural background, geographical area served, etc.); Current statistical data, citing sources whenever possible, to substantiate the needs of the population who will be served through this project.
Is the proposed new program/program expansion/change to current programming based on an identified community need? Have members of the target population (i.e. adult learners, youth, parents, community leaders) been involved in identifying the need for this project? Please explain how the need was identified and/or how the VISTA project will incorporate needs assessment to inform program development and/or to increase the effectiveness of current literacy programming. (narrative, 150-300 words)
Describe how the organization identified a need for a VISTA project to build capacity by adding or expanding literacy services. Among staff and/or board, who was involved in planning for this project? To what extent does your organization have staff capacity to support new program development and/or program expansion? (narrative, 150-300 words)
Describe how the organization identified a need for a VISTA project to expand its capacity to provide effective literacy services. Provide information on current challenges faced by your organization in serving the target population and/or opportunities available for better serving the needs of this group. Among staff and/or board, who was involved in planning for this project? (narrative, 150-300 words)
CAPACITY-BUILDING AND SUSTAINABILITY
Describe your long-term vision for this project (narrative, 350-650 words).What makes your project innovative and unique?What will the VISTA(s) do to build the capacity of your organization, and how will that benefit the target population described in the Need Statement?How will the community be different 3-5 years from now, as a result of the VISTA project (after the VISTA project has been completed and VISTA resources are no longer in place)?How will your organization be different as a result of the VISTA project?How will your organization ensure that expansions or improvements to programming established with this VISTA project can be maintained after the VISTA project is complete?How will you sustain the momentum of the VISTA project beyond three years of VISTA support?
How will you involve the community to ensure the sustainability of the proposed project? (narrative, 200-400 words). How do you plan on incorporating feedback from the community, and/or involving community members in decision-making regarding the proposed project? How might community members take on leadership roles or otherwise contribute to help sustain the proposed project?
PROJECT MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISION
Describe how you plan to support and manage the VISTA project at your site (narrative, 250-500 words). Include all of the following:Who within your organization or other partners will be involved in the implementation of this VISTA project?Describe your plan for providing administrative support for the VISTA project. How will this support help ensure completion of the goals and objectives of the VISTA project, including long-term sustainability?Who will provide direct supervision to the VISTA member? What skills, values or past experience does this person have as a supervisor?Describe your plan for providing effective supervision, training and support to the VISTA member throughout the year.Describe what makes your VISTA project an attractive opportunity for an individual to dedicate a year of service to your organization as a VISTA member.
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VISTA RESPONSIBILITIES
Description of VISTA responsibilities
Please provide the estimated amount of the VISTA member’s time that will be dedicated to each capacity-building category you selected, and briefly describe the VISTA member's duties and what you would like your VISTA member to accomplish in the first year of the VISTA project (the total percent of time should add up to, and not exceed, 100% of the VISTA’s time).                                                                               
% of VISTA's time Description of VISTA activities and accomplishments
Developing, Designing or Enhancing Program Content
Designing or Conducting A Program Evaluation
Developing or Strengthening Goals/Performance Targets and Milestones
Developing and Nurturing Partnerships
Enhancing Volunteer Recruitment and/or Training
Improving Volunteer Systems
Conducting A Needs Assessment (secondary component)
Implementing New Program-Related Outreach or Fundraising Strategies (secondary component)
CAPACITY-BUILDING ACTIVITIES
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CAPACITY-BUILDING PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Based on your responses, the following performance measures appear to be applicable to your VISTA project. Please fill in a target number that you expect to be able to reach after Year 1 of your VISTA project (2018-19). Please be reasonable about what will be manageable to accomplish in one year and something that you will be able to measure and report on. If you will be unable to track/report on this data, please enter "0." 

Types of service: includes qualitatively distinct service activities in the area of Education that enable the program to address different needs or different populations in need of the organization's services.
ANTI-POVERTY IMPACT
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ANTI-POVERTY INTERVENTIONS






ANTI-POVERTY PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Based on your responses, the following performance measures may be applicable to your VISTA project. Please fill in a target number that you expect to be able to reach after Year 1 of your VISTA project (2018-19). Please be reasonable about what will be manageable to accomplish in one year and something that you will be able to measure and report on. If a particular performance measure is relevant but you will be unable to track/report on this data, please enter "0." If the performance measure is not applicable, please enter “N/A.” 

*Children up through the age of kindergarten enrollment who are enrolled in early childhood education programs with a majority of economically disadvantaged children (eligible for free/reduced lunch) and/or a majority of children with special or exceptional needs. At the outset of the activity, the program should indicate how much time (i.e. how many days or hours) is required in order to complete the activity. Then they will only count the number of students who meet that threshold by the end of the program or activity.
*Social and emotional development: An indicator and element of school readiness that measures a child's development in one or more of the following domains: self-concept, self-control, cooperation, social relationships, and knowledge of families and communities.
*Literacy skills: An indicator and element of school readiness that measures a child’s development in one or more of the following domains: phonological awareness, book knowledge and appreciation, print awareness and concepts, early writing, and alphabet knowledge.
*Students enrolled in grades K-12 in schools with a majority of economically disadvantaged students (eligible for free/reduced lunch) and/or a majority of children with special or exceptional needs. At the outset of the activity, the program should indicate how much time (i.e. how many days or hours) is required in order to complete the activity. Then they will only count the number of students who meet that threshold by the end of the program or activity.
*As measured by an improved demonstration of skill/knowledge at post-test as compared to pre-test (gain score) using a standardized test/instrument.
*Improved academic engagement: A positive and significant change in one of the following student behaviors or attitudes over the course of a school year. Measures of student behaviors include: increased attendance, increased completion of assignments including homework, increased teacher-reported participation, decreased disciplinary referrals and decreased reports of substance abuse. Measures of student attitudes include: increased interest in school, improved perspective on school climate, increased attachment to school and increased educational aspirations.






REMINDER: To save your work, click "Save my progress and resume later" at the top of any page. You will be prompted to enter your email address and create a password. You may then choose to “Resume this form now.” You may also log back in to the form later. At any point before you click "submit" and then “confirm” at the end, you may return to a page and make changes. 

This is the password given during the Information Session presentation, NOT your personal password for your saved application.

Contact Courtney Zaato for password assistance or any other questions about this application (czaato@mnliteracy.org).

 

Once you click "submit," you will have a chance to review your full application. Please ensure that all fields are complete. You must then click "confirm." Once you confirm, a copy of the completed application will be sent immediately to the email address listed for the person completing this form.

 

By early February, the person (or people) listed in the Contact Information section will be sent an email notification indicating whether this project has been selected to host a VISTA beginning in 2018-19, and site supervisors of selected projects will receive information on participation in the Site Supervisor Workshop.

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