FAYETTE, Iowa (December 3, 2010) — Upper Iowa University has been awarded a one-year $50,000 planning grant from AmeriCorps to develop a series of educational summer camps. If the planning goes well, UIU could receive an additional $130,000 for the first year of summer camps in 2012, which could then be renewed annually to continue the program.
“This program has enormous potential both for the campus and the community,” said UIU President Alan G. Walker. “Not only will the AmeriCorps program be an employment opportunity for some UIU students, it will allow us to create an excellent selection of summer educational offerings for area youth that will give them opportunities currently unavailable in the area.”
“This grant allows the University to further fulfill its commitment to improving the community that is home to UIU,” added Andrew Wenthe, UIU vice president for external affairs. “We look forward to having a campus bustling with activities for young people each summer and to bringing our summer educational programs into some of our neighboring communities as well.”
UIU is in the process of hiring a half-time coordinator for the AmeriCorps initiative and could hire 10-14 others to staff the camps each summer. The AmeriCorps workers will reside in the UIU residence halls while camp is in session. UIU also will appoint an advisory group to help oversee the initiative.
The AmeriCorps program planning process at UIU is currently being coordinated by Daryl Grove, executive director of student leadership and development. Grove noted that the majority of the AmeriCorps workers will probably be UIU students, but added that summer staffing could be opened up to others in the area as well.
Planning for the AmeriCorps program is just beginning, but calls for the University to develop summer camps for students in grades K-12. Some camps will be hosted on the University campus in Fayette, others will be held in towns throughout the area. Preliminary plans call for offering a number of camps over an eight-week period in the summer. Although the subject matter for the summer camps is “wide open,” Grove said, discussion is currently about camps in science, technology, fine arts, physical activity, and food and nutrition. UIU expects to involve its own faculty in developing the camp programs as well as working with area school districts Grove noted that some camps may last for a day and others for a full week. There will be a moderate participation fee, with the possibility of scholarships, he added.
“We’re really excited about this program and what we can do with it” Grove said. “This will allow us to create a number of service opportunities and summer jobs for our students. We’ll have faculty, staff and students working on developing a program that will be a real asset to the community.”
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,600 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.