AmeriCorps Member of the Month September 2016

Congratulations Hannah Buettner!

Hannah Buettner

For over 60 years, the Cedar Rapids Public Library has been promoting literacy initiatives. The library has a long tradition in the community, but is also on the edge of something greater. With two world-class new libraries opening in 2013, the library is a vibrant community hub. With a new strategic plan that focuses on “Investing in Young Minds,” we are further developing our reading programs designed for K-12 students, including the summer reading program. Hannah’s goals as a VISTA member in our program include: increase the participation and completion rates in all programs, develop and implement systems to better track participant data, research the “reluctant reader” and design programs to engage these readers, expand on the volunteer opportunities for the reading programs, research potential opportunities for additional reading programs, and develop outreach initiatives to promote library programs and resources in schools with higher percentages of students eligible for free/reduced-price lunch.

Hannah’s position at the library is focused on K-12 education initiatives. Her goal has been to increase accessibility to library programs, materials, and resources for those in poverty. Hannah has developed a kids coding programs and expanded it to add a summer coding class. These programs have been entirely developed by Hannah; she has also done a thorough job of documenting her classes and even preparing a volunteer to take her place as the instructor. Hannah has also been very active in launching the Summer Dare program. She continued to work with the planning committee and has been active in promoting summer literacy programs to schools, daycares, and summer camps. Her work has allowed the library to reach over 3,000 youth. This May, Hannah connected with 11 local schools to coordinate promotion of the library’s Summer Dare program to almost 2,000 elementary students as part of the community’s Days of Caring event. Her work set the stage for community volunteers to present skits and information about the library’s summer reading and learning program and activities. Hannah has also worked with training staff and volunteers for the Summer Dare. She worked closely with the YA Librarian to produce video trainings to support the in-person trainings she’s conducting on the library’s new summer reading website. Finally, Hannah served on a committee to develop and host the 2016 Leaders in Volunteerism conference in Cedar Rapids. She helped develop the program for the day, run the registration table, and coordinated all of the catering. Over 35 volunteer managers from the area attended the conference.

Hannah has participated in community service events as part of MLK Day. She has also worked with other community volunteers with Day of Caring and the Summer Dare outreach programs. She also speaks positively and proactively about service and her AmeriCorps experience

After her term is completed at the library this July, Hannah will remain in the Cedar Rapids area working for a local theatre company. She has expressed interest in continuing to serve the community.

Volunteer Iowa is excited to recognize the work Hannah has been able to accomplish during her year of service. To recognize her service, Hannah will receive a certificate signed by Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds honoring her dedication and efforts towards bettering the lives of youth in the State of Iowa.

americorps_iowa_4inHelp us tell the story of AmeriCorps in Iowa! You can nominate someone for AmeriCorps Member of the Month by filling out this short survey: Please share the link and help us recognize the AmeriCorps members who are getting things done for Iowa!

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