Michigan's AmeriCorps Member of the Month

MI AmeriCorps Member of the Month - June 2016: Carrie Roper, Family Literacy Program

Following the completion of a half-time term of service in the spring of 2015, Carrie Roper decided to return as a full-time AmeriCorps member with the Family Literacy AmeriCorps Program, which operates out of the Literacy Center of West Michigan in Grand Rapids. During her two service terms, Carrie has impacted 29 parents and 68 children.

The Family Literacy Program (FLP) helps struggling students achieve the reading skills they need to move ahead and helps parents improve their literacy skills, set life and career goals, and develop their English language abilities, while learning the importance of parental involvement. The program's unique approach to educating parents alongside their children ensures that parents are invested in their child's learning and school experience, which results in improved literacy and children's academic success.

Carrie’s role with the FLP is an English Language Learner Instructor at West Godwin Elementary. Over the summer, she will serve as a facilitator for computer literacy classes in partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Parent University and Comprenew. As part of her service, Carrie develops and executes lesson plans for four classes a week.

“Carrie constantly advocates for her learners and their families,” stated FLP program director Ariel DuVal. “She attends as many community events with the families as possible, including meetings on immigration rights, parenting conversations, and resource fairs. She is a face the families recognize and they know they can count on her. Carrie goes above and beyond program expectations to provide her families with fun activities in which the whole family can participate.”

In addition to demonstrating leadership within the FLP, Carrie has also served as a leader for her AmeriCorps team as a whole. With a recent transition in program leadership, she had the most knowledge about all stages of the program. Carrie rose to the occasion by answering questions about all aspects of the program and assisting with new member training.

Carrie plans to continue her education through Cornerstone University’s TESOL graduate certificate program and will begin within the year. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University.

For more information about the Family Literacy Program, please contact program director Ariel DuVal at aduval@literacycenterwm.org. For more information about AmeriCorps, visit www.americorps.org.