AmeriCorps VISTA - Project Cygnet

What is AmeriCorps and Project Cygnet?

AmeriCorps is a federal program designed to fight poverty in America. Millersville University's Experiential Learning and Career Management (ELCM) is the 2014-2015 host site of the AmeriCorps VISTA Project Cygnet to build and strengthen partnerships between the University, the School District of Lancaster, and community organizations. Millersville students who mentor, tutor and instruct children in after-school programs support Project Cygnet's mission to alleviate poverty by increasing children’s academic achievement.

How Do I Get Involved?

We are currently seeking students from all majors to work with children in any capacity they choose. We work to create a schedule that fits your availability! There are a variety of needs at our current partner locations offering a number of mentoring opportunities including, but not limited to:

  • Providing children tutoring, homework help, and academic enrichment services
  • Teaching children of incarcerated parents music and/or voice lessons
  • Running recreational activities with children through sports, art, dance, cosmetology, computer classes, robotics, etc.

Please contact AJ Ortiz, AmeriCorps PACC*VISTA Project Cygnet Coordinator, at 717-872-3271 or at ELCM.Vista@millersville.edu for more details.

How Will I Make a Difference?

Millersville University students and Project Cygnet have already made a positive impact in our community.

Last year, over 200 school children received tutoring and mentoring services.

  • 83% tested proficient and/or improved in core subject areas/PSSAs
  • 92% showed increased academic engagement

Last year, over 80 Millersville University students volunteered in the project.

  • 60 provided direct service by tutoring, mentoring and instructing
  • 22 provided indirect service by conducting evaluations, research and publicity campaigns

Millersville University students volunteered nearly 3,000 hours of service in 2013-2014.

Millersville University student volunteers enhanced their personal and professional goals and were highly satisfied with their volunteer experience (Post-Volunteer Survey, 2014.)


Who Are Our Community Partners?

Project Cygnet currently partners with:

  • SWAN - an organization that gives free music and voice lessons as well as performance opportunities to children of incarcerated parents
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster - an after-school program that provides tutoring, recreational activities as well as nutritious meals to children
  • The Mix At Arbor Place - a faith-based after-school program that gives homework help, tutoring, enrichment activities, recreational opportunities, and hot meals to children
  • Wheatland Middle School - an enrichment program held at Wheatland Middle School that provides homework help and tutoring for one hour and enrichment activities for another hour
  • Bright Side Opportunities Center - a faith-based after-school program that gives homework help and recreational opportunities to children
  • Heads Up Lancaster - an enrichment program held at Fulton Elementary that encourages urban youth to express themselves creatively through visual art, dance, design, and music

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