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What is the difference between the National Service Day I need to participate in and the community service project I am to implement with students?
Can this be one and the same activity?
Yes, it can be the same. Many of our members do this. Here is what to keep in mind:
Participating in the National Day of Service – the event needs to be on the National Day of Service, and the member's time of service for the event should be at least 4 hours (it is supposed to be a Day of Service).
The Community Service Project - it may take weeks, months, or a whole year of service to coordinate. Or the member may have multiple projects over the year. It does not have to be in conjunction with a National Day of Service (but it can), and there is no time requirement for the actual event.
So if you want to double up – the event should be over 4 hours, happening on a National Day of Service, with students.
Do I have to complete a FBI Fingerprint check? DPI already has one on file for me as a licensed teacher.
Yes, a FBI fingerprint check is now required for all AmeriCorps members, even if you have been fingerprinted elsewhere. Programs are not able to share results. We will mail you the fingerprint packet and instructions. You will have to go to a local law enforcement agency to have your prints taken and mailed back to us. You may not work unsupervised with students until we have the results of the FBI check. That is, any hours you count toward AmeriCorps must be supervised. We will let you know when we receive the results of the check.
Can you give me some information (or direct me to somebody who can give me some information) about the Child Care Reimbursement portion of my AmeriCorps position?
Here’s a link to information about the child care benefit:
We here at DPI don’t have much to do with this process, except to certify that you are an AmeriCorps member after you indicate your interest in the Child Care Benefit. Our members’ experience has been spotty and recommend you talk to someone directly rather than wade through the website that is not the most helpful.
How do I access my AmeriCorps Paystubs?
You should have been sent an email from the DPI Payroll department at the beginning of your service with a user name and password for PTAWeb. If you cannot find this information, send an email to your contacts at DPI, and we will send your information to our help desk to reset your user name and password.
How does loan forbearance work? I contacted my bank, and they were wondering if they would receive vouchers while my loans are being deferred. According to the AmeriCorps website, it looks like the financial institution should be able to help me with this information, but they didn’t seem to know.
Is there something different that I should be asking my bank?
Here’s how the loan forbearance works. After you are officially enrolled in AmeriCorps (which won’t happen until all the paperwork is done and entered into the AmeriCorps system), you will be able to set up an on-line account in a system call MyAmeriCorps. When you have that account, you will be able to enter your student loan(s), including the name and address of your lender, and the Corporation for National and Community Service will notify the lender that you are in AmeriCorps and are eligible for forbearance. Then the lender should stop sending you bills or expecting payment while you are an AmeriCorps member. When you contact your financial institution, be sure to ask for the person at the institution that knows about the AmeriCorps Program.
One word of caution: this forbearance only works for qualified student loans, which means that the loan must be a Stafford loan or another loan that was arranged through your educational institution. If you have loans that you took out to cover educational expenses, but they were not officially sanctioned educational loans, they will not be eligible for forbearance.
How do I access and complete my timesheets?
What do I do if I'm having trouble recruiting the required number of volunteers?
Can my community service project be something that is already happening at my site?
How often should I be meeting with my supervisor?
How do I find out about deadlines and due dates?
Who do I work for? AmeriCorps? DPI? My site?
Where is my paycheck? How do I get paid?
What are the prohibited activities for AmeriCorps members?
What happens if I don't complete all of my required hours?