Program Description


Program Year

Char-Em ISD AmeriCorps program operates from the Tuesday after Labor Day through June 30th of the following year. Members commit to serve a minimum of 1,700 hours during those 10 months.


Members are required to be at their school assignment Monday through Friday during school hours. Members are also required to join at least one non-profit organization. It is suggested to members that if they serve approximately 45 hours per week, they will be able to reach the 1,700 hour commitment by the end of the program year with no difficulty.


  • Members are placed at one elementary school within the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District service area of Emmet, Charlevoix and northern Antrim counties.
  • Members will be assigned at least 15 students who have been determined to be at-risk for expected school performance by school personnel. These students will need coaching in literacy (reading).
  • Members are also expected to design and conduct at least one or more community service projects with their students for at least one “Season of Service Day” (Make A Difference Day, National Youth Service Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, etc.).
  • Members will recruit non-AmeriCorps adult volunteers to help with these service projects at the school and other volunteer opportunities within the community.
  • As a group, members will design, organize and conduct a community service project during “AmeriCorps Week” in the spring.
  • Members will conduct two outreach presentations to community organizations to educate others about AmeriCorps.
  • Members will attend three elected body governmental meetings throughout the year (e.g., city, township, county and school board meetings).
  • Members will have an opportunity to participate in the AmeriCorps Member Celebration in November - a day-long conference with approximately 400 AmeriCorps members from throughout the state.
  • Members are required to join at least one non-profit organization to assist members in reaching the 1,700 hour commitment (e.g., Red Cross, public library, Scouts, Women’s Resource Center, food pantries, etc.).


Below are brief descriptions of benefits associated with our program. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 231.547.9947.

Stipend (Living Allowance)
Members receive a monetary living stipend per contract year. Direct deposit is required.

Health Insurance
A single subscriber health care policy will be purchased for eligible members not currently covered under a health care policy.

Education Award
Upon completing a term of service and 1,700 hours, members earn a federal education award. Members may use the education award to pay off current student loans, but they must be federally funded. Please check with your loan holders to see if they accept this education award.

  • Be aware that some consolidated loans cannot be covered by the award
  • Your award may also be used toward future education at any educational institution accredited by the U.S. Department of Education
  • The award must be used within seven years of its receipt
  • The award is taxable in the year in which it is used; however, it will be taxed less if used during a year in which you have a relatively low income
  • Some colleges will match the education award, either in part or even fully
  • Full-time members over the age of 55 have the option of transferring their education award to a family member

Learn more about the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.

Loan Deferment/Forbearance
Members are eligible to put their qualified loans into forbearance during their term of service. It is a good idea to contact all your loan lenders to make sure you can receive a forbearance for your term of service with AmeriCorps. At the beginning of the year, you will fill out paperwork on each of your loans to put them into forbearance. We highly recommend you contact all your loan lenders to let them know what you will be up to in the coming year. AmeriCorps will pay interest that accrues on qualified school loans during a member's term of service. The payment will be made after the member successfully completes the term of service. This payment is counted as taxable income.

Mileage Reimbursement
Members will be asked to travel to meetings and trainings during the service year. Members are encouraged to carpool when possible. A maximum of 50 miles per event will be reimbursed.

Food Stamps
The AmeriCorps monthly living allowance is not counted as income when determining eligibility for food stamps issued through the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Receiving support from family members you may be living with can affect your eligibility for the food program. Most members do qualify, especially those who live alone, with other members, or with dependents. Learn more about the Food Assistance Program.

Child Care
There is a child care program that all full-time members can apply for if they have children under the age of 13. Your eligibility is based upon your household gross monthly income, which includes your monthly living allowance and income of any spouse. Application for this benefit can take 3-4 weeks to process. Learn more about the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefits Program.

A Note on Benefits
The benefits listed on this page may not apply to all applicants. The benefits that are guaranteed to all full-time members are the living allowance, health insurance (if not currently covered by a policy), mileage reimbursement (if applicable), and education award (upon successful completion of a service term). Food assistance, child care, and student loan deferment are based on individual situations. Please contact us if you would like further information on benefits.