Waterbury AmeriCorps teamed up today with the Waterbury YMCA to clean up the Berkeley Warner Community Center, located at the Berkeley Heights Housing Project.

   According to John Corcoran, coordinator of the AmeriCorps program, approximately 35 members will help clean and paint the interior of the building beginning Saturday and continuing into next week. The cleanup coincides with national AmeriCorps Week, which is March 9-17. The goal is to have the Center ready for its open house on March 27. Once the Center is open, AmeriCorps members will volunteer afterschool homework help and mentoring.

   “I saw in the paper that the building was being revamped but needed help,” said Corcoran. “This type of work fits perfectly into our mission.”

   Now in its second year, the Waterbury AmeriCorps program is both a mentoring program and a community service team. Members work directly with students in Waterbury public schools through in- and afterschool programs, providing assistance with school work and building positive relationships with students. They also create and implement community service projects throughout the year that promote volunteerism in Waterbury.

   In return, members receive a laptop computer, training in mentoring and tutoring, experience for college or career advancement, the opportunity to take college classes and an educational award of up to $1,468 to be used toward personal education costs or for a child or grandchild’s education. Members currently include students from NVCC and UCONN Waterbury as well as civic-minded individuals who want to make an impact in their community.

   Members have partnered with Brass City Harvest, Boys and Girls Club, Waterbury Tulip Festival CT Food Bank, Children’s Community School, Waterbury’s Largest Community Mosaic project, Girls Inc., Family Services of Greater Waterbury and the Salvation Army, among others.