FOR RELEASE: June 28, 2014
CONTACT: Erin VanSickle, 850-339-3184
Volunteer Florida, AmeriCorps Construct Mini-Libraries, Perform School Clean-Up in Central Florida

Service project commemorates 20th anniversary of Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps

Bartow, FL — Today, Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps members created 15 mobile libraries and participated in a campus clean-up project. The project, which took place at Bartow High School and Floral Avenue Elementary School, is part of a year-long series of public service events to commemorate 20 years of service for both Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps.

“Volunteer Florida is proud to administer the nation’s premier volunteer program, AmeriCorps, for the State of Florida,” said Chester Spellman, CEO of Volunteer Florida. “Today, 140 AmeriCorps members made summer reading easier for low-income students by constructing mini-libraries. We also worked to clean up the school campuses at Bartow High and Floral Avenue Elementary so that students returning from summer break have a clean and healthy environment for back-to-school.”

Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps members restored the butterfly garden at Floral Avenue Elementary, which serves low-income students in Bartow. The garden is used for special learning activities and is a beloved area for reading. AmeriCorps members also assembled and painted 15 “Little Free Libraries,” which will be stocked with books and placed in yards and businesses committed to overseeing them, primarily in low-income areas.  Additionally, Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps members did pressure-washing, trimming, planting and mulching at the historic Bartow High.

“It is an honor to participate in this event,” said Christina Bonarrigo, Volunteer Florida Commissioner and Immediate Past President of the student body at the University of Florida. “This is a great opportunity to highlight 20 years of amazing work by Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps while serving students in Polk County at the same time.” Bonarrigo performed a swearing-in ceremony for the 140 AmeriCorps participants after the service project.

Today’s event is the third in a series of Volunteer Florida events statewide to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps.

Volunteer Florida is especially grateful for our sponsors:

AAA Auto Club Group


Brighthouse Networks





Duke Energy

FAMU Foundation

Florida Blue

Florida Lottery

Florida Power and Light

Florida Prepaid Scholarship Foundation

Fox Sports Florida Sun Sports

Orlando Magic



PNC Bank

Tampa Bay Times





Wells Fargo

Winn Dixie



Volunteer Florida is the Governor’s lead agency for volunteerism and national service in Florida. Volunteer Florida grants funds to educational foundations, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations to administer AmeriCorps and National Service Programs. Volunteer Florida leads Florida’s national days of service, including September 11 and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. During disasters, Volunteer Florida is the lead agency for volunteers and donations. For more information, visit: