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Serving our students at Hayes Leonard Elementary School

Valparaiso loves its schools. Our community is solution-oriented. United Way of Porter County has the resources to make things happen. When those three factors come together, students in Valparaiso Community Schools reap the benefits.

AmeriCorps was created by President Clinton in 1993 and celebrated its 20th anniversary last fall. Often referred to as the “Domestic Peace Corps,” AmeriCorps focuses on education, financial literacy and capacity building. For a number of years, United Way of Porter County has placed AmeriCorps Members in Valparaiso Community Schools.

The translation for this at Hayes Leonard Elementary School is Miss Haley Kerlin, our AmeriCorps tutor, who serves Hayes Leonard students four days a week. Kerlin begins her service each morning with Math Facts Club, a time when identified students are invited to come to school early to work on their Math Facts.

Kerlin continues helping with students through Noon Room each day at lunch time, in which students can come work with her for tutoring and homework help, and she serves identified students after school through the JumpStart program. Along with those programs, she also works individually with students who are identified for RtI (Response to Instruction) throughout the school day. With her service, students who require an additional boost in reading and math get the help they need.

Kerlin joined the Hayes Leonard team last September and will serve through June. “I joined AmeriCorps because it is a great program that allows you to serve your community.”

Kerlin is a trained teacher, who is hoping to have a classroom of her own after her service in AmeriCorps.

She reflects, “I have really enjoyed the relationships that I have gained with the students I work with, as well as all the teachers. I have also learned a lot … and plan to take this experience and lessons learned into my next job.”

Thank you, Valparaiso, for supporting the United Way of Porter County and for supporting our schools. Hayes Leonard students benefit each day from this partnership.

For more information on how you can serve through AmeriCorps, visit


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