Robinson Center receives AmeriCorps grant

Author: Paul Murphy

Robinson Community Learning Center

The Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) has been awarded a $133,427 grant from the State of Indiana to create six full- and 12 part-time AmeriCorps service positions.

Each full-time employee, along with two of the part-time employees, will focus on providing direct services to one of the RCLC’s six educational programs: Adult education, Youth education, Shakespeare Company, Youth Entrepreneurship, Take 10 and Supplemental Education Services.

In addition to providing direct services, the hired employees will also play active roles in recruiting volunteers, program development and capacity building.

The RCLC is actively seeking individuals 18 years or older with at least a GED to fill both the year-long full- and part-time positions.

Founded in 2001 as an initiative between the University of Notre Dame and the Northeast Neighborhood, the RCLC aims to strengthen the Northeast Neighborhood of South Bend through relationship building and educational opportunities by promoting innovation and excellence. Programs are overseen by an Advisory Board comprised of neighborhood residents, program partners and Notre Dame faculty, staff and students.

“This is a model of partnership,” said Jennifer Knapp Beudert, RCLC manager. “The center is unique because it’s a real collaboration between community and University.”

Notre Dame students play major parts at the Center by taking on active roles in tutoring and mentoring youth. Participants believe their work at the center becomes an integral part of their Notre Dame experiences.

RCLC tutoring

“Seeing the difference that a little bit of tutoring and mentoring can make, it’s kept me grounded on what is really important in my future,” said Jennifer Jesse, a student worker and recent Notre Dame graduate. “Inspiring and educating people has changed my life.”

Student involvement is further encouraged by faculty and staff who consistently offer their time and expertise to help guests at the center.

The RCLC has been extremely successful in their programs, some having become a curriculum model for others in and outside the South Bend area. Its Lego Robotics League consistently places in state-wide competitions, most recently taking first in project placement at the inaugural Lego League Championships in Indianapolis.

In its nine-year history, more than 5,500 people have participated in classes and activities at the RCLC.

More information on the AmeriCorps positions is available online at