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AmeriCorps Service Award Recognizes C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa

For release: January 3, 2013
For press information, contact Robert P. Connolly, 901-785-3160

The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa received the New Sponsor of the Year award from AmeriCorps (a part of the National Civilian Community Corps, or NCCC) during the winter graduation ceremony at the Southern Region campus in Vicksburg, Miss., last week.  The award recognizes the unique role the C.H. Nash Museum has played in coordinating collaborative projects between AmeriCorps teams and community partners in Southwest Memphis.  The eight-week AmeriCorps teams are housed at the C.H. Nash Museum and conduct service projects at Chucalissa, the Westwood Neighborhood, and T.O. Fuller State Park. 

Robert Connolly (left) receives New Sponsor of the Year Award from April Bazzi, assistant program director and Rich Smith, deputy region director for programming.
Robert Connolly (left) receives New Sponsor of the Year Award from April Bazzi, assistant program director and Rich Smith, deputy region director
for programming.

Most recently, the 10-member Delta 9 AmeriCorps team spent last August and September performing service projects in Southwest Memphis.  The projects included correcting code violations at the residences of 20 elderly homeowners in the Westwood neighborhood, clearing seven miles of trails and repairing picnic pavilions at T.O. Fuller State Park, and building a replica of a prehistoric house at Chucalissa.

In nominating the Museum, Delta 9 team member Megan Whelan said, “This sponsor worked very hard to share the use of this team with two other organizations in the community and allowed us to complete their projects before working on the museum. This sponsor was passionate about national service and the importance of this program in the broader context of benefiting a community.”

When presenting the award, April Bazzi, assistant program director for the Southern Region Campus of NCCC said, “New Sponsor of the Year is awarded to an organization that has gone above and beyond the expectations of NCCC, and for this reason,  C.H. Nash museum is extremely deserving of this recognition. They have fully engaged our NCCC members in the work by creating a diverse and enriching learning experience. C.H. Nash is a full supporter of national service and knows how to properly utilize NCCC AmeriCorps members as force multipliers. On behalf of the NCCC Southern Region Campus, we congratulate you and look forward to the continued partnership!”

Administered through the University of Memphis, the C.H. Nash Museum also engages U of M students in the AmeriCorps team projects.  Mallory Bader, a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology, worked with the team to develop a plan to assure that the code violation work in the Westwood Neighborhood would be maintained into the future.  University of Memphis “Service on Saturday” participants also worked with team members during a special neighborhood cleanup on Make a Difference Day last October.

C.H. Nash Museum Director Robert P. Connolly said, “We are greatly honored to receive this award.  Our Museum’s mission includes being an asset and resource to our community.  The AmeriCorps teams play a critical role in allowing all of our community agencies to carry out that mission.”

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