Cincinnati Zoo Unto Others – AmeriCorps Program 

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) and AmeriCorps have partnered to bring fun, science based educational opportunities to students in Cincinnati who need it the most and to challenge our community to step up and do more to conserve resources and wildlife.  Together, CZBG and AmeriCorps will provide quality STEM education to economically disadvantaged Prek-12 students and to engage Zoo visitors and community members in environmentally conscious practices and behaviors.   Zoo AmeriCorps members will work directly with teachers and students to improve science literacy and academic engagement in science process and with Zoo visitors and the community outside the Zoo to share sustainable practices and encourage behavior change.

The Cincinnati Zoo will be on-boarding 14 AmeriCorps Members in different service positions throughout the Zoo. Each of these Members will earn a living allowance, education stipend and receive extensive training, practice, and skill building in environmental education. A majority of these members will be serving full-time year round and will be eligible for benefits.

Annual outcomes of this partnership will be:

  • Bring 11,000 economically disadvantaged students to the Zoo and increase the science literacy and academic engagement of 1,690 of these students
  • Engage 30 teachers in inquiry-based professional development
  • Provide STEM extracurricular programs to 10 children in need throughout the entire school year and summer
  • Deliver environmental messaging to 20,000 Zoo visitors and increase the conservation knowledge and intent to change behavior for 2,500 of these Zoo visitors.
  • Leverage an additional 480 adult and teen volunteers who will deliver environmental messaging to Zoo visitors and will address blight through the creation of healthy green spaces for people and wildlife.

What is AmeriCorps and what will it do for the Zoo?

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Since the program’s founding in 1994, over 1 million AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. AmeriCorps programs do more than move communities forward; they serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skillsearn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship. CZBG has been awarded a state AmeriCorps grant to address critical community needs in education and the environment. Together CZBG and AmeriCorps will provide quality STEM education to thousands of economically disadvantaged Prek-12 students and engage thousands of Zoo visitors and community members in environmentally conscious practices and behaviors.