Getting Started at the School &
the Basics You Should Know
VISTA and ACEE members work side by side in Sanchez and share office space in the resource room. The VISTA attends the weekly ACEE training and planning meetings.
The VISTA files and archives from the past year are located in the resource room as well, or are with Bryan Murdock, ACEE Program Director. At the end of the year, the VISTA re-organizes the files and makes sure they are updated.
One of your best resources is the Community Map (more here)
The VISTA is usually introduced twice, first at the ACEE teacher inservice and again at the faculty meeting. The VISTA usually provides a flier with information about their mission and goals in the schools, and puts a flier into every teacher's mailbox at the start of the school year.
At the earliest possible date, you should read commpletely through the VISTA Handbook for Sanchez (which you are reading right now), and refer to it regularly. If you want to provide updates for this handbook for the next VISTA, please do!
This information is only an example of what is possible.. One of the best things about being an ACEE VISTA is the flexibility in how you want to approach this assignment. These are recommendations from past VISTAs, but you should feel free to explore new activities and different ways to reach goals.
Jennifer San Pedro (VISTA 1999-2000) offers this:
"The best advice I can give you is to get to know the
administrators, teachers, AmeriCorps members as well as
you can. This will make getting programs approved easier.
It will also help you by providing support for each thing
"Also, keep up communications with Bryan . Keep
up communications with Bryan. I can not emphasis this
enough. It is vital that he knows what your plans are,
what you need help with, what is going on with each and up
coming project. This is important so he can provide you
with guidance, if you need it, resources, and if something
goes wrong, he knows already knows about it."
"I must also
emphasize how important it is to trust your co-workers and
for them to trust you. It will make things run a lot
smoother. In addition, never be afraid to admit you are
wrong, made a mistake, or do not know the answer to
something, believe it or not, people respect that more
than someone who acts like they know it all."
"My experience as a VISTA for the Dana Center was a
positive one and I learned so much from my co-workers and
supervisor. I believe that I made it that way and you can
too. When things were rough, (and believe me it will get
rough) and I was just about ready to give up, it was my
co-workers that helped me and not to mention those darling
little third grade faces. Just remember what you do there
is benefiting them, their parents, and their community.
Good luck and Godspeed."