Duane Bonifer  |  Published September 14, 2021

The Power of Community

AmeriCorps volunteer Cammy Davis aims to connect College, area schools and community.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – For Cammy Davis, the strength of Monmouth-Warren County can be measured in the number of volunteers it can mobilize to help the community.

Cammy Davis is a Peace Corps serving this school year as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Monmouth. Cammy Davis is a Peace Corps serving this school year as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Monmouth.Davis is a Peace Corps fellow based at Western Illinois University who is serving this school year as an AmeriCorps volunteer at Monmouth College. Working through the College’s Educational Studies Department, Davis said she is looking forward to forging stronger relationships between Monmouth, area public schools and community organizations.

“I’m excited about this school year because I’m a veteran high school English teacher,” said Davis, who is a South Carolina native. “I’m very excited to be working with Monmouth Educational Studies Department in particular and learning more about their place-based activities and programs.”

Monmouth’s placed-based rural education initiatives – known as REDI – includes the TARTANS (Teachers Allied with Rural Towns and Neighborhood Schools) Rural Teacher Corps and the College’s Educational Farm & Garden. Davis said she is excited about the potential those programs have to strengthen ties between the College and the community.

AmeriCorps is a network of local, state and national service programs that connects more than 70,000 Americans annually to meet needs in education, the environment, public safety, health and homeland security. AmeriCorps members work with more than 2,000 non-profit organizations, public agencies and community groups.

“I really believe that serving your community is important because it takes a village to raise a child. If everyone becomes more involved in their community – in whatever capacity they can – we can build a really great place.”
— Cammy Davis

“Being a part of the community is really important, and that’s why I’m glad to be in Monmouth,” said Davis. “I look forward to being a bridge that helps the community and College come closer together.”

Davis has already been part of several community-building activities between the College and the community. She helped coordinate an event between the College’s Educational Studies Department and YMCA of Warren County to bring families with children to the Monmouth Educational Farm & Garden.

Earlier this year, Lincoln Elementary School students and family members visited the farm to make sunflower houses and plant sunflower seeds. More than 90 people took part in the two-day program.

Davis worked on an event in which elementary school children painted flags and farm scenes on rocks for the farm’s outdoor classroom and high school students participated in a photography project. The project was supported by a grant from the Buchanan Center for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Davis said she also plans to work on projects with the Jamieson Community Center and Warren County United Way this school year.

“One of the great things about Cammy working with us is that she’s an integral part in our efforts to bring together the triad of Monmouth College, area public schools and community organizations,” said Monmouth educational studies professor Craig Vivian, who is also chair of the department. “A lot of people can be served when those three entities come together and work toward building a better community for everyone.”

And Davis said that will also help students become better learners.

“I really believe that serving your community is important because it takes a village to raise a child,” said Davis. “If everyone becomes more involved in their community – in whatever capacity they can – we can build a really great place.”

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