The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency created in 1993 to engage Americans in service, today announced grants to eight organizations including funds to hire 553 new AmeriCorps members.
The additional staff will teach and tutor at-risk youth, construct homes, promote health in rural and immigrant communities, expand parental involvement in schools, provide elder services, and mobilize and manage other volunteers.
Yesterday’s announcement puts AmeriCorps on track to support nearly 75,000 members, the largest class in its 16-year existence.
The eight grants, which total more than two million dollars, will support national service work as well as local programs in Alaska, Maryland, Ohio, and Wisconsin that were selected in a nationwide competition after being recommended by Governor-appointed commissions.
* Rural Alaska Community Action Program, based in Anchorage, will receive $126,709 to support 8 members who will promote health and wellness in rural communities through the Building Initiatives in Rural Community Health program.
* Teach For America will receive $319,360 to support 160 AmeriCorps members serving as classroom teachers in underserved schools in Baltimore, Md.
* Ohio State University Research Foundation, based in Columbus, will receive $199,992 for 90 new hires in the OSU Kids Corps, which works with preschoolers on pre-literacy skills and parents to increase involvement with their kids’ education.
* Milwaukee Christian Center YouthBuild program will receive $163,800 to support 25 AmeriCorps members whose service will include housing rehabilitation and construction.
* North Central Community Action Program in Wausau, Wis. will receive $297,201 to support 32 AmeriCorps members to serve at elementary and high school tutors and mentors for at-risk youth.
On the national level 238 members will serve in three programs that operate in multiple states:
* America SCORES will receive $387,751 for its Up2Us Coach for America program to place 98 members in low-income communities across the country to create opportunities for youth deprived of athletic activities to engage in sports, especially to combat childhood obesity.
* The Foundation for Long Term Care will receive $312,826 for 50 AmeriCorps members to serve elder care facilities and residents in senior housing through its AmeriCorps Elder Services program.
* Temple University’s Project SHINE will receive $240,030 for 90 AmeriCorps members to addresses health literacy needs of elderly immigrants and refugees through service learning, civic engagement, and tutoring.
AmeriCorps continues to experience skyrocketing application rates. In the nine months prior to July, AmeriCorps received 177,099 online applications, an increase of 203 percent over a year ago. A bleak job market, an increased interest by the youth in public service, and an “Obama effect” of people responding to the President’s call to service all contributed to the boom.
Most of the positions announced yesterday will be available starting in the fall. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and submit an online application by visiting AmeriCorps.gov or NationalService.gov.