U.S. Senators recently announced that Arkansas will benefit from $2.8 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. These investments will support 124 AmeriCorps members on the ground who will work on some of the most pressing issues in Arkansas including education improvement and civic works.
“Building on Arkansas’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will change lives, improve communities, and build a safer, stronger, and more united Arkansas,” said Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps. “While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also create opportunities for themselves – gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute all the AmeriCorps members for their dedication and thank all those who help to make their service possible.”
The following organizations are Arkansas recipients of 2018 AmeriCorps competitive grants:
Kiwanis Activities, Inc. – The organization was awarded a $191,199 grant for its Alternative Classroom Experience and Summer Incentive Program that will support 20 AmeriCorps members to serve with the Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp and help implement programs for at-risk youth.
City of Little Rock – The city was awarded $252,932 which will support 28 AmeriCorps members to conduct safety assessments and home improvements, energy efficiency evaluations and upgrades and neighborhood and housing revitalization in seven low-income Little Rock areas.
Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative’s (SEARK) Smart Start AmeriCorps Tutoring – This program received $281,220 to support 46 AmeriCorps members as literacy and math tutors to 500 at-risk elementary school students in eight counties in the Arkansas Delta region.
Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative’s (SEARK) AmeriCorps Future Teacher Initiative- Grant funding of $12,000 was awarded to allow 30 AmeriCorps members to participate in the Future Teacher Initiative (FTI) to provide one-on-one and small group tutoring to at risk preschool students in Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Desha, Drew and Faulkner Counties.
The federal investment also includes $1.6 million for the Arkansas Service Commission, the Governor-appointed state service commission. In the coming months, it will award additional grants to Arkansas organizations to support AmeriCorps members in the state.
AmeriCorps’ unique model means that these grants will leverage an additional $1.5 million from the private sector, foundations and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.
CNCS will provide an additional $408,000 in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,600 schools, nonprofits and community and faith-based organizations across the country.