WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman announced that Arkansas will benefit from nearly $2.5 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. These investments will support more than 200 AmeriCorps members who will work on some of the most pressing issues in Arkansas including educating children in disadvantaged areas.
“AmeriCorps is an indispensable resource for nonprofits, communities and the people they serve. I thank all AmeriCorps members for their commitment to serving communities in our country that need help the most,” Boozman said. “What is so impressive about this program is AmeriCorps members are able to bring the country together by uniting the public and private sectors behind a common goal of serving our country.”
“For more than 20 years, AmeriCorps members have had a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service said. “Building on Arkansas’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across the state. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves - gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute every AmeriCorps member for his or her dedication and determination to ‘get things done’ and respond to the needs in their communities.”
The following organizations are Arkansas recipients of 2016 AmeriCorps competitive grants:
- Teach For America Arkansas – The organization will receive a $72,000 grant which will support 90 AmeriCorps members to serve as full-time teachers in low-income rural communities across Arkansas, reaching more than 940 students.
- Arkansas Literacy Councils, Inc. – The organization is receiving a $243,581 grant for its Arkansas Reads program. The funding will support 40 AmeriCorps members to provide one-on-one literacy and ESL instruction to 725 disadvantaged students.
- Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative (SEARK) - Its Arkansas AmeriCorp Future Teach Initiative program will receive $12,000 to allow 30 AmeriCorps members to participate in the Future Teacher Initiative (FTI) AmeriCorps Program to address identified community needs in education in the Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Chicot, Drew, and Faulkner Counties.
- Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative (SEARK) –The organization’s Arkansas Smart Start AmeriCorps program will receive $387,129 to engage 63 Americorps members in providing one-on-one math and literacy tutoring to elementary students and tutoring at-risk preschool students in the Delta region.
- Kiwanis Activities, Inc., received a $176,231 grant for its Alternative Classroom Experience/Summer Incentive Program that will support 14 AmeriCorps members to tutor and mentor at-risk elementary students in Little Rock, and mobilize 200 volunteers to serve as mentors and to help operate Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp.
CNCS will also provide up to $984,638 million in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training or pay back student loans. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $1.6 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.
The federal investment also includes $1.5 million for the Arkansas Service Commission, the Governor-appointed state service commission. Later this summer, it will make additional grants to support AmeriCorps programs in the state.
This year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, due to the strong demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources.
There are 532 AmeriCorps members who serve in 515 locations across the the state. AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations at 21,000 locations across the country.