Kentucky receives $6.7M in service grants

Federal funding will help meet critical state and local needs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2017) — Kentucky has received nearly $6.7 million in AmeriCorps federal funding for 20 programs with more than 900 total members.

Most of the programs were funded through an annual grant competition by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages Americans of all ages in service. The remaining programs are funded through formula grant funds that are allocated to Kentucky by CNCS based on state population.

AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by Serve Kentucky — formerly known as the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service — in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. Members serve faith-based and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, local government entities and state agencies.

“This funding will help address critical issues across the commonwealth — like teaching and tutoring students, combatting homelessness, providing drug resistance education, protecting environmental resources, serving veterans and military families, empowering victims of domestic violence and assisting low-income senior citizens,” said CHFS Secretary Adam M. Meier. “Service is a wonderful way to build our workforce and our community resources.”

Meier added that including additional local match funding and educational grants, AmeriCorps programs will result in a $21 million investment in Kentucky.

“Kentucky AmeriCorps is making an enormous impact, both now and for the future of our Commonwealth,” continued Meier. “I am proud that this funding is strengthening both individuals and communities.”

Serve Kentucky Executive Director Joe Bringardner said he is proud of Kentucky programs’ showing among the national grant awardees.

“These programs have distinct goals to help educate youth, provide comfort to seniors and rebuild families’ lives by building homes,” Bringardner said. “Our AmeriCorps members use their talents, their vision and their boundless energy to establish immediate and long-lasting change in Kentucky.” 

Kentucky received $4 million for 10 programs in national competitive grant funding and was also allocated $2.6 million in formula grant funding to support additional state programs. The law creating AmeriCorps gave a key role to state service commissions in determining how national service resources are used to promote service and volunteering to meet specific community needs. With the state allocation, Serve Kentucky awarded grants to 10 additional AmeriCorps programs.

AmeriCorps program sponsors are also contributing a total of $10.6 million in local funding matches, money from the private sector, foundations, community partnerships and other sources.

In addition to the grant funding, CNCS will make available $3.7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,920 to pay for college, postsecondary education institutions, or to pay back student loans.

From an economic standpoint, AmeriCorps is a good investment in workforce training, spurring personal and professional growth. In fact, eight out of 10 alumni say AmeriCorps helped them get a job, with 42 percent finding employment due to an AmeriCorps connection. AmeriCorps members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Recent studies also show a strong connection between volunteering and employment, particularly in rural areas, where volunteers are 57 percent more likely to find employment.

Bringardner said AmeriCorps can pave the way to higher education and a selected career for many Kentuckians.

“Kentucky AmeriCorps provides millions of dollars for postsecondary education,” he said. “It gives members a way to move toward a degree and gain specialized skills in their areas of professional interest while they serve their communities.”

Bringardner said many AmeriCorps members continue helping others in their full-time careers.

“The passion for service is what drives so many of our members,” he said. “Service often gives them the chance to step up, take charge, and work on their organizational skills. They become true leaders.”

Since 1994, more than 12,000 Kentuckians have served approximately 19 million hours through AmeriCorps, earning Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $44.3 million. Data collected from the last completed program year reveals that Kentucky AmeriCorps members recruited more than 17,000 volunteers who provided more than 117,430 hours of service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens.

Competitive grants are awarded nationally for fixed time periods for specific projects and costs. Formula grants are awarded by the bipartisan Serve Kentucky commission based on local needs, Governor’s Office priorities, geographic and program diversity, performance measurements and CNCS focus areas.

Grants were awarded to the programs listed below.

Learn more about Serve Kentucky and AmeriCorps at chfs.ky.gov or by calling 502-564-7420.

2018-19 Kentucky AmeriCorps Program Grants:

ATEAM AmeriCorps

Sponsor: Barren County School Board (Glasgow)

CNCS Grant: $498,811 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $759,710

Member Slots: 69 (part-time)

Education Awards: $236,682

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will tutor targeted remedial students in K-12th grade in reading and/or math using research-based curriculums. AmeriCorps members placed in elementary schools will be responsible for targeted students to be reading at or above grade level by the end of the academic year. Members placed in middle and high schools will be responsible for targeted students to be performing at grade level or above in the tutored subjects. In addition, members at the high schools will be responsible for targeted students graduating on time, and/or being prepared for college or the workforce. In addition, members will leverage an additional 400 volunteers who will be engaged in assisting students in tutoring and support of school based and program service projects.

Christian Appalachian Project AmeriCorps

Sponsor: Christian Appalachian Project (Paintsville)

CNCS Grant: $25,288 (Formula Education Award Program)

Local Match: $4,857,907

Member Slots: 70 (part-time)

Education Awards: $187,131

CNCS Focus Area(s): Health Futures, Economic Opportunity, Education, Disaster Services

AmeriCorps members will provide housing services, long-term hunger support, emergency assistance, disaster relief, early childhood education, character education and tutoring, summer programming, and elderly and disability services for residents of one or more of Eastern Kentucky. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for a number of positive outcomes, including affordable, safe, warm, and dry housing, decreased food insecurity, the immediate meeting of crisis needs, increased school readiness and non-cognitive skills, and greater independence and social support for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 1,000 volunteers who will be engaged in housing repair.

Economic Empowerment Corps

Sponsor: KY Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Frankfort)

CNCS Grant: $266,000 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $181,764

Member Slots: 20 (full-time)

Education Awards: $118,400

CNCS Focus Area(s): Economic Opportunity

AmeriCorps members will provide economic empowerment services to domestic violence survivors at 15 member programs and other community partners across the state. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for providing 1,200 domestic violence survivors with financial education, individual financial counseling, and case management services. Members will also provide credit counseling to 500 survivors and 80 individuals will increase their scores. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 600 volunteers who will be engaged in assisting the members with financial education courses or helping participants in economic empowerment programs access community resources.

Environmental Education Leadership Corps

Sponsor: Kentucky Environmental Education Council (Frankfort)

CNCS Grant: $241,523 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $131,764

Member Slots: 16 (full-time)

Education Awards: $94,720

CNCS Focus Area(s): Environmental Stewardship.

AmeriCorps members will provide environmental education programs and activities to the public in various locations throughout Kentucky, such as state and local parks, institutions of higher learning, local government agencies, environmental education centers, zoos and aquariums, nonprofit providers of environmental education, and youth service organizations. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for having provided instruction on environmentally related topics to 8,000 members of the public.

FRYSC Corps

Sponsor: Ohio Valley Education Cooperative (Shelbyville)

CNCS Grant: $381,903 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $383,555

Member Slots: 44 (full- and part-time)

Education Awards: $149,717

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will provide literacy tutoring and address food insecurity in economically disadvantaged schools in Central and Eastern Kentucky. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for helping K-12 students meet expected literacy goals and providing nutrition resources. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 60 volunteers who will be engaged as literacy mentors and collecting food donations for partner site feeding programs.

Global Game Changers Expanded Learning Partnerships

Sponsor: Global Game Changers (GGC) Children’s Education Initiative (Louisville)

CNCS Grant: $166,621 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $53,336

Member Slots: 16 (full- and part-time)

Education Awards: $58,726

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will teach students in GGC’s Expanded Learning Programs in Jefferson County. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for having engaged 450 students in an additional 90 hours of enrichment instruction, resulting in gains in social-emotional skills, power skills, and academics. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 75 volunteers who will be engaged in mentoring students and supporting classroom instruction during the course of the In-Residence Expanded Learning Program.

Homes for All

Sponsor: Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky (Frankfort)

CNCS Grant: $573,800 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $601,147

Member Slots: 38 (full-time)

Education Awards: $224,960

CNCS Focus Area(s): Economic Opportunity

AmeriCorps members will provide housing services to economically disadvantaged individuals. These services include construction activities, homeownership and housing counseling, homeless prevention, homeless intervention, and capacity building activities to meet the need of affordable housing. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for providing services to 1,800 individuals and transitioning at least 720 of those individuals into safe, affordable housing. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage at least 550 volunteers each year who will be engaged in new home construction activities, home repairs, and teaching financial literacy classes.

Kentucky College Coaches

Sponsor: Northen Kentucky University Research Foundation (Highland Heights)

CNCS Grant: $428,866 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $381,198

Member Slots: 77 (part-time)

Education Awards: $190,387

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will coach and mentor high school students. These activities will take place in 50 high schools and Area Technology Centers throughout the state of Kentucky. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for sustaining coaching relationships with 3300 economically disadvantaged high school students, and assisting 500 high school seniors to enroll in a postsecondary program. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 550 volunteers who will be engaged in helping high school students learn about careers, complete paperwork for college access, and help build a college-going culture in Kentucky. 

Kentucky College Coaches on Campus

Sponsor: Northen Kentucky University Research Foundation (Highland Heights)

CNCS Grant: $293,535 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $95,777

Member Slots: 78 (part-time)

Education Awards: $115,085

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education, Veterans and Military Families

AmeriCorps members will provide academic coaching to first-generation, low-income, and veteran college students statewide in Kentucky. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for coaching 1,440 college students, with 90% persisting to the next academic year. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 150 volunteers who will be engaged in job and career exploration with the college students.

Kentucky READY Corps

Sponsor: Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond)

CNCS Grant: $211,158 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $93,262

Member Slots: 45 (part-time)

Education Awards: $77,078

CNCS Focus Area(s): Disaster Services

AmeriCorps members will identify and provide direct assistance to individuals and groups vulnerable to disasters, and conduct disaster planning with a focus on vulnerable individuals and groups in communities across Kentucky. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for increasing both the preparedness of individuals deemed vulnerable to disasters and the resilience of communities through planning and other capacity-building projects. 

Morehead State University (MSU) Corps

Sponsor: Morehead State University (Morehead)

CNCS Grant: $402,894 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $624,804

Member Slots: 39 (full- and part-time)

Education Awards: $177,600

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will provide evidence-based math and reading tutoring in local elementary and middle schools using technology-based interventions to high-risk, economically disadvantaged students in 22 counties in Eastern Kentucky AmeriCorps members will be responsible for 85% of 900 students enrolled in tutoring increasing their math and reading skills by one level gain according to MAP and STAR assessment data. 630 students will demonstrate more academically engaged behaviors as demonstrated on teacher pre/post-test surveys. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 150 volunteers who will be engaged in student success by providing a minimum of 5 hours of tutoring to students engaged in the intervention program.

PartnerCorps School Turnaround

Sponsor: Partners for Education at Berea College (Berea)

CNCS Grant: $839,998 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $430,203

Member Slots: 60 (full-time)

Education Awards: $355,200

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will serve high school students in Clay, Knox and Perry Counties in rural Kentucky. Twenty AmeriCorps members will serve at each school, and members will provide tutoring and mentoring to improve attendance and math scores.

PartnerCorps SOAR

Sponsor: Partners for Education at Berea College (Berea)

CNCS Grant: $278,585 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $136,998

Member Slots: 24 (full- and part-time)

Education Awards: $123,432

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will serve in Leslie County Schools in rural Kentucky. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for improving student attendance.

PartnerCorps STEM

Sponsor: Partners for Education at Berea College (Berea)

CNCS Grant: $320,718 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $149,690

Member Slots: 32 (full- and part-time)

Education Awards: $142,790

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will serve as mentors, tutors, and college guides in Madison County. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for student improvement in mathematics and retention in postsecondary. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 24 volunteers who will be engaged as presenters of STEM career opportunities.

REACH Corps School Turnaround

Sponsor: Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville)

CNCS Grant: $327,021 (Competitive Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $138,000

Member Slots: 24 (full-time)

Education Awards: $142,080

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps members will mentor disadvantaged students at priority and focus schools in Jefferson County. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for improving the academic engagement and attendance of participating students. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 432 volunteers who will be involved in tutoring, parent and community engagement activities and school-based service projects.

Senior Connections

Sponsor: Green River Area Development District (Owensboro)

CNCS Grant: $510,340 (Formula Fixed)

Local Match: $231,000

Member Slots: 38 (full-time)

Education Awards: $224,960

CNCS Focus Area(s): Healthy Futures, Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Veterans and Military Families.

AmeriCorps members will provide a range of services and social support to seniors, to reduce the rate of hospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries at a variety of service sites. AmeriCorps members will provide food, services, transportation and social support to 6,000 older adults. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 800 volunteers who will be engaged in assisting the efforts of AmeriCorps members and some will train with AmeriCorps members to prepare for and recover from disasters that may affect the region.

Teach For America-Appalachia

Sponsor: Teach For America (Hazard)

CNCS Grant: $46,000 (Competitive Education Award Program)

Local Match: $900,000

Member Slots: 46 (full-time)

Education Awards: $272,320

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps Professional Corps members will be responsible for teaching for two years in low-income and disadvantaged schools in Appalachian Kentucky, partnering with their local communities to help their students achieve at high levels. AmeriCorps Professional Corps members will increase the academic achievement of the 4,000 students they teach. 

Teach Kentucky AmeriCorps

Sponsor: Teach Kentucky (Louisville)

CNCS Grant: $70,000 (Formula Education Award Program)

Local Match: $71,104

Member Slots: 70 (full-time)

Education Awards: $414,400

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

AmeriCorps Professional Corps members will be Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Spanish, and Learning and Behavior Disorders public middle (grades 6-8) and high school teachers in Jefferson County Public Schools and several surrounding counties. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for their students’ increased content knowledge as demonstrated by improvement on the student growth standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts set by Kentucky’s Department of Education’s Unbridled Learning State Accountability model.

The Plantory FoodForce

Sponsor: Kentucky Conference for Community and Justice, dba The Plantory (Lexington)

CNCS Grant: $140,666 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $49,492

Member Slots: 44 (part-time)

Education Awards: $55,115

CNCS Focus Area(s): Environmental Stewardship, Economic Opportunity

AmeriCorps members will partner with area food-focused nonprofits to convert excess produce from farms into usable food products and compostable waste for local gardens/farms. AmeriCorps members will increase job readiness and placement for underemployed individuals in Lexington. AmeriCorps members will be responsible for processing 5 tons of food waste.

UNITE Service Corps

Sponsor: Operation UNITE (London)

CNCS Grant: $658,800 (Competitive Fixed)

Local Match: $313,200

Member Slots: 54 (full-time)

Education Awards: $319,680

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education, Healthy Futures

AmeriCorps members will be placed in 54 of the poorest elementary schools in Eastern Kentucky, providing math tutoring and wellness curriculum to address drug prevention and nutritional education for 4th and 5th grade students. Expected outcomes are that students will show a 30% increase in both math scores and the healthy choices curriculum as measured by pre/post tests. In addition, AmeriCorps members will leverage 1,100 volunteers to help with activities at their assigned schools.

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