Will help meet critical state, local needs
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 12, 2014)– Kentucky has received more than $4.8 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to assist organizations that teach and tutor children, combat homelessness, provide drug resistance education and empower victims of domestic violence.
AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS), part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps members serve faith-based and nonprofit organizations with critical educational, environmental and safety needs.
“National service is an essential part of the solution to many of the challenges facing our commonwealth,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “These AmeriCorps members will meet pressing local needs and strengthen communities as they develop civic and leadership skills to last a lifetime. I congratulate these outstanding organizations and thank all those who serve their communities through AmeriCorps.”
Kentucky received an additional $1.7 million in formula grant funds, awarded based on state population. With these funds, the state will award grants for up to seven additional AmeriCorps programs in nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the commonwealth.
In addition to the grant funding, CNCS will make available $1.5 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members are eligible for an education award equal to the Pell grant – currently $5,645 – that can be used to repay student loans or cover tuition costs.
“I’m so proud that five Kentucky AmeriCorps programs received $2.1 million in funds through the annual grant competition,” said KCCVS Executive Director Joe Bringardner. “It’s exciting that Kentucky was also awarded almost $1 million more in competitive grant funds for a STEM AmeriCorps program and a School Turnaround AmeriCorps program. National service in Kentucky has a bright future.”
Since AmeriCorps began in 1994, more than 9,100 Kentucky residents have served more than 14 million hours and have qualified for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $31 million. During the 2012-13 program year, AmeriCorps members recruited almost 16,000 volunteers who provided more than 80,000 hours of service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program and the KCCVS.
“Kentucky will have more AmeriCorps programs this year than last year, and we eventually hope to have programs in every county,” Bringardner said. “The AmeriCorps program is a great fit for Kentucky and brings in millions for college educations, as well as thousands of hours of service to communities.”
The competitive grant funds were awarded to the programs listed below. Also listed are the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award amounts available to each program. The education award allotment is in addition to the competitive grant funds. Programs awarded formula grant funds will be announced in June.
Kentucky AmeriCorps Program Grants
Build Corps – $598,482
Sponsor: Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky (Frankfort)
Member Positions: 45 Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $254,025
Build Corps members will build, renovate and weatherize low-income housing; help homeless individuals transition into housing and help those at risk of homelessness secure the resources to maintain their housing. Additionally, members will engage in tax preparation activities for low-income residents and people with disabilities. Members will also provide a small amount of disaster response and recovery assistance targeted toward economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals across Kentucky.
Economic Empowerment Corps – $135,850 Sponsor: Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (Frankfort)
Member Positions: 11 Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $62,095
Economic Empowerment Corps is a statewide program in which members serve as economic empowerment specialists and youth empowerment specialists serving those who are survivors of domestic violence. Members will connect survivors and their children with social services, public and housing assistance, and self-sufficiency programming such as financial education and domestic violence prevention services.
FRYSC Corps – $445,976
Sponsor: Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (Shelbyville)
Member Positions: 65 Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $214,135
FRYSC Corps members will tutor elementary, middle and high school students in reading, provide program support in Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs), and will recruit volunteers across 62 counties in Kentucky.
MSUCorps – $379,050
Sponsor: Morehead State University (Morehead)
Member Positions: 30 Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $169,350
MSU Corps members will tutor low-achieving students in reading and math in 23 counties in Kentucky. Members will also recruit and support 150 volunteers to provide 100 hours in tutoring reading and other activities.
Teach for America-Kentucky – $36,800
Sponsor: Teach For America (Hazard)
Member Positions: 46 Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $259,670
Teach for America-Kentucky members will serve as classroom teachers in low-income rural schools, resulting in improved educational outcomes for students. The program will serve schools in the central Appalachian school districts in southeastern Kentucky.
UNITE Service Corps – $543,400
Sponsor: Operation UNITE (Prestonsburg)
Member Positions: 44
Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $248,380
UNITE Service Corps members will provide before and after school math tutoring and healthy choices education programs in schools that have lost Extended School Services due to budget cuts in the program. Members also coordinate school projects, clubs and community service projects in elementary schools in eastern Kentucky. The program is a twofold approach to provide math tutoring and healthy choices curriculum to address drug prevention and nutritional education for fourth and fifth grade students.
PartnerCorps STEM – $266,000
Sponsor: Berea College (Berea)
Member Positions: 20
Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $112,900
PartnerCorps STEM members will provide tutoring and homework assistance in algebra while connecting mathematics to STEM career pathways, resulting in improved academic results in mathematics. The program will serve three rural high schools in Madison County.
Partnering for Rural School Turnaround: AmeriCorps and Berea – $633,509
Sponsor: Berea College (Berea)
Member Positions: 40
Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $225,800
Members will serve at two rural schools: Knox Central High School and Leslie County High School. Members will serve as mentors, college advisers and family connectors. The program adopts a research-based framework for delivering services with supporting activities that reflect best practices for engaging low-income and rural students.
For more information about Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs, call the KCCVS toll-free 800-239-7404 or visit the KCCVS website at volunteerKY.ky.gov.