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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 01, 2006

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]

   

AmeriCorps Boosts Disaster Response, Youth Service with $139 Million in New Funds to Support Nearly 18,000 Members

 

Washington, D.C. – As hurricane season kicks off today with experts predicting another extremely active season, help is on the way from thousands of new AmeriCorps members who will work with Gulf Coast communities to prepare for upcoming disasters and rebuild from last year’s devastating storms.

The disaster relief support – $49.6 million in new funds to support 5,400 AmeriCorps members – is part of the annual announcement of $139 million in new AmeriCorps grants made today by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps’ parent agency. Helping youth succeed is another key thrust of the new grants, which will support more than 7,700 new AmeriCorps members as teachers, tutors, mentors, and afterschool and service-learning coordinators for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

All together, the new grants will support a total of 141 organizations and 17,725 new AmeriCorps members for the 2006-07 program year. In addition, if all members complete their terms of service, they collectively will be eligible to receive more than $51 million in AmeriCorps Education Awards to pay for college or pay back student loans. A complete list of grants can be found by clicking here.

“In communities across the country, our dedicated AmeriCorps members will be tackling some of America’s toughest social issues,” said Corporation CEO David Eisner. “We are excited about the quality and diversity of these grantees, and the powerful contribution their AmeriCorps members will make to mobilizing volunteers, responding to disasters, improving education, helping youth, and meeting other critical needs.”

In total more than $60 million in grants funds and 7,700 of the new AmeriCorps positions are geared towards helping youth succeed or serve. These include programs such as the Harlem Children’s Zone program, which will support 117 AmeriCorps members in eight Harlem schools to assist teachers, provide afterschool activities, and spur parental involvement in schools. Acting on the belief that young people should be asked to serve, not just be served, a number of grants support AmeriCorps members who organize projects to engage youth in service at a young age so that they will grow into active, involved citizens.

The grants continue AmeriCorps’ heavy involvement in helping Gulf Coast communities recover from the devastating 2005 hurricanes. For example, 75 AmeriCorps members will serve with the Housing Authority of Meridian, Miss., to help rebuild homes; 150 members will serve with the Trinity Christian Community in New Orleans to do case management and rebuilding, and 96 AmeriCorps members will provide preparedness training for natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and fire safety through local American Red Cross chapters across the county. Thirteen of the disaster relief programs were funded for three years at the outset with $18 million in funds specifically available for disaster recovery and preparedness.

The grants reinforce AmeriCorps’ long term commitment to helping the Gulf Coast recover from the Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Since September, more than 3,500 AmeriCorps members have served in the Gulf, where they have established and operated shelters, mucked and gutted homes, provided meals and services to evacuees, tarped and rebuilt homes, coordinated the warehousing and distribution of donated goods, and managed tens of thousands of community volunteers. AmeriCorps has already approved nearly $14 million in AmeriCorps funds to support recovery efforts by current grantees and to create service opportunities for more than 900 new AmeriCorps members.

Among the AmeriCorps grants announced today are 18 faith-based and 170 community-based programs, many of which further the priorities of the Corporation’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative of working with children of inmates, prisoners re-entering society, and their families. Lutheran Social Services of Illinois will engage 16 AmeriCorps members to re-connect children of incarcerated parents with their family member in prison and to launch a prisoner reentry program. Amachi, a Philadelphia based program focusing on mentoring children of incarcerated parents, will engage 60 AmeriCorps members as congregation volunteer coordinators at faith-based organizations to recruit and train mentors.

Today’s grant announcements represent the cumulative results of nine separate competitions. All of the groups announced today are beginning a new three-year grant cycle with AmeriCorps. The 141 organizations were selected from among 482 applicants in a highly competitive process. AmeriCorps grants typically are awarded for a period of three years, renewable contingent on grantee performance, compliance, and availability of funds.

AmeriCorps is a highly decentralized program which provides men and women the opportunity to meet local needs by serving with existing nonprofits groups, local agencies, and faith-based and community organizations. Roughly three-quarters of all AmeriCorps grant dollars go through and are administered by Governor-appointed state service commissions. Because of its decentralized structure which emphasizes grassroots solutions to local problems, AmeriCorps members supported by these grants will serve in a range of activities including teaching disadvantaged students, mentoring youth, responding to disasters, and mobilize volunteers to meet vital community needs.

AmeriCorps grants are made in two general categories: “state grants” made either to Governor-appointed state service commissions or to organizations nominated by those commissions; and “national grants” made directly by the Corporation to organizations operating in multiple states, institutions of higher education, and American Indian tribes.

AmeriCorps State Grants

AmeriCorps State Competitive: These grants are awarded to organizations nominated to participate in a nationwide competition by Governor-appointed state service commissions. The 90 organizations selected in this category, out of 278 applications, will receive grants totaling $62.7 million to support 8,006 AmeriCorps positions.

AmeriCorps State Education Award Program: Under this program, organizations operating in a single state receive only a small administrative grant—approximately $400 for each full-time member—and most use their own or other resources to cover AmeriCorps members’ living allowance and other program costs. Of the grants awarded in this category, 13 were either new or renewed grants. The $222,640 awarded to these grantees will support 1,143 members. The remaining nine grantees received continuation grants of $136,700 that will support 1,207 AmeriCorps members.

AmeriCorps National Grants

AmeriCorps National: These grants are awarded to organizations that operate in more than one state. The 18 grantees in this category, out of 42 applications,  will receive a total of $23.5 million to support 3,412 members.

AmeriCorps National Education Award Program: Under this program, organizations operating in more than one state, or institutions of higher education, receive only a small administrative grant—approximately $400 for each full-time member—and most use their own or other resources to cover AmeriCorps members’ living allowance and other program costs. The three grantees in this category will receive $768,000 to support 3,798 members.

AmeriCorps Indian Tribes, Territories, and Puerto Rico Grants: The three grantees in this category will receive $528,745 to support 42 AmeriCorps members.

Professional Corps: The sole grantee in this category received a $150,000 grant that will support 100 AmeriCorps members.

South Dakota: the sole grantee in this category will receive a $208,781 grant to support 17 AmeriCorps members.

AmeriCorps Planning Grants: Grants are awarded to organizations to assist with the setting up of an AmeriCorps project. This is a one-year grant, and no members will be supported with this grant. The three grantees in this category will receive a total of $149,664.

The grants announced today represent only part of the grants to be made this year by AmeriCorps. In April, the Corporation announced $57.3 million in second- and third-year grants to 128 organizations to support 9,682 AmeriCorps members for the 2006-07 program year. (Click here for detailed information on those grants). More grant announcements will be made in the coming months. In total, the fiscal year 2006 budget for AmeriCorps will support approximately 73,000 positions. Most of the positions will be available starting in the fall. Interested individuals can learn about opportunities and submit an online application by visiting http://www.americorps.gov.

“Joining AmeriCorps is an excellent way for people of all ages to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship,” said Liz Seale, Interim Director of AmeriCorps. “I’m continually impressed by our AmeriCorps members’ drive, commitment, and accomplishments. The opportunities supported by these grants are a great option for Americans looking to make a difference in their communities.”

At the end of a successful full-time term of service, AmeriCorps members earn an AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725 that they can use to pay for college or to pay back qualified student loans. Part-time members earn awards in pro-rated amounts. Most AmeriCorps members also receive health benefits, student loan deferment, and a living allowance to offset food and housing costs during their term of service.

In addition to the AmeriCorps*State and National grant programs, of which these competitions are a part, AmeriCorps also includes AmeriCorps*NCCC, a 10-month, full-time residential program for 1,100 men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 who carry out projects in public safety, public health, and disaster relief; and AmeriCorps*VISTA, whose 6,600 members help bring individuals and communities out of poverty by serving full-time to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, increase housing opportunities, or bridge the digital divide.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which also oversees Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. The Corporation’s mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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