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Kansas Volunteer Commission announces $1.4 million in AmeriCorps funding for state

Posted: Jul 6, 2016
Author: Ann Bush

For Immediate Release                                                   Contact:

July 5, 2016                                                                   Lonna Summers Rocha, (785) 368-6232

                                                                                    volunteer@ksde.org                                                                                                                                               

Kansas Volunteer Commission announces
$1.4 million in AmeriCorps funding for state

Funding will support 169 AmeriCorps members to meet local needs

TOPEKA — The Kansas Volunteer Commission on Tuesday, July 5, announced that Kansas has received $1,489,127 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which is the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps.

These grants will support 169 AmeriCorps members across the state to serve with eight organizations.

AmeriCorps members will tackle critical challenges in Kansas by providing job training and education experiences for children and adults, helping individuals find affordable housing and stable employment, providing nutrition education and access to food and improving public lands at state parks and local communities.

“National service is an essential part of the solution to many of the challenges facing our state,” said Lonna Summers Rocha, AmeriCorps program officer. “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.”

Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of CNCS, said: “AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation. Building on Kansas’ strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across the state. As they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves — gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. We congratulate all the Kansas organizations who received funding this year, and thank all AmeriCorps members for their service.”

In addition to the grant funding, CNCS will make available $643,623 in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training or pay back student loans. After completing 1,700 hours of service, AmeriCorps members earn an education award of $5,775.

AmeriCorps is a public-private partnership, and AmeriCorps grantees leverage significant outside resources to operate their programs. The federal investment for programs in Kansas is projected to generate an additional $1.5 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.

The current year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive due to the strong demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources. The 2016 competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and continued a new initiative for governors and mayors.

The Kansas Volunteer Commission will award grants to these nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the state: 

  • Ashby House, Salina: AmeriCorps members will help develop and implement both adult and child care curriculum as part of the Opportunity Knocks workforce training program in Saline County and the surrounding areas. (Five members)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence: AmeriCorps members will serve alongside Lawrence school district personnel and Boys & Girls Club staff to provide academic interventions to students in all Boys & Girls Club after-school program sites. (33 members)
  • Harvesters — The Community Food Network, Kansas City and Topeka: AmeriCorps members will provide nutrition education and outreach in 16 counties throughout northeast Kansas. (Seven members)
  • Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, Kansas City, KS: AmeriCorps members will assist K-8 students in achieving grade-level status in math and reading, increase student attendance rates, increase test scores and increase work completion. (23 members)
  • Kansas Outdoor AmeriCorps Action Team with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism: AmeriCorps members will perform environmental service projects and disaster recovery in state parks and local communities across the state. (68 members)
  • Rosedale Development Association, Kansas City: AmeriCorps members will provide community and schoolyard gardening programs, literacy, and youth sports programs, health-focused community events, minor home repair services for seniors and healthcare enrollment assistance for those leaving in the Rosedale neighborhood. (Nine members)
  • United Way of Douglas County, Lawrence: AmeriCorps members will be responsible for improving the health, employment status and housing status of vulnerable teens, adults and families. (19 members)
  • Youth Volunteer Corps hosted by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, Overland Park: AmeriCorps members will plan, recruit for, and implement high-quality, service-learning experiences through in-school and out-of-school opportunities in Kansas within the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. (Five members)

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations at more than 21,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Since 1994, 980,000 AmeriCorps members have given more than 1.3 billion hours of service to their country, earning more than $3 billion in education scholarships. Later this year, the one millionth AmeriCorps member will take the AmeriCorps pledge, committing to "get things done" for America. In Kansas, more than 7,600 AmeriCorps members have served 9.6 million hours and earned more than $21,540,000 in education scholarships.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.

The mission of the Kansas Volunteer Commission (KVC) is to empower all Kansans to meet community needs through service. The Commission's primary role is to provide resources and leadership to support local initiatives that tackle community needs. As the state service commission, the KVC directs effective national service programs, leads disability inclusion initiatives and volunteer management training opportunities. For more information, visit www.kanserve.org.

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