Operation AmeriCorps will support 80 AmeriCorps members over two years for Flint schools
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, today announced that Flint will be one of 10 communities nationwide to become part of the agency’s new Operation AmeriCorps initiative.
The Community Schools AmeriCorps project, led by the City of Flint, will support 80 AmeriCorps members during the next two years to provide after-school and summer programming for K-6 students at three local elementary schools. The City of Flint will expand its community school model as a way to transform local education and increase student achievement.
“I salute the City of Flint, Flint Community Schools, the Michigan Community Service Commission, and the local community partners for this visionary project that will have a transforming impact on the community and its young people,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Through Operation AmeriCorps, this city will come together to ensure more Flint students succeed in school and in life.”
The City of Flint is one of only 10 locations in the nation and the only city in Michigan to receive Operation AmeriCorps funding. Operation AmeriCorps is an initiative launched by CNCS last fall for local and tribal governments to use AmeriCorps as a transformative catalyst to address a high-priority community challenge. Additional Operation AmeriCorps grantees will be announced later this month.
“This new partnership will offer enhanced educational support and renew Flint schools as neighborhood hubs, while engaging more Americans in national service,” said Mayor Dayne Walling, an AmeriCorps alum himself. “It is an honor for Flint to be selected for this innovative AmeriCorps project.”
Starting this fall, 30 AmeriCorps members will coordinate and provide wraparound services to students and families to address the root causes of underachievement. These services will include tutoring and service-learning activities, conflict resolution, nutrition and health education, and physical education. These activities will take place during school, as part of after-school programming, and during the summer. The AmeriCorps VISTA members will develop community partnerships to provide additional programming, create systems to track student participation, and facilitate school advisory and parent groups in each school. During the second year of the program 50 AmeriCorps members will serve Flint.
The federal agency’s investment includes $1,061,000 in AmeriCorps program dollars over two years, contingent on appropriations and performance. In addition, AmeriCorps members completing their service are eligible to earn a total of $343,800 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to pay for higher education costs or pay back student loans. This federal investment of $1.4 million is projected to generate an additional $360,000 in local cash and in-kind matching contributions, making the total two-year investment worth more than $1.7 million.
“AmeriCorps provides critical services to Flint and cities across Michigan,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. “This new initiative will help volunteers work with community members and families to make sure children in Flint have more opportunities to learn, grow, and prosper.”
“The Community Schools AmeriCorps project will provide greater opportunity to local-area students and help ensure that our children can reach their full potential,” said Congressman Dan Kildee. “After-school and summer programs for mid-Michigan students are vital to providing safe and productive places for kids to learn valuable skills and enrich their lives. It’s these types of smart federal investments and community partnerships that will continue to help put students on a path to success, both in and out of the classroom.”
“Operation AmeriCorps will help empower students, encourage community involvement, and ultimately help prepare students for long-term success following high school,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “I look forward to seeing the great opportunities this project will provide for Michigan’s young people and welcome all of the volunteers to our great state.”
The Community Schools AmeriCorps project is funded through the Michigan Community Service Commission, which will provide oversight and support from the state level. Additional state and local partners include: Flint Community Schools, Crim Fitness Foundation, C.S. Mott Foundation, and the United Way of Genesee County. Additional support will be provided by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Club, the Flint Police Department, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
The Operation AmeriCorps funding builds on CNCS’s existing investment of $26.7 million in communities across Michigan. These federal dollars leverage an additional $16.2 million in other resources. This funding supports more than 11,000 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers to serve at 1,100 locations in the state. These citizens tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, and more.
The City of Flint will begin recruiting individuals for these new AmeriCorps positions that will start for the 2015-2016 school year. These full-time AmeriCorps positions provide a living allowance, training, health coverage, a $5,730 college scholarship, and the opportunity to make a difference for Flint and its young people.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.