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Governor Chafee Announces $2.1 Million in Federal AmeriCorps Grants

Funds will Engage 333 Rhode Islanders in Intensive Service to Meet Local Needs

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that 14 organizations in Rhode Island have received AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which totals $2.1 million.

"By committing to volunteerism and service activities in Rhode Island, AmeriCorps members will be changing lives, improving communities and making Rhode Island a better place to live and work," Governor Chafee said.

October 21 is the day that Serve Rhode Island celebrates all of the state's AmeriCorps volunteers. In addition to the 333 who are part of states 14 AmeriCorps programs (listed below), 150 serve with national organizations such as City Year, Jump Start, and Youth Build and 64 AmeriCorps*VISTA members with nonprofit agencies throughout the state.

"The impact on the community of the work of Rhode Island's AmeriCorps members is tremendous," Executive Director of Serve Rhode Island Bernie Beaudreau said. "These dedicated public servants enrich the educational experience of students, improve academic achievement in low-performing urban schools, connect low-income families and veterans with resources and financial services and help high school students gain access to college, further strengthening Rhode Island's workforce."

Serve Rhode Island, the state's Commission for National and Community Service, will administer the funds from competitively awarded national AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps state formula grants. This year's members will be involved in mentoring and tutoring young people; enriching opportunities in environmental education and the arts; preparing young children for elementary school; assisting high school seniors applying for college; and providing basic human services to lower income families.

On a national level, AmeriCorps engages 80,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs. Its members serve through more than 14,000 nonprofit and faith-based organizations in rural and urban communities across the nation. Since 1994, more than 800,000 Americans have provided more than 1 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps.

Below is a listing of AmeriCorps grants in Rhode Island for 2013-2014:

2013-2014 AmeriCorps Programs Descriptions

The College Guides Program Host Agency: Brown University's Swearer Center for Public Service AC Members: 12 Full-time, 10 Minimum-time Program Director: Kate Trimble Phone: (401) 863-9574 Email: katherine_trimble@brown.edu

The College Advising Corps (CAC) at Brown University provides in-school college advising to increase the number of urban, low-income & first-generation students entering & completing higher education. College Guides are placed at 11 urban public high schools and CCRI. Students at RI schools with a CAC adviser are 14 percentage points more likely to attend college than students in similar schools without a CAC adviser. 12 full-time and 10 minimum-time members annually serve 2000 high school students.

Generations of Learning Host Agency: Connecting for Children and Families AC Members: 8-16 Full-time and Part-time Program Director: Charlotte Boudreau Phone: (401) 766-3384 Email: cboudreau@ccfcenter.org

Generations of Learning will enroll 8-16 AmeriCorps Members ages 55+, who will work with 250 K-5 students both during the school day, as well as in CCF's after-school programs, providing tutoring and enrichment programs to reinforce classroom instruction. Members will also work with students during vacation weeks and during the summer to address the high incidence of "summer learning loss" typical in high poverty, urban communities such as Woonsocket.

East Bay Community Action AmeriCorps Program AC Members: 10 Full-time Program Director: Audrey Field Phone: (401) 435-7876 Email: Afield@EBCAP.org

10 AmeriCorps members will serve on the Family Advocates Team to bridge the gap between people in crisis situations and corresponding supplemental resources. Team members not only offer referrals, but also are trained to assess client needs and assist clients with applications for rental and/or mortgage assistance, food stamps, heating assistance and income tax preparation. Members are also trained to conduct intake/screenings for client referrals; perform comprehensive assessments using a standardized empowerment-based tool; coordinate and implement food pantry operations; and support Head Start programming activities.

Inspiring Minds AC Members: 10 Full-time Program Director: Matthew Billings Phone: (401) 274-3240 Email: Mbillings@inspiringmindsri.org

Inspiring Minds, a 50 year-old education agency, will enroll 10 AmeriCorps Members to tutor K-3 students in four low performing elementary schools in Providence. Members will increase the number of students served over three years and advance existing program outcomes that show participating students outperform their peers by 20 to 40 percent in early literacy and math skills. Members will also work to maximize the efforts of 200 in school volunteers through targeted capacity building activities.

Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence AC Members: 16 Full-time Program Director: Abraham Henderson Phone: (401) 785-2320 Email: abraham@nonviolenceinstitute.org

The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence will deploy 16 AmeriCorps members to address unique needs of gang-involved youth. The team will provide nonviolence training in schools, empower local residents to organize violence prevention events, and provide positive skill-building opportunities for youth. Our national focus areas are Education and Opportunity. Measurable outcomes include lower school disciplinary rates and increased youth receiving work readiness skills training.

The Learning Community Educations Fellows Program AC Members: 12 Full-time Program Director: Emily Ustach Phone: (401) 454-9744 Email: Emilyu@thelearningcommunity.com

The Learning Community, a free, K-8 public charter school of 540 students, located in Central Falls, R.I., supports 12 AmeriCorps Education Fellows. Fellows serve as academic tutors with our students and get to see firsthand strategies in the classroom, at recess and after school that will help close the achievement gap. Each Education Fellow is assigned cohorts of students with whom they work in small groups or in one?on?one tutorials throughout the academic year. Education Fellows will also work with students during non?classroom time, building relationships during recess, lunch and after school tutoring. Fellows receive extensive training throughout the school year, enabling them to support over 100 students per year to make deep measurable academic and social growth.

Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative Host Agency: Save the Bay, Inc. AC Members: 16 Full-time Program Director: Isaac Lavoie Phone: (401) 272-3540 x 124 Email: ilavoie@SaveBay.org

The Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative (OSEEC) is a strategic effort by Rhode Island's leading environmental organizations to improve science proficiency and environmental literacy among students in the state's urban core cities. 16 AmeriCorps members with science and education degrees will teach environmental-based science in school, after school and in the field. Members introduce children to the natural environment and help cultivate environmentally— literate, active citizens.

Providence Children's Museum/Museum Corps AC Members: 12 Full-time, 4 Minimum-time Program Director: Cathy Saunders Phone: (401) 273-5437 x 136 Email: Saunders@ChildrenMuseum.org

MuseumCorps at Providence Children's Museum is designed to help close the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children, by providing stimulating hands-on learning experiences not available to most low-income children. Working closely with Head Start, Boys & Girls Club and other community based organizations, the Museum deploys 16 full and part-time AmeriCorps members to provide engaging enrichment programs for 1,455 inner-city children in out-of-school time and preschool in three of the state's poorest cities.

Ready to Learn Providence Host Agency: The Providence Plan AC Members: 35 Full-time Program Director: Kristin Read Phone: (401) 490-9960 Email: Kread@ProvPlan.org

Ready to Learn Providence will implement an Education & Healthy Futures model with 35 members: 29 to support children's school readiness via literacy programs in various early education settings and six members who will conduct developmental screenings for young children and deliver community activities such as health education workshops for families. In total, 1,600 children will complete a high- quality early education program and 1,500 children will participate in health education activities.

Rhode Island Vet Corps Host Agency: Westbay Community Action AC Members: 3 Full-time, 14 Part-time Program Director: Paul Salera Phone: (401) 732-4660 x 103 Email: Psalera@westbaycap.org

The Rhode Island Vet Corps Project at Westbay Community Action will deploy 3 full-time and 14 part-time AmeriCorps members to serve 3,000 RI veterans over three years. AmeriCorps members will provide outreach and counseling with the goal of linking veterans to available services throughout RI. Members will also mentor veterans through an alternative treatment program, resulting in increased self-sufficiency among veterans.

Scholarships for Service Host Agency: Rhode Island Campus Compact AC Members: 100 Minimum-time Program Director: MaryAlice O'Connor Phone: (401) 427-6957 Email: Moconnor@ricompact.org

Rhode Island Campus Compact's AmeriCorps project, Scholarships for Service: Student Civic Fellows, supports the volunteer needs of RI's non-profit agencies and PK-12 schools and improves college success rates through the development of 100 college students and college veterans as volunteers. Scholarships for Service members will directly impact local communities by increasing the number of volunteers serving to meet identified local needs in the focus areas of Education and Human Services. Members engage in a deep volunteer commitment, completing 300 service hours during the academic year, and use this opportunity to enhance their learning and explore career paths.

Teach for America Host Agency: Teach for America AC Members: 65 Full-time Program Director: Heather Tow-Tick Phone: (401) 519-2699 x 52101 Email: Heather.tow-tick@teachforamerica.org

Teach for America- Rhode Island provides a critical source of well-trained teachers who are helping break the local cycle of educational inequity. Corps members teach for two years in low-income schools in Providence and the Blackstone Valley, going above and beyond traditional expectations to help their students achieve at high levels. TFA recruits 65 AmeriCorps members annually to improve education outcomes for 5,000 students.

Tri-Town Community Action Host Agency: Tri-Town Community Action Agency AC Members: 6 Part-time Program Director: David Banno Phone: (401) 519-1901 Email: Dbanno@tri-town.org

The Tri-Town Community Action AmeriCorps Program will recruit 6 Half-Time AmeriCorps members to increase the financial education of low and moderate-income individuals identified as lacking basic financial skills. Skills to be increased include accessing banking services and preparing and maintaining a household budget that includes a savings plan. Additional responsibilities include outreach, assessment and referral of clients, and may include facilitation of Budget Basics workshops.

Serve Rhode Island is the state volunteer center and is the state's commission for national and community service administering the AmeriCorps program. Its offices are located at 655 Broad St., Ste. 202, Providence, RI 02907. Website: http://www.serverhodeisland.org. AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs. Members tutor and mentor youth, expand health services, build affordable housing, run after-school programs, support veterans, help communities respond to disasters, and recruit and train volunteers. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting AmeriCorps.gov.

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Governor

Online: http://www.governor.ri.gov

Release date: 10-21-2013

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