LAWRENCE, Kan. – An increase in funding and mentors is a dual source of positivity awaiting Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence this fall, as the organization will welcome 33 AmeriCorps service members for the 2016-17 school year.
The 33 members represents an unprecedented amount at the organization, each of whom will serve alongside school district personnel and BGC staff to provide academic interventions to students in all 15 Boys & Girls Club afterschool program sites.
Last month, the Kansas Volunteer Commission announced that Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence was one of eight Kansas organizations to receive AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which is the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. More than $343,000, of the of $1.5 million total awarded to Kansas organizations, will directly benefit Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence.
“This is fantastic news for us,” said Hannah Odette, Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Director of Grants. “We’ve never had this many AmeriCorps members before. A grant award of this magnitude will impact our organization through increased funding and increased positive role models for the kids we serve.”
The 16 part-time and 17 full-time AmeriCorps service members will participate in training with the Lawrence Public School District, as half of their service agreement is fulfilled by serving in the schools during the day. By serving both during school and in the afterschool program, AmeriCorps members are able to provide consistent academic support.
Due to their placement in the schools and Club sites, AmeriCorps members build strong relationships with teachers, paras and counselors to ensure they provide academic assistance, specifically focused on improving math and reading proficiency. They also provide a positive learning environment and promote the personal, social and intellectual development of Club members.
“AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” said Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of CNCS. “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 education scholarships available 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, full-time AmeriCorps members earn an education award of $5,775. Part-time members earn an education award of $2,887.50 after completing 900 hours of service.
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.
Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence is currently recruiting AmeriCorps members interested in improving students’ academic performance and promoting student development. For more information or to apply for a position, contact Hannah Odette (email@example.com) or Ariel Rodriguez (firstname.lastname@example.org).