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Kentucky Receives $6.1 Million in Service Grants

Kentucky Receives $6.1 Million in Service Grants

Bill Stephens

July 15th, 2016

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NEWS RELEASE

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 15, 2016) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) announced today that Kentucky has received more than $6 million in AmeriCorps federal funding for 19 programs with more than 1,000 members.

Most of the programs were funded through an annual grant competition by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages Americans of all ages in service. The remaining programs are funded through formula grant funds that are allocated to Kentucky by CNCS based on state population.

AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the CHFS. AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. Members serve faith-based and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, local government entities and state agencies.

CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said the grants will help address critical issues across the commonwealth – like teaching and tutoring students, combatting homelessness, providing drug resistance education, protecting environmental resources, serving veterans and military families, empowering victims of domestic violence and assisting low-income senior citizens.

“Service builds our workforce, it builds our community resources and it builds character,” Sec. Glisson said. “National service also builds partnerships that help make our Commonwealth stronger. Through these AmeriCorps grants, local citizens are addressing local needs.”

Glisson said that including additional local funding and educational grants, AmeriCorps programs will result in a $15.3 million investment in Kentucky.

“Kentucky AmeriCorps is making an enormous impact here, now and for the future of our Commonwealth,” Glisson said. “We are proud of these members and that 100 percent of this funding is strengthening our communities.”

KCCVS Executive Director Joe Bringardner said the 2016 AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive due to the strong demand by organizations competing for AmeriCorps resources. The national competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services and initiatives for governors and mayors.

Bringardner said he is particularly proud of Kentucky programs’ showing in this year’s national grant competition, as Kentucky received $2.2 million more this year over last year.

“Our programs really demonstrated their community-driven goals in their grant applications,” he said. “These programs have distinct goals to help educate youth, provide comfort to seniors and rebuild families’ lives by building homes,” he said. “Our AmeriCorps members use their talents, their vision and their boundless energy to establish immediate and long-lasting change in Kentucky.”

Kentucky received $4 million for 10 programs in national competitive grant funding and were also allocated $2 million in formula grant funding to support additional state programs. The law creating AmeriCorps gave a key role to state service commissions in determining how national service resources are used to promote service and volunteering to meet specific community needs. With the state allocation, the KCCVS awarded grants to nine additional AmeriCorps programs.

AmeriCorps program sponsors are also contributing a total of $5.5 million in local funding matches, money from the private sector, foundations, community partnerships and other sources.

 In addition to the grant funding, CNCS will make available nearly $3.7 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members are eligible for an education award, currently $5,775, that can be used to repay student loans or cover tuition costs.

 Bringardner said AmeriCorps can clear a path to higher education and a chosen career for many Kentuckians.

“Kentucky AmeriCorps provides millions of dollars for college,” he said. “This funding provides a path to education and a long-term livelihood. And most members stay in the field public service – their passion to serve is what drives them.”

 Since AmeriCorps began in 1994, more than 10,000 Kentuckians have served more than 16 million hours and have received education awards totaling more than $37.5 million. Data collected from the last completed program year, reveals that 500 AmeriCorps members served more than 640,000 hours and recruited nearly 12,000 community volunteers who provided an additional 82,000 hours of service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens.

Competitive grants are awarded nationally for fixed time periods for specific projects and costs. Formula grants are awarded by the bipartisan KCCVS commission based on local needs, Governor’s Office priorities, geographic and program diversity, performance measurements and CNCS focus areas.

Grants were awarded to the programs listed below.

2016-17 Kentucky AmeriCorps Program Grants:

 ActiveCorps/Bluegrass Self-Sufficiency Project

Sponsor: United Way of the Bluegrass (Lexington)

CNCS Grant: $273,002 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $163,649

Member Slots: 20

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $115,500

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education, Economic Opportunity

Members support United Way of the Bluegrass’ funded partner programs in Central Kentucky counties and are responsible for moving more than 1,000 families toward self-sufficiency. Members leverage an additional 600 community volunteers to be engaged in partner program activities focusing on income and education.

 

ATEAM

Sponsor: Barren County School Board (Glasgow)

CNCS Grant: $498,811 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $722,472

Member Positions: 80

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $231,000
CNCS Focus Area(s): Education
Members tutor targeted remedial students in Kindergarten through 12th grade in reading and/or math using research-based curriculums. Members serving in elementary schools ensure targeted students are reading at or above grade level by the end of the academic year. Members serving in middle and high schools ensure students are performing at grade level or above in the tutored subjects. In addition, members serving at high schools mentor students to aid in the prevention of student dropouts and support post-secondary education and workforce readiness. Members leverage an additional 400 community volunteers for student engagement, and to support school-based and program-sponsored service projects.

 

Christian Appalachian Project (Education Award Program)

Sponsor: Christian Appalachian Project

CNCS Grant: $47,572 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $835,623

Member Positions: 91

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $343,439

CNCS Focus Areas: Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Education, Healthy Futures

Members provide housing services, long-term hunger support, emergency assistance, disaster relief, early childhood education, character education and tutoring, summer programming, and elderly and disability services for residents in Eastern Kentucky counties. Members are responsible for a number of positive outcomes, including affordable, safe, warm, and dry housing, decreased food insecurity, the immediate meeting of crisis needs, increased school readiness and noncognitive skills, and greater independence and social support for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers. Members leverage an additional 1,000 community volunteers to assist with housing repair.

 

Economic Empowerment Corps

Sponsor: Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Frankfort)

CNCS Grant: $266,000 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $132,333

Member Positions: 20

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $115,500
CNCS Focus Area(s): Economic Opportunity

Members provide economic empowerment services to survivors of domestic violence through existing coalition program and community partner sites across the commonwealth. Members are responsible for providing 1,200 survivors with financial education, individual financial counseling and case management services. Members also provide credit counseling and will leverage an additional 600 community volunteers to support economic empowerment efforts.

 

FRYSC Corps

Sponsor: Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (Shelbyville)

CNCS Grant: $439,446 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $629,588

Member Positions: 90

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $264,899

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

Members provide literacy tutoring and student mentoring in economically disadvantaged schools in Northern, Central and Eastern Kentucky. Members assist K-12 students to meet expected literacy goals and increase positive behaviors. In addition, members will leverage an additional 150 community volunteers to serve as literacy peer mentors for elementary students.

 

Gateway AmeriCorps

Sponsor: Gateway Community College (Florence)

CNCS Grant: $38,503 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $54,048

Member Slots: 20

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $27,489

CNCS Focus Area(s): Capacity Building

Members apply academic knowledge and skills to provide needed direct and indirect services to economically disadvantaged individuals and families through skills-based matched placements at non-profits, local/regional government agencies, or educational entities located Northern Kentucky counties. Members are responsible for serving more than 2,000 Kentuckians, and for ensuring at least 70 percent participating agencies report improvements in the organization’s service capacity.

 

Homes for All

Sponsor: Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky (Frankfort)

CNCS Grant: $545,381 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $192,500

Member Positions: 43

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $248,325

CNCS Focus Area: Economic Opportunity (Opportunity Youth priority)

CNCS defines opportunity youth as economically disadvantaged individuals ages 16-24 who are disconnected from school or work for at least six months prior to service.

Members serve as housing services specialists who provide construction, rehabilitation, repair and other housing service activities in order to increase Kentucky’s safe and affordable housing stock for individuals and families that are low-income or have a disability. Members are responsible for building, rehabilitating, repairing and otherwise making available 1,600 safe and affordable housing units. Members leverage 550 community volunteers to assist with program goals.

 

Kentucky College Coaches

Sponsor: Northern Kentucky University Research Foundation (Highland Heights)

CNCS Grant: $406,853 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $255,265

Member Positions: 79

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $191,499

CNCS Focus Area: Education

Members serve as near peer coaches to high school students in 32 Kentucky counties, assisting students in building skills and gathering needed information to succeed academically and to navigate college preparatory tests, find scholarships, complete federal student aid applications and choose a college or post-secondary program that fits their skills and experience. Members are responsible for assisting disadvantaged youth graduate from high school and enroll in college. Less than full-time members provide support for first generation or disadvantaged college freshman and sophomores in six Kentucky counties to continue support for students once they get to college. Members are responsible for assisting college students to persist in school and ensuring participating students graduate on time. Members leverage an additional 500 community volunteers to assist with college access activities.

 

Kentucky Service Corps (Education Award Program)

Sponsor: Northern Kentucky University Research Foundation (Highland Heights)

CNCS Grant: $52,000 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $57,640

Member Positions: 274

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $375,375

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education, Veteran and Military Families

Members, who are themselves low-income, first generation, disadvantaged, underserved and/or veteran college students, provide communities with service learning experiences in schools, nonprofits and government agencies across the commonwealth. In the process of providing service to others, members strengthen their own resilience to stay in college and earn a college degree. Members provide service to more than 5,000 Kentuckians, with at least 10 percent being college students at risk of dropping out. Members leverage an additional 400 volunteers to assist with program goals.

 

KY READY Corps (Planning Grant)

Sponsor: Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond)

CNCS Grant: $19,952 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $14,302

Member Slots: n/a

CNCS Focus Area: n/a

Eastern Kentucky University will commence planning activities in preparation to apply for a full AmeriCorps program for the next grant cycle. The proposed program, Kentucky Students for Disaster Readiness and Resiliency Corps (KY READY Corps), will focus students on strengthening disaster readiness and resilience.

 

Louisville Metro Parks AmeriCorps

Sponsor: Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation (Louisville)

CNCS Grant: $188,839 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $87,691

Member Positions: 14

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $80,850

CNCS Focus Area(s): Environmental Stewardship

Members help to protect and enhance environmental resources in Jefferson County. Members improve parks, natural areas, historic properties, urban forest and public lands through invasive plant removal and natural woodland restoration, restoration/creation of trails, tree health maintenance, tree replacement/new plantings, providing environmental education and interpretive services, and recruiting, training and placement of 150 community volunteers to support the program’s environmental activities.

 

MSUCorps

Sponsor: Morehead State University (Morehead)

CNCS Grant: $402,900 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $616,783

Member Positions: 30

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $173,250

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

Members provide evidence-based math and reading tutoring in elementary and middle schools using technology-based interventions to 900 high-risk, economically disadvantaged students in 22 counties in Eastern Kentucky. Members are responsible for ensuring 85 percent of enrolled students enrolled increase math and reading skills by one level gain, based on assessment data, and for ensuring 70 percent of enrolled students demonstrate an increase in academic engagement behaviors. Members leverage an additional 150 community volunteers for student engagement and tutoring assistance.

 

PartnerCorps School Turnaround

Sponsor: Partners for Education at Berea College (Berea)

CNCS Grant: $867,328 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $350,833

Member Positions: 60

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $346,500

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education (School Turnaround funding priority)

Members serve as mentors, college advisors and family connectors for students in rural high schools in Clay, Knox and Perry Counties. Members are responsible for ensuring students increase attendance.

School Turnaround AmeriCorps is an initiative to place AmeriCorps members in low-performing schools identified under the U.S. Department of Education’s School Improvement Grants program or Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility to implement interventions in order to improve student academic performance, academic engagement, attendance outcomes, or some combination thereof, in eligible schools. School Turnaround AmeriCorps grantees must meet special program design requirements.

 

PartnerCorps SOAR

Sponsor: Partners for Education at Berea College (Berea)

CNCS Grant: $278,587 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $114,350

Member Positions: 24

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $120,409

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

Members serve in rural schools in Leslie County and are responsible for ensuring students increase attendance. Members provide case management, mentoring and tutoring services to students and their families using the evidence-proven strategy called Check and Connect.

 

PartnerCorps STEM

Sponsor: Partners for Education at Berea College (Berea)
CNCS Grant: $265,974 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $157,015

Member Positions: 20

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $115,500

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

Members provide tutoring and homework assistance in Algebra while connecting math to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career pathways, in three rural high schools in Madison County. Members are responsible for improvements in academic results and in students’ understanding of STEM career pathways. Members leverage 20 community volunteers who are STEM professionals to assist with program goals.

 

REACH Corps School Turnaround

Sponsor: Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville)

CNCS Grant: $327,021 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $138,881

Member Positions: 24

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $138,600

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education (School Turnaround funding priority)

REACH stands for Ready to Extend A Caring Hand, and members mentor disadvantaged students at priority and focus schools in Jefferson County. Members are responsible for ensuring participating students improve their attendance and academic engagement. Members will leverage 430 community volunteers to assist in tutoring, parent and community engagement activities and school-based service projects.

 

Senior Connections

Sponsor: Green River Area Development District (Owensboro)

CNCS Grant: $490,200 (funded by formula grant)

Local Match: $192,500

Member Positions: 38

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $219,450

CNCS Focus Area(s): Healthy Futures, Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Veterans and Military Families

Members provide a range of services and social support to seniors, to reduce the rate of hospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries at a variety of service sites. Members are responsible for providing food, services, transportation and social support to 6,000 older adults in the 7-County Green River Area. Members will leverage 800 community volunteers to assist efforts to train with members to prepare for and recover from disasters that may affect the region.

 

Teach For America – Kentucky (Education Award Program)

Sponsor: Teach For America (Hazard)

CNCS Grant: $36,800 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $14,900

Member Positions: 46

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $265,650

 

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education (Professional Corps)

Professional Corps programs recruit and place qualified members in communities with an inadequate number of such professionals in positions as teachers, health care providers, police officers, engineers, or other professionals.

Members serve as teachers in low-income rural schools across the central Appalachian school districts in southeastern Kentucky. Members are responsible for improving the educational outcomes for more than 3,500 students. Members will leverage an additional 140 community volunteers to serve as guest lecturers in classrooms, to work one-on-one and with small groups of students for remediation, and to assist students with college and technical school applications.

 

UNITE Service Corps

Sponsor: Operation UNITE (London)

CNCS Grant: $658,800 (funded by competitive grant)

Local Match: $297,000

Member Positions: 54

Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards: $311,850

CNCS Focus Area(s): Education

Members serve in 54 of the poorest elementary schools in Eastern Kentucky, using a two-fold approach to provide math tutoring and healthy choices curriculum to address drug prevention and nutritional education for 4th and 5th grade students. Members are responsible for ensuring participating students show a 30 percent increase in math scores and in their knowledge of healthy choices. Members serve as drug education coordinators within their service site schools and leverage an additional 1,100 community volunteers to help with school activities.

 

For more information about Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs, call the KCCVS at 502-564-7420 or visit the KCCVS website at www.chfs.ky.gov/ServeKY.

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