ServeMinnesota Announces $36 Million in AmeriCorps Funding to Minnesota

Funding will support 2,349 AmeriCorps members

Minneapolis, Minn. – ServeMinnesota, the state’s commission on national and community service, announced today that Minnesota has received $36,229,840 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. This is the second largest competitive grant amount received by any one state.  

Minnesota had 100 percent of its grant applications funded, a testament to the innovative and effective programs created in Minnesota that receive national recognition for their impact and results. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, who appoints members to serve on the board for ServeMinnesota, announced the grants. “Every year, over 2,000 ServeMinnesota members make tremendous contributions to our communities. They help close achievement gaps through the Reading Corps and Math Corps, prepare low-income students for higher education through the College Possible program, and protect our environment through the Conservation Corps,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “These new grants will help ServeMinnesota continue their important work and create even better outcomes for our communities.

The federal investment includes support for 13 AmeriCorps programs, totaling $20,764,638, which will support 2,112 AmeriCorps members in communities throughout Minnesota. AmeriCorps members will tackle some of the toughest problems in Minnesota in education, economic stability and housing, and environmental conservation. In addition to the dollars leveraged through this national competition, Minnesota also receives funding based on a population formula that allows for an additional $2.3 million in grant dollars. ServeMinnesota will direct these funds to AmeriCorps programs in Minnesota, including Recovery Corps, a new program addressing the opioid addiction crisis, and an expansion of the successful Reading Corps program in Licensed Family Child Care settings.

“Dedicating a year to national service is an amazing and rewarding experience and we are proud of this investment in the critical programs serving our state,” said ServeMinnesota CEO Audrey Suker. “We know that AmeriCorps service is a lever to improving outcomes in education, the environment and in economic stability. AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation.  As they serve others, they also expand opportunity for themselves - gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers.”

In addition, CNCS will also provide up to $11 million in education awards scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $18,492,874 in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.

Below is a listing of 2017 competitive AmeriCorps grants in Minnesota.

·         AmeriCorps LEAP Initiative: 20 AmeriCorps members build social/emotional school readiness skills of preschool children and support parents in learning techniques to build bonds and skills at home.

·         City of Lakes AmeriCorps: 35 AmeriCorps members provide academic support and afterschool enrichment opportunities for middle school Long-Term English Learners in Minneapolis Public Schools.

·         College Possible: 105 AmeriCorps members prepare low-income students for success in post-secondary education. Members provide programming and support in academics, college preparation and persistence through college graduation.

·         Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP): 35 AmeriCorps members provide assessment and instruction to improve the technology literacy and employability of low-skilled adults and youth in the Twin Cities metro area.

·         Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa: 63 AmeriCorps members lead underrepresented high school youth to restore natural habitat on public lands, improve water quality and increase access to outdoor recreation in Minnesota. The program focuses on youth development and job training with environmental conservation as a learning vehicle.

·         Minnesota Alliance With Youth – Promise Fellows: 220 AmeriCorps members serve as Promise Fellows to implement a data-driven, evidence-based model to address signs of disengagement from school: Attendance, Behavior, and Course Performance. Promise Fellows keep students in grade 6-10 engaged in school and on-track for high school graduation.

·         Minnesota GreenCorps: 40 AmeriCorps members carry out environmental stewardship projects that preserve and protect Minnesota’s environment while training a new generation of environmental professionals. Projects are identified by host communities statewide, with priority given to projects serving disadvantaged populations and addressing the greatest threats.

·         Minnesota Math Corps: 340 AmeriCorps members serve as Math Corps tutors to help 4th-8th grade students who are falling behind in math get on track to succeed. Tutors deliver evidence-based interventions to pairs of students during the school day at nearly 200 sites statewide.

·         Minnesota Opportunity Corps: 30 AmeriCorps members serve as Employment Navigators to support economically disadvantaged adults in the Twin Cities metro in finding employment that pays a living wage.

·         Minnesota Reading Corps: 1,157 AmeriCorps members serve as Reading Corps tutors to help children, age 3 to grade 3, become successful readers by the end of third grade. Tutors provide one-on-one and small group tutoring to children in elementary schools and early learning centers statewide during the school day.

·         Promise Neighborhood: 35 AmeriCorps members provide literacy interventions to students in preschool to grade 3 and math interventions to students in grades 4-8 to improve academic outcomes. Members support school sites in the Northside Achievement Zone, a federally-funded Promise Neighborhood in North Minneapolis.

·         True North AmeriCorps: 35 AmeriCorps members enhance the future success of at-risk children in Duluth and Proctor by increasing the number of positive adults in their lives with tutoring, mentoring and after-school programs.

·         Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity: 27 AmeriCorps members engage community volunteers to build, rehab, and repair homes for low-income residents in the Twin Cities seven-county metro area.

Funding is also being awarded to multi-state programs headquartered in Minnesota, including Reading and Math, Inc., which facilitates the national replication of Reading Corps, College Possible, and Conservation Corps. 

Organizations are currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members to begin service this fall. AmeriCorps members typically receive a modest living stipend and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of their service. The award can be used to pay for future education costs or to pay back student loans. Those interested in serving can learn more by visiting americorps.gov/join.

Beginning this fall, AmeriCorps members serving in Minnesota will join the more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members serving across the country in 21,600 locations. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million men and women have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1.4 billion hours of service and have earned more than $3.3 billion in education scholarships to pay for college or pay back student loans, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student loan debt.

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About ServeMinnesota
ServeMinnesota is a catalyst to address critical needs in Minnesota by working with AmeriCorps members and community partners. As a nonprofit organization, it improves the lives of Minnesotans by offering life-changing service opportunities to thousands of individuals who focus on education, affordable housing, employment, or the environment. Because of its strong partnerships with private and public funders, including the Minnesota Department of Education, ServeMinnesota has created two innovative strategic initiatives, Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps, that are working to close the achievement gap and help struggling students become successful learners. Combining the people power of AmeriCorps with research-based strategies, ServeMinnesota addresses the most intractable problems and shares its proven practices nationally. For more information, visit www.serveminnesota.org.

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, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads volunteer initiatives for the nation. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov .