Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced that Colorado has received $9.5 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
"AmeriCorps members have had a tremendous influence on communities throughout Colorado," Bennet said. "They'll use these grants to help improve outcomes for students in high-need schools and to support conservation programs that reduce the risk of wildfire. AmeriCorps members will develop valuable life skills that will benefit them in the future while they're tackling these projects."
"For more than 20 years, AmeriCorps members have had a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation," said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "Building on Colorado's strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across Colorado. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves - gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute every AmeriCorps member for his or her dedication and determination to ‘get things done' and respond to the needs in their communities."
The investment includes six grants totaling $2.9 million, which will support 1,447 AmeriCorps members serving in Colorado and other states. AmeriCorps members will tackle some of the toughest problems in Colorado including mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth, reducing wildfires, protecting wildlife in public parks, and more.
CNCS will also provide up to $4.2 million in education 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 $1.4 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.
The funding announced today also includes $2.3 million for Serve Colorado, the Governor-appointed state service commission. Later this summer, Serve Colorado will make additional grants to support AmeriCorps programs in the state.
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.
Below is a listing of 2016 AmeriCorps competitive grants in Colorado:
- Colorado Parent and Child Foundation: AmeriCorps members will deliver the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) evidence-based, school readiness program to families in Adams, Alamosa, Costilla, Crowley, Denver, Jefferson, Pueblo, Saguache, and Weld counties. ($284,901 grant; 49 AmeriCorps members)
- Mile High United Way: AmeriCorps members will work to improve the reading skills of students from kindergarten through third grade in the highest-need schools in a four-county area of Metro Denver. ($648,000 grant; 54 AmeriCorps members)
- Denver Public Schools: AmeriCorps members will provide daily tutoring to students below proficiency in mathematics and provide targeted interventions to students who exhibit attendance problems in 47 of the district's lowest performing K-12 schools. ($279,200 grant; 349 AmeriCorps members)
- Colorado Youth Corps Association: AmeriCorps members will improve Colorado's recreation infrastructure, protect wildlife habitat, conduct fire mitigation and burned area rehab, prevent erosion and flooding as a result of wildfires, and install energy efficiency measures in the homes of low-income residents. ($1,394,489 grant; 346 AmeriCorps members)
In addition, Conservation Legacy, headquartered in Colorado, will receive two grants to support the Conservation Legacy AmeriCorps program and the Veterans Fire AmeriCorps program serving across 8 states, including Colorado:
- Conservation Legacy AmeriCorps Program: AmeriCorps members will create resilient communities and natural environments by reducing the risk of wildfire, saving water resources, mitigating the harm and enhancing the benefits recreation has on public lands, and protecting wildlife habitat in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Tennessee. ($996,111 grant; 560 AmeriCorps members)
- Veterans Fire AmeriCorps Program: Veterans serving as AmeriCorps members will support forest fire mitigation and restoration efforts, improving 3,200 acres of public lands in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. ($336,017 grant; 89 AmeriCorps members)
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 21,000 locations across the country.