WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Tom Carper, and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) today announced the award of federal grants totaling $1.4 million for AmeriCorps in Delaware.
Through this competition, two successful grantees operating in Delaware, Reading Assist Institute and the Summer Learning Collaborative, Inc., will receive $458,504 in competitive funding from AmeriCorps to support approximately 73 AmeriCorps members. After fulfilling their service, these AmeriCorps members are expected to earn $206,733 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards, which amounts to about $6,300 per member to pay for college or to pay off student loans.
The Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service will also receive $763,731 in formula funding, which will in turn be awarded to Delaware organizations to support additional AmeriCorps members in the coming months.
"Across Delaware and across the country, AmeriCorps members roll up their sleeves to get things done," Sen. Coons said. "Their dedication helps make America a more just, kind, and inclusive place. I am excited to see these resources announced to sustain members' important work here in the First State."
"AmeriCorps members sign up to serve others and help communities prosper, up and down Delaware and across our country," Sen. Carper said. "I'm pleased that AmeriCorps efforts in Delaware will have the financing needed to continue this service to others, especially in this challenging time."
"AmeriCorps members have long answered the call to serve others. They have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Delaware and across the nation, and played a critical role as we rebuild in the aftermath," Rep. Blunt Rochester said. "I am so pleased that this funding will allow them to continue their incredible work."
"We are incredibly proud of the work the Reading Assist Fellows have done throughout this challenging school year," said Caroline O'Neal, executive director of Reading Assist. "Since the shift to virtual instruction, our tutors were able to provide continual one-on-one support to Delaware's most struggling readers. Despite the pandemic, our students still experienced accelerated growth and reached grade level benchmarks.
"We are excited to continue and grow this work for the 2021-22 school year. In partnership with AmeriCorps and the Delaware Department of Education, we are on pace to expand to serve 800 students next year. Taking a year of service is a great way for people to give back while moving their careers forward. Anyone interested in serving during the upcoming school year can apply at readingassist.org/apply or call 302-425-4080."
"Our AmeriCorps members have played a huge role in providing critical academic support to our youth during the summer months since 2018," said Candice Buchanan, president of the Summer Learning Collaborative. "We are grateful to our senators and representative for their continued advocacy that has led to positive outcomes for both our AmeriCorps members and the youth they serve."
"I am grateful to the congressional delegation for helping to secure AmeriCorps funding, which the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service will administer to community organizations in the coming months," said Renée Beaman, director of the Division of State Service Centers in the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. "The AmeriCorps members whose positions will be funded through this grant will be critical in helping these organizations to provide services for Delawareans in need as our state continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19."
"We look forward to another year of opportunities to serve the people of Delaware through the service of AmeriCorps members," said Kanani Munford, executive director of the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service. "This funding will help us continue to combat the pandemic, as AmeriCorps programs focus on education, healthy futures, disaster services, economic opportunity, and veterans and military family needs throughout our state."
For the past year, thousands of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members across all 50 states and U.S. territories have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic. Dedicated members have persisted to support communities as they respond and recover from the impact of COVID-19, developing new ways to deliver the same services to keep both themselves and those they serve safe.
The recently passed American Rescue Plan includes an additional $1 billion for AmeriCorps. The agency will use this investment to expand national service programs into new communities and increase the opportunity for all Americans to serve their country.
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through thousands of nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first-generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.
As the federal agency for volunteering and service, AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the country's most pressing challenges. Since the agency's inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation.