Serve Wisconsin
Press Release

Serve Wisconsin Announces $2.4 Million in AmeriCorps Funding for Milwaukee AmeriCorps Programs as program year kicks off at Opening Ceremony

 

By - Oct 30th, 2020 12:09 pm

[Madison, WI] – Serve Wisconsin proudly announced that Wisconsin has received $7.3 million in federal funding to support AmeriCorps programming and celebrated the kickoff of the AmeriCorps program year on October 30 at a virtual Opening Ceremony.  Included within those funds are $2,416,813 in AmeriCorps funding for ten AmeriCorps programs specifically centered in the Milwaukee area, with several other statewide programs also having members serving in Milwaukee.

At the Opening Ceremony, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes inspired the new AmeriCorps members, saying  “As we continue to weather this crisis, you’ll be doing even more important work than ever before to improve the lives of people all across Wisconsin. We have far too many gaps in our health, education, and economic systems, and COVID-19 has only made that more abundantly clear. That’s exactly why your service work is so critical. As we work to close those gaps and eventually rebuild those systems to be more equitable and sustainable, we need people on the ground helping those who can’t meet their needs.”

Reflecting on her own service as an AmeriCorps VISTA alumna, Congresswoman Gwen Moore described the impact of her own service to the AmeriCorps members and spoke about their upcoming service, stating that “this year, you will be dedicating the next year to your service. It won’t be easy under these circumstances, you’re going to face challenges, but what you will do will be meaningful to your local communities and to yourselves. I encourage you to take this experience and use it develop a lifetime of commitment to making a difference for others and to our nation.”

“This funding will put 900 AmeriCorps members on the ground statewide, including over 300 in the Milwaukee area, to make a difference for local communities, which will be invaluable this year as our state continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19,” said Jeanne Duffy, Executive Director of Serve Wisconsin. “The service by the AmeriCorps members we are recognizing today during our opening ceremony will continue and expand upon the service of the Wisconsin AmeriCorps members who have already served well over 200,000 hours in response to the pandemic and will make a difference for communities and families throughout the state.”

“We are looking forward to the impact of the AmeriCorps members serving this year and are grateful for the $7.3 million in federal funding to support AmeriCorps programs in Wisconsin over the next year as they provide assistance with local recovery efforts and help tackle some of the toughest problems in Wisconsin, many of which have been exacerbated in recent months, including the opioid epidemic, the academic achievement gap, healthcare access, and housing shortages for low-income families,” Duffy stated.

 

The funding will support the following Wisconsin AmeriCorps programs in the Milwaukee area:

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee AmeriCorps – Academic & Career Planning 23 AmeriCorps members provide college preparation and career readiness programming, including academic tutoring, assistance with college exploration and application, and job readiness and financial literacy education to low-income high school students.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee – ClubCorps  104 AmeriCorps members provide targeted programming for youth (ages 5-18) in one of five core areas: Education, Arts, Social-Emotional Development, Leadership & Service, and Sports, Recreation & Environmental Education. AmeriCorps members will provide in-school or after-school academic enrichment for children in a small group or individualized format, including as early literacy instructors for the SPARK Early Literacy Program. They will develop, manage, and implement a comprehensive art program and serve youth in visual and performing arts through after-school and summer programming. They will also provide social emotional development through after-school based small group social-emotional instruction as part of the INSPIRE HOPE initiative. Additionally, AmeriCorps members will lead youth in programming that promotes responsibility and community service, provide environmental education activities at Camp Whitcomb-Mason, and provide sport-specific after school programming to local youth.

College Possible Milwaukee  42 AmeriCorps members provide intensive coaching and support to low-income high school and college students in order to make college admission and success possible.

Marquette University – 414 Fellows  30 AmeriCorps members will engage low-income children ages 0-3 in one-on-one and group literacy and language building activities to increase school readiness through gains in language and literacy skills.

Milwaukee Christian Center, Inc. – YouthBuild  23 AmeriCorps members make a tangible impact on their community through the construction of affordable, energy-efficient housing and accessible home modifications, while gaining job and leadership skills, improving their education and developing community through service.

Milwaukee Public Library This program is being developed through a planning grant. The program will increase K-12 student access to library resources and literacy-based activities by having AmeriCorps members provide support to students at local schools during the day, provide after-school programming and support at the library branch closest to these school, and summer reading outreach programming.

Public Allies Milwaukee  45 AmeriCorps members work to enhance and expand the capacity of nonprofit organizations to deliver critical direct services to Milwaukee residents.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers 13 AmeriCorps members will expand the delivery of medical, behavioral, environmental health, and social services programming to individuals from low-income families and areas with shortages of medical professional care. AmeriCorps members serve as health resource navigators and enhance educational programming for women’s health, obesity, chronic illness, inclusive care for the elderly, and other medical needs.

Teach For America 46 AmeriCorps members lead classrooms across the city of Milwaukee while growing and strengthening the movement for educational equality and excellence.

YMCA of Metro Milwaukee This program is being developed through a planning grant. This program will improve the improve academic success and promote social emotional development of PreK-6th grade students by having AmeriCorps members provide tutoring, coaching, and additional classroom support in before and after school programs and assisting in summer learning activities as wellness coordinators during summer day camps.

AmeriCorps’ unique model means the Wisconsin AmeriCorps programs will leverage an additional $6.3 million from the private sector, foundations, and other sources, including $1.86 million from the Milwaukee area – further increasing the return on the federal investment for Wisconsin communities.

AmeriCorps members make a critical difference through their service by educating students for the 21st century workforce, supporting veterans and military families, completing conservation projects, tackling the opioid epidemic, promoting economic opportunity in our communities, helping people to live healthier lives, and through several other projects to make their local communities stronger. Additionally, they have played a critical role helping communities throughout the United States recover from flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, and other national disasters, including several disaster relief projects throughout Wisconsin over the past year.

After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans, resulting in an additional $3.3 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Award funding for the 900 Wisconsin AmeriCorps members that will be serving this program year.

Since 1994, AmeriCorps members have provided more than 1.6 billion hours of service and earned nearly $4 billion in education awards to pay for college or pay back student loans. Included within those numbers are the more than 27,000 Wisconsin residents who have served approximately 42 million hours through AmeriCorps, earning Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $105.6 million.

The federal funding for these programs and education awards is provided by AmeriCorps, formally known as the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, civic engagement, and national service programs. For more than 25 years, more than 1 million dedicated Americans have joined AmeriCorps and pledged to ‘get things done.’ This year, the 75,000 AmeriCorps members serving in schools, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, will do the same as they rebuild communities, support veterans, fight the opioid epidemic, prepare students for success, foster economic opportunity, and more. Those interested in serving can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/join.

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