RI Receives $3.7 Million in AmeriCorps Grants to Strengthen Local Communities
Members of RI Congressional delegation say Trump’s effort to defund service programs like AmeriCorps would harm communities & students
PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, at the Providence Children’s Museum, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline joined with AmeriCorps members and beneficiaries and students to announce over $3.7 million in federal AmeriCorps funding for Serve Rhode Island and several local service-oriented non-profits. The delegation also warned that President Trump’s efforts to eliminate national service programs - including AmeriCorps – in his 2018 budget would have a negative impact on Rhode Island and would be felt deeply in schools across the country. AmeriCorps programs help meet critical needs and serve as a pathway for talented, bright young adults to gain hands-on experience and pay for college.
Rhode Island grantees will receive federal funding to respond to local needs across the state. The federal investment will support AmeriCorps members across Rhode Island as they provide services to youth and families in need and help disadvantaged students. Additionally, AmeriCorps members who complete their 1,700 hours of service may earn a $5,750 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award that can be used for continuing education and vocational needs or to pay back student loans.
Rhode Island organizations that won competitive AmeriCorps grants this year include:
City Year Providence will receive $726,000 to support 60 AmeriCorps members who will provide academic and youth development services in six public schools across the city.
The Learning Community will receive $270,740 to support 20 AmeriCorps members who will provide small group academic intervention for students in grades K through 8 in Central Falls, Providence, and Woonsocket.
The Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence will receive $276,600 to help 20 full-time AmeriCorps members provide nonviolence training to 1,000 economically disadvantaged elementary, middle and high school students in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls.
NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley will receive $199,715 to support 20 AmeriCorps members who will provide housing assistance to economically disadvantaged renter households, many of whom are at-risk for homelessness, and transition them into safe, healthy, affordable housing.
Brown University will receive $187,468 to continue providing in-school college advising to increase the number of urban, low-income and first generation students seeking higher education throughout the state.
The Providence Children’s Museum will receive $224,455 to continue providing STEM and math enrichment activities for elementary aged children and school readiness activities for children enrolled in Head Start to increase academic success and school readiness among low-income children in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls.
55 AmeriCorps members who will teach for two years in high-need, low-income schools in five cities throughout Providence County through Teach for America Rhode Island will receive $319,825 to help pay for their postsecondary education or pay down student loans.
“Serve Rhode Island and AmeriCorps members strengthen our communities and do an amazing and diverse array of positive work for Rhode Island. We must do all we can to preserve important organizations like AmeriCorps and allow federal investments like this one to yield dividends for years to come by giving members the opportunity to gain valuable work skills while bringing their talent and dedication to school and community programs across the state. These funds will also help build the capacity to generate and coordinate more volunteers. Congratulations to the recipients of these funds and thank you for your dedication to enriching our communities,” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees AmeriCorps funding and a strong supporter of national service.
“These significant investments will support the AmeriCorps members working every day to make Rhode Island a better place," said Senator Whitehouse. "I saw firsthand as the founding Chairman of City Year in Rhode Island that providing young people with opportunities to serve benefits both that individual and the community. I know Senator Reed will continue fighting on the Appropriations Committee to protect National Service programs from President Trump’s attempts to eliminate them, and Rhode Island’s delegation will do everything we can to support that effort.”
“The members of AmeriCorps Rhode Island do amazing work serving our communities, and this $3.7 million grant supports their ongoing commitment to helping those in need,” Congressman Jim Langevin said. “I was very disappointed that the President’s budget request to Congress eliminated funding for AmeriCorps, but I will continue to fight for these important programs that promote volunteerism and service throughout our state.”
"This investment enables volunteers to strengthen our schools, provide support to hard-working families and create new economic opportunities in communities across Rhode Island," said Congressman Cicilline. "The President's budget would eliminate the Corporation for National Community Service would end AmeriCorps and jeopardize millions in investments that support these dedicated Rhode Islanders. I will fight hard to defeat this reckless proposal and defend the work of thousands of volunteers across our state."
Last year, Congress provided $1.03 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which runs the AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps requires grantees to leverage the federal investment to secure matching support from private, philanthropic, and local sources. President Trump’s budget proposal would eliminate CNCS and only provide minimal funding to shut it down.
Since 1994, more than 4,630 AmeriCorps members have served in Rhode Island, providing nearly 5.2 million hours of service and earning more than $13 million in scholarships to pay for college, and contributing more than $122 million to the state’s economy.
Serve Rhode Island is both the state’s center for volunteerism and the state's Commission for National and Community Service, established in 1994 by the Rhode Island Legislature to administer the federally funded AmeriCorps program. As the main hub for volunteerism and service, Serve Rhode Island connects thousands of volunteers with opportunities to serve in hundreds of nonprofits and public agencies annually. Serve Rhode Island is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.