WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that a total of $2,673,197 has been awarded to ten AmeriCorps programs across Iowa. This competitive funding comes from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Harkin has been a longtime supporter of AmeriCorps and is the Chairman of the panel that funds these initiatives.

"The work that AmeriCorps members do across Iowa is essential in helping build strong communities," said Harkin. "Getting young people involved in service to improve their community and enhance the lives of those around them is at the heart of AmeriCorps programs. From teaching and mentoring children to building houses for the poor to restoring wildlife habitats, today's funding will improve the lives of countless Iowans and I commend these organizations on receiving it."

The grants awarded today will allocate AmeriCorps resources across a range of issues including strengthening education, fostering economic opportunity, preparing for and responding to disasters, improving health, meeting environmental and energy efficiency needs, and assisting veterans and military families.

Details of the grants follow:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley: $129,949 to recruit and support volunteers to mentor disadvantaged youth at risk of leaving school without a diploma in Eastern Iowa.

Community Corrections Improvement Association: $460,169 to recruit volunteers to provide mentoring and out of school time programming as a prevention strategy for youth who are at-risk of involvement or already involved in the juvenile justice system. Members will also provide mentoring for system-involved adult offenders, particularly targeting veterans and families in the child welfare system for abuse and neglect. The initiative will focus on the CNCS focus areas of Education, Healthy Futures, Veterans, and Economic Opportunity in Linn, Johnson, and Tama counties.

Des Moines Independent Community School District: $610,064 to provide tutoring, mentoring and service-learning interventions to students at risk of dropping out or underperforming in math and literacy. Members will recruit volunteers to increase academic performance and engagement rates of K-12 students. The program will serve urban schools in Des Moines, Iowa.

City of Dubuque: $210,581 to provide in-school, before school and after-school academic mentoring and summer learning opportunities to improve math and reading proficiency in the city of Dubuque, Iowa.

Graceland University: $175,146 to leverage volunteers to strengthen academic engagement through mentoring, service-learning, cultural/enrichment opportunity programs and building 'developmental assets' as indicators of academic achievement in rural south central Iowa.

Habitat for Humanity of Iowa, Inc.: $260,847 to recruit and manage volunteers to make homeownership a reality by building safe and affordable homes in partnership with financially challenged families. The program will serve 25 counties across the state of Iowa.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources: $532,155 to improve public lands and trails through habitat restoration, trail work, and disaster response, resulting in improved water quality, miles of trails accessible to those with disabilities, and communities with improved capacity to respond to and recover from natural disasters. This program will serve all residents, particularly in rural communities, throughout the state of Iowa.

Iowa Legal Aid: $132,600 for members of the Iowa Legal Aid (ILA) AmeriCorps to serve in non-attorney positions to assist with outreach, education, and representation of low-income clients in civil legal matters. Members help expand the services that ILA offices provide to economically vulnerable individuals and families in every county of the state.

Iowa Western Community College: $28,348 for the Iowa College AmeriCorps Program (ICAP), an initiative that increases college students' skills and interest in citizenship and leadership, building the capacity of local community partner nonprofit organizations. AmeriCorps members will serve through 10 college campus sites throughout Iowa. These members will recruit and manage volunteers, improve partner organization volunteer practices, and conduct community impact assessments to improve the performance of targeted community organizations.

United Way of East Central Iowa: $133,338 to provide early literacy activities and tutoring in out of school time programs to children and parents, and provide outreach services for children and families with disabilities. Members will serve in Eastern Iowa and the program will address the CNCS focus area of Education.


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