Arkansas has received over $2 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to provide funding to local communities leveraging $1.2 million in local match dollars, according to the Arkansas Service Commission.
These grants will support 332 AmeriCorps members across the state to serve with 16 organizations. AmeriCorps members will tackle critical challenges in Arkansas, including tutoring and mentoring children, supporting veterans and military families, providing health services, restoring the environment, increasing economic opportunities, and recruiting and managing volunteers.
“Service and volunteering are both significant components of civic engagement, the means by which a culture of service is created,” Shana Chaplin, director of EnageAR – Arkansas Service Commission said. “Civic engagement encompasses the guiding principles of our office to put needs of communities first, strengthen public-private partnerships, build sustainable community partnerships and put service-learning principles into practice stimulating life-long civic engagement. Funding AmeriCorps programs is step one in strengthening local communities.”
CNCS announced $560 million in AmeriCorps funding – including grants and education awards – to help national and local organizations, faith-based groups, and educational institutions respond to the most critical issues facing communities in the U.S. In total, this funding will provide 75,000 Americans the opportunity to serve their communities through AmeriCorps, which marks its 25th anniversary later this year.
“We are so pleased to be supporting more AmeriCorps members in Arkansas – Congratulations to all the organizations who were selected to receive funding,” Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps said. “AmeriCorps members are improving the lives of millions of citizens, including in Arkansas, and are an indispensable resource for nonprofits, communities, and the individuals they serve. As we mark the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps, we salute all AmeriCorps members and alumni for standing up and serving our country.”
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through more than 21,000 schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a 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.
Of the $560 million awarded nationally, over $2 million was granted to EnageAR, which in turn will award grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the state.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served, providing more than 1.5 billion hours of service and earned more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt.
In Arkansas, more than 4,000 AmeriCorps members have served at more than 300 local service sites and earned more than $32 million in education scholarships.