CHICAGO – September 10, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn announced today that 32 organizations in Illinois have received AmeriCorps grants from the Serve Illinois Commission. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Governor has proclaimed Sept. 11, 2011 as a day of service and remembrance. The announcement of grants to support more than 1,100 AmeriCorps members is part of the Governor’s call for citizens all across Illinois to commit to community service.
“Citizen service is essential to strengthening and addressing challenges in communities throughout Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “As we reflect and remember September 11, 2001, we must reaffirm our commitment to service for our great county. These AmeriCorps members will meet pressing local needs and strengthen our communities as they develop civic and leadership skills will last a lifetime.”
The grants announced today will support more than 1,100 AmeriCorps members across the state who will help adults and children improve reading skills, tutor and mentor at-risk youth, provide health services, provide environmental education and help nonprofits recruit volunteers and achieve their missions.
The Serve Illinois Commission will distribute more than $8.3 million in federal funding to organizations chosen in a highly competitive national process and highly selective statewide formula competition. The 32 state AmeriCorps programs will match these dollars with $8.4 million in local and private funds.
The grants focus AmeriCorps resources on six key areas: 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.
On a national level, AmeriCorps engages 80,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs. Its members serve through more than 14,000 nonprofit and faith-based organizations in rural and urban communities throughout the nation. Among other accomplishments, AmeriCorps members last year mobilized 2.6 million community volunteers and tutored, mentored or served more than 2.5 million disadvantaged youth.
Since 1994, more than 700,000 Americans have provided more than 860 million hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps. In Illinois, more than 78,000 people participate in national service each year through 159 national service projects and programs.
A list of AmeriCorps grants in Illinois is below.
AmeriCorps Competitive Grants:
Academy for Urban School Leadership was approved for $72,000 and 90 member positions. Through this organization, AmeriCorps members serve as teachers in low-performing, “turnaround schools” in Chicago.
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, MORE: Making Opportunities for Reading Enrichmentwas approved for $222,884 and 27 member positions. Members provide tutoring and support in English as a Second Language, family literacy, financial literacy and GED attainment to low-income parents in Chicago.
Board of Trustees of Western Illinois University: Peace Corps/AmeriCorps Project was funded for $130,000 and 13 member positions. AmeriCorps members address locally identified economic development needs and by mobilizing volunteers to help build local capacity in rural communities.
City Year-Chicago was awarded $1,550,000 and 145 member slots. City Year AmeriCorps members provide small group and one-on-one tutoring to identified students in grades 6-9 at low performing schools in Chicago.
Literacy Volunteers of America - Illinois VOCAL was awarded $313,066 in funding and 38 member positions. AmeriCorps members provide one-on-one and small group tutoring to increase literacy levels among adults and incarcerated youth in Illinois.
PCC Community Wellness Center was awarded $194,992 and 15 member positions. AmeriCorps members at the center help children and adults adopt healthy habits and educate new mothers about the health benefits of breastfeeding.
Public Allies, Inc. - Chicago was awarded $637,000 in funding and 49 member positions. Public Allies’ members serve in direct service and capacity building roles at a variety of Chicago-area non-profit organizations to meet education and economic opportunity community needs, build the capacity of non-profits, and promote civic engagement.
Rend Lake College: Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps was awarded $499,536 and 65 member positions. AmeriCorps members provide tutoring, mentoring, technology support and environmental education in rural southern Illinois.
Southwestern Illinois College: Belleville AmeriCorps was awarded $458,106 and 90 member slots. Belleville AmeriCorps members support education by promoting computer literacy and developing safe, educational places for youth during out of school time, and support volunteering in the community.
AmeriCorps Formula Grants
Alternatives, Inc. was awarded $104,800 and 8 member positions. Alternatives AmeriCorps members provide college and career readiness training, tutoring, and alcohol/drug prevention counseling.
American Red Cross- Chicago was awarded $222,700 and 17 member positions. The American Red Cross AmeriCorps members will help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond effectively to emergencies. AmeriCorps members teach American Red Cross health and safety classes (First Aid/CPR, HIV/AIDS education, water safety, disaster education).
Asian Human Services was awarded $144,100 and 11 member positions. Asian Human Services AmeriCorps members provide culturally appropriate services to Chicago’s low income pan-Asian and other immigrant and refugee communities. The members provide community health, employment, adult and family literacy and legal services.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississippi Valley was awarded $104,800 and 10 member positions. Big Brother Big Sister AmeriCorps members serve in the areas of enrollment, match support, and recruiting to bring mentoring services to populations previously not served. The program is delivered through one-to-one matches in the community-based, school-based and site (college)-based programs.
Children's Home Association of Illinois was awarded $117,900 and 23 member positions. Children’s Home AmeriCorps members provide one-on-one and small group skill building sessions to help transitioning clients make gains in basic skills critical to independence. Members also work to engage disadvantaged individuals in service to help them apply the skills they are learning. All members of our Corps are current/former recipients of social services, thus while they are serving, they are also gaining career and educational opportunities through their service experience
Coalition of African, Asian, European, and Latino Immigrants (CAAELI) of IL was awarded $104,800 and 16 member positions. CAEELI AmeriCorps members provide culturally appropriate services to Chicago’s low income pan-Asian and other immigrant and refugee communities. These services include community health, employment, adult and family literacy and legal services.
Fulfilling Our Responsibility Unto Mankind (FORUM) was awarded $104,800 and 16 member positions. FORUM Members engage in education, training and service that directly affect local communities. Members deliver training, engage in direct outreach with youth and their families, and promote participation in community garden projects intended to not only beautify vacant city lots, but also enable the community to literally begin “feeding itself”.
Greater Chicago Food Depository was awarded 104,800 and 8 members. GCFD members work to increase the food supply in communities. In addition, members provide client access, links to services, and volunteer networking.
Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) was awarded $340,600 and 26 members. IPHA members help meet locally identified needs at health departments across the state through community service in the following focus areas: health promotion and outreach for programs serving youth, women, children and families; volunteer coordination; and assistance with community emergency preparedness.
Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House was awarded a grant for $917, 917 and 190 members. Lessie Bates Davis Members improve the academic skills of a minimum of 300 elementary students, provide nutritional support for over 2,500 persons per month, recruit and manage over 1,000 volunteers, and build technological competence in the East St. Louis community.
Logan Square Neighborhood Association was awarded a grant for $104,800 and 21 members. Logan Square members improve academic performance of Chicago Public students. The members increase performance by engaging parents from low-income households in school and community activities.
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois was awarded a grant of $117,900 and 18 members. AmeriCorps members provides direct service to those incarcerated, their families and those returning home from prison in five locations: Chicago, Marion, Rockford, Springfield and Metro East St. Louis area. AmeriCorps members are creating and giving presentation on reentry at all sites, encouraging partnerships and recruiting volunteers.
McHenry County Mental Health Board was awarded a grant of $144,100 and 40 members. AmeriCorps members will build academic and social supports for identified youth with risk factors such as diagnosed mental illness, gang involvement, Latino youth, and those eligible for free and reduced lunch. AmeriCorps members provide tutoring, and mentoring activities in after school programs throughout the County, as well as promote interaction with the community through service projects. Members benefit by developing marketable job skills in the social service/education field, and develop leadership and teambuilding skills overall.
Northwestern University Settlement Association was awarded a grant of $464,890 and 71 members. AmeriCorps Members serve the community through mentorship, educational, service, artistic, and recreational activities. The opportunities are offered through in/out classroom programming and our community service projects. The goal of the program is to support the student’s academic achievements, provide them with positive alternatives to destructive behaviors, and foster an ethic of service in the entire community.
Sauk Valley Community College was awarded a grant of 288,200 and 61 members. Sauk Valley AmeriCorps members tutor/mentor children, youth, and families through educational programming to increase academic performance and life skills.
Schuler Family Foundation was awarded a grant of $170,300 and 13 members. Schuler Family Foundation members provide college counseling, leadership and personal development, cultural exposure, and civic and social experience to students who are eligible for financial scholarships.
Springfield Urban League was awarded a grant of $131,000 and 42 members. Urban League members address community needs by tutoring, mentoring, literacy education, and service learning. Members serve as tutors and mentors for the 21st Century After-school program as well as other afterschool entities.
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center was awarded a grant of $104,800 and 9 members. Media Center members alleviate poverty in Champaign County by connecting community members with resources available at the IMC and our partner organizations. The IMC fosters the creation and distribution of media, art, and narratives emphasizing underrepresented voices and perspectives, and promotes empowerment and expression through media and arts education.
West Suburban PADS was awarded a grant of $124,450 and 10 members. West Suburban Pad members provide an employment program for homeless individuals preparing to enter the workforce. Members assist clients with finding emergency shelter as well as job and counseling referrals.
Volunteers for America Illinois was awarded a grant of 104,800 and 16 members. VOA of IL members provide housing and employment services to homeless veterans through its True North Project (TNP). AmeriCorps members, recruited from graduates of our TNP program, assist 75 more homeless veterans on their path to self-sufficiency with resources and tools to regain independence.
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights was awarded a grant of $235,800 and 18 members. AmeriCorps members will work in partnership with ethnic community-based organizations (CBOs) to recruit native-born and immigrant volunteers from local communities to serve as English and Civics volunteer tutors to immigrants in their communities
Jobs for Youth was awarded a grant of $104,800 and 16 members. The members will assist local non-profit organizations with their transition to electronic health records; while promoting health, providing community outreach, culturally appropriate health education and the promotion of healthy behaviors to underserved low income populations.
AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs. Members tutor and mentor youth, expand health services, build affordable housing, run after-school programs, support veterans, help communities respond to disasters, and recruit and train volunteers. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting AmeriCorps.gov.