Volunteer Florida Announces $19.9 Million in Funding for Florida

TALLAHASSEE – Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman today announced that Volunteer Florida has received $19,997,017 in funding to administer 30 Florida AmeriCorps programs for 2015-2016. The funding includes $10,644,214 in federal grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and $9,352,803 in local match.

Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman said, “This funding allows Volunteer Florida to put approximately 1,300 AmeriCorps members to work in direct service to Florida communities. They will mentor and tutor Florida students, serve veterans, help job-seekers find work, and provide local response during disasters.”

Senate President Andy Gardiner said, “This funding allows local organizations to serve more students, veterans, and job-seekers in Florida. Leveraging volunteers and national service to meet human needs is a cost-effective way to serve many of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Steve Crisafulli said, “Volunteer Florida connects Floridians with the opportunity to serve their neighbors in a variety of ways, including serving at-risk students on a school campus, helping veterans find jobs, or working to protect our environmental resources.  In return, national service members and volunteers receive job training and professional development that better prepares them for the workforce or to continue their education in Florida.”

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Scott and Volunteer Florida, the City of Jacksonville will benefit from an investment of $2,054,425, which is projected to serve over 14,000 Jacksonville residents,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “Putting national service and volunteers to work in our classrooms gets students on track to graduate, pursue higher education, or enter the workforce.”

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said, “As the new school year gets under way, it is great for our state’s educators to have additional support from not-for-profit and community service organizations. This Volunteer Florida grant funding has the potential to positively impact the lives of countless students and families across the state, and it will help ensure Florida students are best prepared for success in college, career and life.”

Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Volunteer Florida and its partners continue to play a meaningful role in connecting Floridians, including veterans and individuals with disabilities, to job opportunities. Florida’s AmeriCorps members will contribute greatly to the communities where they will serve, while gaining invaluable on-the-job training.”

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon said, “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Volunteer Florida. Florida’s AmeriCorps members are specifically trained in emergency response so that they can help communities with local response to disasters, as well as recruiting new volunteers to assist Floridians in times of need.”

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, “Our longstanding partnership with Volunteer Florida provides innovative programming and funding to serve tens of thousands of students through our city programs and local grantees, such as the Orlando Partnership for School Success, Heart of Florida United Way, City Year Orlando, and most recently Operation AmeriCorps. We are grateful to be part of this public-private partnership, which puts AmeriCorps members to work tutoring and mentoring students from all backgrounds.”

“Miami-Dade is home to some of the most innovative national service programs in the nation,” said Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. “We are proud of our partnership with Volunteer Florida, which helps to provide funding, programming, and human capital to help us meet the needs of our students and educational partners.”

Glen Gilzean, Vice President of Family and Community Affairs for one of VF’s newest grantees, Step Up For Students, said, “Step Up For Students looks forward to working with Volunteer Florida to deploy 20 AmeriCorps to Pinellas County to support our students and teachers.  As a new Volunteer Florida grantee, we are excited about the impact this funding will have on student learning opportunities.”

AmeriCorps members dedicate a year of their life to service, where they gain invaluable job skills to contribute as they enter the workforce.  Additionally, Florida’s AmeriCorps members will be eligible for $6,821,926 in college scholarships upon successful completion of their service. Many AmeriCorps members attend college in the area in which they serve, providing a direct investment in Florida’s colleges and universities.

This year, Volunteer Florida is focusing on mentoring and tutoring high-risk students by placing AmeriCorps members directly in schools and nonprofits across the state. 89 percent of Volunteer Florida’s AmeriCorps funding is focused on education, including after-school tutoring, targeted interventions to prevent dropouts, and summer school programming. Other AmeriCorps programs administered by Volunteer Florida focus on protecting Florida’s natural resources, disaster services, healthy futures and economic opportunity.

“As we continue to make Florida the best place to find a job and raise a family, Volunteer Florida’s efforts to strengthen neighborhoods, schools, and non-profits is critical,” continued Spellman.  “Volunteers and national service members help our state meet needs such as child and adult literacy, job placement, and supporting our veterans.”

Volunteer Florida administers funding to the following grantees (specific program names if applicable in parentheses):

Big Brothers Big Sisters of St Lucie, Indian River & Okeechobee Counties (AmeriCorps St. Lucie-Indian River-Okeechobee Reads) – St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee
Branches – Miami-Dade
Breakthrough Miami – Miami-Dade
Centro Campesino (AmeriCorps YouthPride) – Miami-Dade
City of Orlando (AmeriCorps Orlando Partnership for School Success, Operation AmeriCorps) – Orange
City Year Jacksonville – Duval
City Year Miami – Miami-Dade
City Year Orlando – Orange
Communities In Schools Jacksonville (AmeriCorps Duval Reads, AmeriCorps VetSuccess) – Duval
Communities In Schools Miami (AmeriCorps Miami Reads, AmeriCorps Student Turnaround) – Miami-Dade
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (AmeriCorps Career Source Youth Services) – Citrus, Gadsden, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Marion, Pinellas, and Wakulla
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Florida Conservation Corps AmeriCorps) – Statewide
Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend (AmeriCorps Goodwill Goodworks!) – Bay, Jackson, Leon, Washington
Heart of Florida United Way (AmeriCorps Pathways to Success) – Orange
Leon County School District (AmeriCorps Tallahassee) – Leon County
Northwest Florida State College (NWFL Environmental Stewards) – Okaloosa, Walton
Palm Beach Literacy Coalition (Literacy AmeriCorps Palm Beach County) – Palm Beach
Peacemaker Family Center – Miami-Dade
Polk Education Foundation (AmeriCorps Polk Reads) – Polk
Reading & Math, Inc. (Florida Reading Corps) – Miami-Dade
School Board of Gadsden County (AmeriCorps Gadsden Reads) – Gadsden
Step Up for Students – Pinellas
Teach For America Jacksonville – Duval
Teach For America Miami – Miami-Dade
The Arc Jacksonville (AmeriCorps Youth Transition) – Duval
University of North Florida (Jacksonville Teacher Residency) – Duval

To see the list online, please visit this link.

Volunteer Florida is the Governor’s lead agency for volunteerism and national service in Florida, administering more than $31.7 million in federal, state, and local funding to deliver high-impact national service and volunteer programs in Florida. Volunteer Florida promotes and encourages volunteerism to meet critical needs across the state. Volunteer Florida also serves as Florida’s lead agency for volunteers and donations before, during, and after disasters. For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.

AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 15,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Since 1994, more than 820,000 Americans have provided more than 1 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps