Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman today announced that Communities In Schools (CIS) of Miami is one of 13 organizations across the nation to be awarded funding in the first round of School Turnaround AmeriCorps grants. This grant will support 40 half-time AmeriCorps members at five low-performing Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Launched in February 2013, the School Turnaround AmeriCorps program is designed to support the placement of a dedicated cadre of AmeriCorps members in persistently underachieving schools across the country.
Communities In Schools of Miami will be receiving $266,000 in grant funding, administered by Volunteer Florida, to support 40 half-time AmeriCorps members at five low-performing Miami-Dade County Public Schools. In addition to this program grant, $111,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to participating AmeriCorps members upon their successful graduation, resulting in a total grant of $377,000. Communities In Schools of Miami will leverage $181,037 in local matching funds.
“Volunteer Florida is thrilled to participate in the innovative School Turnaround AmeriCorps program, which will provide additional resources and support to help our students get on track to success,” said CEO Chester Spellman. “Last year our AmeriCorps programs were in over 400 Florida schools supporting more than 48,000 students, and this School Turnaround program is a new, strategic way for AmeriCorps to provide critical mentoring and tutoring to at-risk students.”
“We must act with urgency to turn around our lowest performing schools on behalf of Florida’s students,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett. “There is no more important work before us in education and I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Volunteer Florida through the AmeriCorps School Turnaround efforts.”
The School Turnaround AmeriCorps program is an innovative partnership of the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Through the School Turnaround AmeriCorps program, these agencies are granting $15 million over three years to 13 organizations that will annually place more than 650 AmeriCorps members in dozens of the nation’s lowest-performing schools. School Turnaround AmeriCorps anticipates leveraging $18 million in grantee match funding in addition to the $15 million in federal funds during a 3-year cycle.