Volunteer Florida Announces AmeriCorps Grants to City Year Programs

Tallahassee – Chester Spellman, CEO of Volunteer Florida, announced today that City Year Miami and City Year Orlando have received competitive AmeriCorps grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The $1.4 million in funding received will support 117 City Year members, who will provide intensive tutoring and mentoring to help students learn to read and stay on track to graduate.

City Year Miami and City Year Orlando were selected in a highly competitive national process, reflecting the strong and growing demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources. These organizations will also leverage private and local matching funds equaling the amount of the funding received from CNCS ($1.4 million), attesting to the support and sustainability of these programs.

Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman said, “City Year is an excellent example of our AmeriCorps programs having an impact in Florida, and we are pleased to partner with them to help Florida’s students. Last year, Volunteer Florida’s AmeriCorps members provided teaching, tutoring or mentoring to 48,147 students in nearly 400 Florida schools, and City Year is a significant contributor toward this achievement.”

“City Year Orlando is privileged to partner with Orange County Public Schools and serve the Orlando community, helping our students stay in school and on track for graduation,” said Jordan Plante, Vice President and Executive Director of City Year Orlando.  “We thank Volunteer Florida and the Corporation for National and Community Service for their continued belief in our service and for awarding City Year Orlando these essential AmeriCorps positions for the 2013-2014 school year.”

City Year is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. 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. Later this summer, Volunteer Florida will announce additional AmeriCorps programs receiving funding.

Saif Ishoof, Executive Director of City Year Miami, said: “Volunteer Florida continues to be a critical partner in our efforts to keep students in school and on track to graduation. This competitive funding will allow City Year Miami to continue to be a catalyst for change within our community.”

City Year is a national nonprofit dedicated to keeping students in school by working to improve their attendance, behavior and course performance. By recognizing that 50 percent of our nation’s dropouts come from just 12 percent of the schools, City Year targets students as early as the third grade for intervention. City Year members provide individual support to students who need extra care and attention through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after-school programs.

City Year integrates a “near-peer” approach and utilizes the talent and energy of young leaders ages 17-24 to serve as corps members. At the completion of their year of service, City Year members are eligible to receive a college scholarship. For more information, visit www.cityyear.org.

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Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The Commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; coordinates volunteers and donations in a disaster; and inspires all Floridians to serve their communities. For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.