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AmeriCorps Adds Service Members To JCPS Programs

Despite facing national and state funding cuts this year, AmeriCorps will be adding new members to Jefferson County Public Schools' program targeting at-risk students.

Nearly $4 million in grants have been awarded to Kentucky social service programs led by AmeriCorps (To see a list of the programs click here).This year, programs that submitted applications for national grants were asked to cut costs by 5 percent.AmeriCorps programs are also funded by the state, which cut funding by $100,000, says Andrea Sieloff, program officer for the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service.JCPS was granted funding for three additional positions because the district met its long-term goals, she says.“They’ve done such outstanding work,” Sieloff says. “Because of their outstanding service, they requested 20 AmeriCorps members and they’ve received it this year.”The 20 AmeriCorps members will work in the Ready to Extend A Caring Hand--or REACH Corps--program, which focuses on helping students who are chronically absent and helps to provide family outreach in certain middle and high schools through the Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC).Kentucky has been receiving AmeriCorps funding since 1994 when the program was created. The state has recently lost funds allocated for training and disability outreach due to cuts, according to Sieloff. The commission's staff dedicated to AmeriCorps programs has also been reduced from six to three-and-a-half, she says.There will be 327 full-time AmeriCorps service members this year, a drop from the 354 that participated last year.