L&I Announces Nearly $5 Million in Grant Funding for Community Service Projects in Philadelphia

Jul 02, 2013, 12:44 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) announced today that three Philadelphia County organizations were awarded more than $3.7 million in AmeriCorps grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service to engage members in intensive annual service through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations. 

"Volunteerism and community service are an essential part of the solution for many of the social challenges facing our communities," L&I Secretary Julia Hearthway said. "This funding will help AmeriCorps members address pressing local needs and strengthen PA communities as members develop civic and leadership skills that can last a lifetime."

PennSERVE, through the Governor's Office of Citizen Service, is responsible for the administration of the AmeriCorps programs. PennSERVE will distribute more than $3.7 million in federal funding to organizations selected through a highly competitive national process. The grants support more than 525 AmeriCorps members in Philadelphia who will participate in one of the funded programs. 

In addition to the $3.7 million awarded in AmeriCorps competitive grants, more than $1.1 million in AmeriCorps national grants will be awarded to the Health Federation of Philadelphia, a multi-state program headquartered in Pennsylvania, creating 45 additional AmeriCorps positions. 

Since 1994, more than 775,000 Americans have provided more than one billion hours of service to their communities and country through the AmeriCorps program. In the past year alone, PA AmeriCorps members have served more than 22,000 youth, and have recruited and worked with more than 12,000 volunteers to help local communities meet their needs.

PennSERVE provides funding for AmeriCorps programs across Pennsylvania that use national and community service as a tool to address local issues such as education, disaster preparedness, food security, and health issues.  Each of these organizations uses its AmeriCorps funding to recruit, place, and supervise AmeriCorps members to carry out service.

For additional information on PennSERVE, visit www.dli.state.pa.us/pennserve or call 1-866-6-SERVEU.

Media contact: Theresa Elliott, 717-787-7530

Editor's Note:  Below is a listing of 2013 AmeriCorps grants in Pennsylvania:

City Year Greater Philadelphia (CYGP) was awarded a $2.9 million AmeriCorps grant to provide individual support to students who need extra care and attention. CYGP corps members provide critically needed services to some of Philadelphia's most underserved children and youth by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs. Over the course of this three-year grant more than 7,500 students in 20 Philadelphia schools who are at risk of dropping out will benefit from these targeted services. AmeriCorps members also facilitate the organization's civic engagement programs, which will engage 2,400 community volunteers in more than 14,000 hours of service in 2013-2014.

Teach for America – Greater Philadelphia (Teach for America), which has been in operation for nearly 23 years, was awarded an $176,000 AmeriCorps grant to assist with providing additional teachers for underperforming schools. Teach for America is a nationally recognized organization that operates in 46 U.S. communities with an aim to end educational inequity. It enlists highly motivated college graduates and professionals and trains them to serve as teachers in schools where the majority of students qualify for free or reduced lunches and academic performance is at least 10 percent below the state average on standardized tests. While receiving on-going training in urban education at the University of Pennsylvania, AmeriCorps members will serve as full-time teachers in more than 60 K-12 schools in Philadelphia this year.

GreenPHL, which will be established through a partnership with the state, the City of Philadelphia, EducationWorks and the Philadelphia Youth Network, will receive a $630,750 AmeriCorps grant. Once operational, GreenPHL will use the grant award over a period of three years to engage 300 at-risk young adults (ages 18-26) in six months of full-time national service followed by three months of intense job placement support. While serving as AmeriCorps members, program participants will support Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Philadelphia Water Department in planting trees, revitalizing public land and preserving the city's watersheds. 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry