Logo courtesy of North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service website.

From the State of North Carolina Office of Gov. Bev Perdue, shared Sept. 1:

RALEIGH—Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service has awarded more than $3.4 million in grants to 12 AmeriCorps programs across the state for the 2011-2012 program year.

North Carolina AmeriCorps programs help make a positive difference in our communities particularly through education programs that ultimately help make sure that every child graduates from high school, ready for a career, college or technical training,” said Gov. Perdue. “I am proud of AmeriCorps members for the services they provide by mentoring our youth, assisting the elderly, increasing literacy rates and helping to end homelessness. With these grants, North Carolina can continue its efforts in giving back to its citizens while investing in the future.”

AmeriCorps members serving with these organizations will assist in community outreach and education efforts, provide conservation services, participate in mentoring programs and work in other service activities.

The following are AmeriCorps programs that will be funded for 2011-2012:

  • Capital Area Workforce Development Board, a $202,139 grant to fund Access JobLink: Members serve at JobLink Career Centers and assist individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, older adults and former offenders with reaching their employment goals. The program offers services in Johnston and Wake counties.
  • Black Child Development Institute of Greensboro, Inc., a $190,823 grant to fund The Spirit of Excellence: Members provide in-school and after-school one-on-one supplemental academic assistance using the Great Leaps curricula for students at-risk of academic failure. Members maintain a strong presence in the community by participating in service projects and collaborating with other community agencies that serve children. The program offers services in Guilford County.
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a $237,850 grant to fund Carolina College Advising Corps: Members aim to increase the number of low income, first generation and underrepresented North Carolina students entering and completing higher education. Members will help first year students navigate college admissions and financial aid requirements. The program offers services in Alamance, Anson, Bertie, Caldwell, Chatham, Davidson, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Guilford, Robeson, Rockingham, Scotland, Surry, Union and Warren counties.
  • Child Care Services Association, an $186,092 grant to fund T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Corps: Members improve the quality of child care, working with children ages 0-5. Members provide educational release time for child care providers in an effort to maintain a four or five star license status. The program provides the T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood® Credential Scholarship, which results in members earning their North Carolina Early Childhood Credential. The program offers services in Durham, Orange and Wake counties.
  • Stokes Partnership for Children, a $212,800 grant to fund AmeriCorps and Children Together (ACT): Members serve as assistant pre-school teachers and enhance the quality of childcare by providing enrichment activities to the children and release time for teachers to further their studies in early childhood education. Member development includes North Carolina Early Childhood Credentials 1 & 2, a college-level course in early childhood or childcare. The program offers services in Forsyth, Guilford, Harnett, Lee, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, Stokes and Surry counties.
  • North Carolina Community Network, Inc., a $260,000 grant to fund NC Elder Care: Members will improve the quality of life for the elderly. Members will serve as part of a community-based care team that will conduct home visits while increasing the functional status of those they serve and enable them to remain safe in their homes. The program offers services in Gaston and Lincoln counties.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Education, a $314,955 grant to fund North Carolina Literacy Corps: Members will work to increase literary skills in adults, children, adolescents and English-language learners. Members are placed at campuses and community-based literacy programs across the state to tutor and/or teach learners, recruit, train and manage volunteer tutors, and help organizations increase their capacity for service. The program offers services in Alamance, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Orange, Mecklenburg, Moore, Wake and Wayne counties.
  • Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, a $425,600 grant to fund Project Conserve: Members address critical conservation needs in Western North Carolina through their service with local environmental and conservation nonprofits. Members focus on meeting unique needs in their communities, including protecting farm and natural lands, enhancing water quality, implementing energy conservation and promoting healthy foods. Members educate and involve their communities in these issues by conducting environmental education and outreach activities, recruiting and coordinating volunteers for local conservation projects, and providing direct service to support key conservation initiatives. The program offers services in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties.
  • East Carolina University College of Education, a $562,208 grant to fund Project HEART (High Expectations for At Risk Teens): Members provide tutoring, homework and study skills sessions and help students with time management, organization and goal setting. These sessions will help students succeed academically and graduate from high school and college. The program offers services in Craven, Greene, Halifax, Martin, Nash, Pitt, Sampson and Wayne counties.
  • Children First of Buncombe County, a $465,000 grant to fund Project POWER (Putting Opportunities Within Everyone’s Reach): Members provide academic enrichment services to youth in grades K-12 in school and during after-school hours. Members also facilitate service learning and conflict resolution projects for students and recruit, train and manage volunteers to work with at-risk youth in the Asheville area. The program offers services in Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, McDowell and Mitchell counties.
  • The Servant Center, Inc., a $292,518 grant to fund The Partnership to End Homelessness: Members participate in a variety of activities aimed at restoring hope to the homeless in Guilford County. Members serve in emergency assistance to the homeless by providing food, clothing and furniture distribution. Members also assist with transitional and permanent supportive housing case management for homeless youth, women in recovery and disabled men. The program offers services in Guilford County.
  • UNCG-Center for New North Carolinians, a $538,010 grant to fund ACCESS (AmeriCorps Cross-Cultural Education Service Systems): Members provide English as a Second Language (ESL), citizenship education, interpretation, social services, case management, disaster preparedness and other related services to immigrants and refugees. Member development includes professional interpreter training for bilingual members. Members receive an opportunity to earn a credential in cross-cultural human services through the UNCG Center for New North Carolinians. The program offers services in Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Orange and Wake counties.

The N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, a federally and state-funded agency housed in the Governor’s Office, administered funding to 12 N.C. AmeriCorps programs for the 2011-2012 program year. AmeriCorps is a national service initiative designed to increase volunteering and civic engagement in America. Since 1994, more than 12,153 individuals have participated in N.C. AmeriCorps programs. Members tutor and mentor school-aged youth, improve the quality of care for preschool children and address the need for energy efficient housing for low-income families.For more information on the N.C. AmeriCorps programs, visit the Commission’s website at www.VolunteerNC.org or call (800) 820-4483 or (877) 877-1765 (TTY).

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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