FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/22/2020

CONTACT:
Scott McFarland
(217) 685-5930
www.Serve.Illinois.gov

 Serve Illinois Announces $26.1 Million For AmeriCorps Programming

13 programs will place more than 700 AmeriCorps Members in over 80 counties

SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Serve Illinois) today announced $10.2 million in federal grants to place 719 AmeriCorps Members in 13 programs to serve Illinois communities.  These awards include $3.9 million in education awards that AmeriCorps Members can use to pay for college or pay off student loans after their term of service.  AmeriCorps programs will match these funds with an additional $15.9 million in local funding. The total investment into Illinois communities will be $26.1 million. This is the first of two AmeriCorps funding announcements for 2020.

AmeriCorps Members dedicate up to one year to help communities meet unmet economic, education, health, public safety, disaster preparedness, veteran services, and environmental needs.  Members may receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment, health insurance, childcare, and professional development.  Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $6,195 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training, or to pay off student loans.

 "Even during COIVD-19, our AmeriCorps Members are still serving, and we are excited to continue that service," said Serve Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland.  "Last year, AmeriCorps Illinois served nearly 400,000 Illinoisans including more than 209,000 disadvantaged youth and nearly 40,000 veterans, active military, and military family members."

These federal grants will be used for services in Illinois, including tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, preparing communities to respond effectively to emergencies, feeding those in need, providing legal support services, assisting incarcerated individuals re-enter into their communities, promoting environmental stewardship, supporting veterans, and improving youth and adult literacy.  Serve Illinois, a part of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), administers the AmeriCorps programs in Illinois.

 "These AmeriCorps Members represent the best our state and nation has to offer," said Scott McFarland. "We believe that service is the solution, and when you see the AmeriCorps "A", you know things are getting done."

Since 1994, over 45,000 Illinoisans have served 64 million hours through AmeriCorps.  Those hours equal more than $1.5 billion in community impact.  They have also earned more than $157 million in education awards.

Serve Illinois is a 40 member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan commission appointed by the Governor and administered by IDPH.  Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs.  Serve Illinois supports local community-based efforts to enhance volunteer opportunities and the administration of Illinois' AmeriCorps program. For more information on the Serve Illinois and a full description of each AmeriCorps program, visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

Serve Illinois' AmeriCorps Programs Awarded:

American Red Cross – Chicago
The American Red Cross will have 18 AmeriCorps members who will increase communities' resilience by improving the capacity of residents across Illinois to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters by acting as educators, disaster responders, and community conveners. Members will be serving communities across Illinois with host sites in Chicago, Moline, Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington, Romeoville, Quincy, and Rockford. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for having trained 30,000 Illinois residents through both adult and youth preparedness programs along with serving 3,000 disaster clients through immediate disaster response and recovery activities. In addition, AmeriCorps members will leverage 180 spontaneous volunteers who will be engaged in disaster response and recovery activities at the direction of local emergency management and non-profit disaster organizations.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Statewide20$278,622$278,720

City Year Chicago
City Year Chicago will have 212 full-time AmeriCorps members who will provide full-day academic and school engagement services to students in 26 public schools in Chicago, Illinois. At the end of the third program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for providing whole class support for English and math classrooms serving over 1,800 students and their teachers; individualized services and student progress monitoring to 1,450 students of which 279 students will improve English, 252 will improve math, and 174 will improve attendance; implementing extended day activities; and improving school climate. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 1,150 volunteers who will be engaged in service projects that improve our school communities

Counties ServedAmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook212$3,165,583$3,165,583

College Possible Illinois
College Possible will have 27 AmeriCorps members who coach low-income students for success in post-secondary education through academic and college preparation programming in Chicago. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for increasing student preparation for higher education and careers through college admission and persistence. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 196 volunteers who will be engaged in service projects that support their community.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook27$354,510 $1,281,790

Greater Chicago Food Depository
The Greater Chicago Food Depository proposes to have 25 AmeriCorps members who will address issues of food insecurity and food access in Cook County, Illinois. At the end of the first program year, AmeriCorps members will be responsible for supporting the Food Depository's network of partner agencies and community-based initiatives, including programs for children, older adults, veterans and individuals living with health disparities. Members will also address poverty and unemployment as root causes of hunger by strengthening the organization's public benefits outreach initiatives as well as its job training program for underemployed adults. In addition, AmeriCorps members will assist in managing the Food Depository's volunteer base of more than 23,000 individuals.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook25$210,520$280,892

Illinois Bar Foundation
Illinois JusticeCorps (ILJC) proposes to have 56 AmeriCorps members who make courts throughout the state more welcoming and less intimidating for people without lawyers by connecting people to needed information and resources. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will have made the civil justice system more accessible and user-friendly to the many thousands of Illinois residents who face difficult legal issues that have far-reaching impact, such as foreclosure, eviction, domestic violence, and consumer debt issues. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 50 volunteers who will be engaged in assisting people without lawyers alongside ILJC members and participating in national days of service.

Counties ServedAmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
McLean, Champaign, Cook, Knox, Madison, Kane, Will, Kankakee, Winnebago, Lake56$316,199$306,136

Public Allies Chicago
Public Allies Chicago will have 50 AmeriCorps Members who will deliver an evidence informed trauma-sensitive "Everyone Leads Youth Leadership Development" violence prevention curriculum to 120 8th graders at 10-15 youth-serving host sites located in some of the most challenged areas of Chicago. At the end of the first program year, AmeriCorps Members will be responsible for increasing the knowledge of 90 youth in the areas of understanding of trauma and how it relates to violence.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook50$765,062$767,268

Sauk Valley Community College
The ABC AmeriCorps of Sauk Valley Community College will have 35 AmeriCorps members who will tutor economically disadvantaged students and provide other classroom support in grade schools, provide homework help and offer educational activities in out-of-school time during the school year and provide summer education programs for kids. In addition, member will provide job search coaching and GED support services to economically disadvantaged individuals. Members will also provide service to increase organizational capacity through volunteer management and other capacity building efforts that support rural non-profit and school-based organizations in Lee, Whiteside, Carroll, Bureau, and Henry Counties. In addition, members will provide support to agencies with critical needs that do not have the capacity to write their own AmeriCorps grant. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for achieving the following outputs and/or outcomes in each of the identified focus areas: 86 kindergarten students will demonstrate improved academic performance with tutoring and other classroom support interventions used ; 100 students (K-6) will demonstrate improved academic engagement or social-emotional skills with out-of-school time interventions used; 200 students (K-6) will demonstrate improved social-emotional skills with summer learning interventions.
70 economically disadvantaged individuals with improved job readiness by member use of job placement and GED Education interventions; 4 organizations will increase their program reach.

Counties ServedAmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Lee, Whiteside, Bureau, Carroll, Henry, Ogle35$161,915$162,098

Teach for America
Teach for America--Chicago will have 191 AmeriCorps members who will be responsible for teaching for two years in low-income and disadvantaged schools in Chicago, Illinois. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for increasing the academic achievement of the over 10,500 students they teach. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 195 volunteers who will be engaged in supporting students in classrooms and schools.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook191$0$8,070,500

University of Illinois – Chicago
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois-UIC Project MORE will have 21 AmeriCorps members who will support patrons and families from 70+ Chicago Early Learning sites by providing: financial literacy, job skills services, volunteerism, access to autism and developmental delay trainings and resources for economically disadvantaged Head Start parents/patrons. Workshops and employment readiness trainings will foster lifelong learning skills and encourage economic self-sufficiency. Members will support GED/ESL classes, capacity building/volunteer management workshops for organizations. Services will take place at UIC locations and on-site at Head Start sites. Our Resource Center for Autism and Developmental Delays, 100+ patrons will gain access to autism and developmental delays resources and trainings. At the end of the 1st program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for reaching 1300 parents under economic opportunity PMs; 80% of the parents will increase financial/education/language/employment readiness skills. AmeriCorps MORE members will leverage 100 community volunteers that will be engaged in economic opportunity services.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook29$184,310$184,310

United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
The United Way of Metro Chicago (United Way) will have 12 AmeriCorps Members who will plan and participate in outreach and educational events, provide direct support to instructors and practitioners, and conduct media outreach and development in low-income communities and neighborhoods throughout greater Chicago. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps Members will be responsible for improvements in: school readiness for 250 pre-K children; academic performance, attendance, and behavior for 239 K-12 youth; financial literacy for 122 community residents; employment for 58 community residents; mental health for 115 community residents; and the increased capacity of 100 United Way Neighborhood Network organizations in terms of leadership and data systems development, and new partnerships with organizations and community residents. In addition, the AmeriCorps Members will leverage 24 volunteers who will be engaged in outreach and education activities.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook12$185,748$163,491

Up2Us Sports
The Up2Us Sports Coach Program (U2UC) will have 30 AmeriCorps members who will serve as coach-mentors to provide sports-based youth development (SBYD) mentoring for 1,200 at-risk youth in Chicago. At the end of the first program year, AmeriCorps members will be responsible for engaging 1,200 youth in a variety of physical activities and mentoring services that promote positive social and emotional skill development and healthy lifestyles. In addition, AmeriCorps members will leverage 50 volunteers who will be engaged in roles supporting Americorps Service Days and special events with Up2Us Sports and host sites.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook30$305,581$215,179

Western Illinois University
The Peace Corps Fellows Program at Western Illinois University will have 14 AmeriCorps members who will build community capacity (e.g., human and social capital), and lead the implementation of local development projects, such as: downtown revitalization, business retention and expansion, health education, youth leadership development, reduction of food insecurity and homelessness, and disaster preparedness, in multiple rural communities in Illinois. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for coordinating community-driven projects and assisting with the creation or revision of 6 disaster response plans and increasing 6 communities' disaster response readiness. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 400 volunteers who will participate in the implementation of local community projects.

Counties ServedAmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Statewide – Rural Counties14$185,748$185,751

Youth and Opportunity United
The Youth & Opportunity United, Inc. (Y.O.U.) will have 18 AmeriCorps members who will deliver high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs in 11 locations (five elementary, five middle, and one high school) in Evanston, Morton Grove, and Skokie, Illinois. At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for providing 900 youth with tutoring and enrichment activities that improve their academic, social, and emotional skills. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 150 volunteers who will be engaged in mentorship, event coordination, and teaching youth workshops in areas such as entrepreneurship and engineering.


Counties Served
AmeriCorps MembersFederal AwardLocal Match
Cook18$270,326$798,088