U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today announced that three organizations in central New Jersey have received federal AmeriCorps grants totaling more than $3.4 million. The grants will support 1,382 AmeriCorps members from New Jersey and surrounding states in their efforts to strengthen education, help unemployed workers find jobs, and provide other vital community services.
"In today's tough economic times, federal support for citizen service is more critical than ever," Holt said. "These funds will help AmeriCorps members to mentor at-risk students, foster economic opportunity, protect our natural resources, and contribute in countless other ways to making New Jersey a better place to live and work."
The College of New Jersey in partnership with The Bonner Foundation will receive two grants. The first grant, for $315,737, will support education and living allowances for 76 New Jersey AmeriCorps members who will serve in soup kitchens, mentor at-risk children after-school, and provide housing services to members of the community. The second grant, for $239,880, will support education awards for 944 multi-state AmeriCorps members who will provide mentoring, academic support, hunger relief, job placement, and other services.
"We are gratified that our community and campus partners will continue to receive the vital support of the AmeriCorps program," said Robert Hackett, the president of The Bonner Foundation. "In an era of constrained financial resources facing all non-profit organizations, the energy and talents of our full- and part-time Bonner AmeriCorps members will enable these groups to provide much needed services to those in need of educational, nutrition, and employment assistance."
The New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program, which is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will receive a $260,000 grant to support 20 New Jersey AmeriCorps members in providing watershed education and conducting volunteer recruitment.
Education Works, which is based in Lawrenceville, will receive a $2,624,390 grant to support 342 multi-state AmeriCorps members in working with K-12 students during and after school and in the summer. The members will provide mentoring and teaching assistance in literacy, service learning, technology, digital media, and performing arts, resulting in improved behavior and decreased school absenteeism in the high-poverty public schools in Philadelphia, Chester, and Trenton.
AmeriCorps is a national service program that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs. Its members serve in thousands of nonprofit and faith-based organizations in rural and urban communities throughout the nation. Among other activities, AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor youth, expand health services, build affordable housing, run after-school programs, support veterans, help communities respond to disasters, and recruit and train volunteers.
AmeriCorps, which is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, engages 80,000 people each year in intensive, results-driven service through more than 14,000 nonprofits across the country. Since 1994, more than 700,000 Americans have provided more than 860 million hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting AmeriCorps.gov.