Governor Terry E. Branstad today announced that the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service has received $7.38 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support AmeriCorps national service members serving within organizations across Iowa. Included in this award is new funding to support a Governor/Mayor Initiative around school graduation rates and academic performance in Davenport.
These grants will support approximately 750 AmeriCorps members across the state to serve with approximately 60 different organizations through various programs. AmeriCorps members will help advance early literacy, STEM learning, improving Iowa's natural resources, mentoring, disaster response and energy conservation, among other activities. Additionally, more than 600 AmeriCorps members will serve through AmeriCorps National (multi-state programs serving in Iowa), AmeriCorps VISTA (focused on economic opportunity and empowerment), and AmeriCorps NCCC (NCCC FEMA Corps and AmeriCorps NCCC campus in Vinton Iowa focus on community projects and disaster response).
"Promoting public service in Iowa is important to our administration and something I've been passionate about throughout my career," said Branstad. "I am pleased that for the second year in a row, a Governor/Mayor initiative project was funded in Iowa. This year, in partnership with the City of Davenport, the program will focus on achieving educational excellence. I believe the plan submitted by Mayor Gluba and the partnering nonprofits will help provide great opportunities for our young people to succeed."
Branstad has made volunteer service a priority in Iowa. He signed an Executive Order in February forming a National Service Council to look for ways to further expand service opportunities in Iowa. This grant announcement will boost Iowa's efforts to engage more Iowans in service.
"On behalf of the City of Davenport, I am extremely pleased to see funding that will expand our current AmeriCorps and Youth AmeriCorps program, and we are very excited that Davenport has been selected for the new Governor/Mayor initiative," said Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba. "Our local partnership with the Davenport Community Schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters will help us locally expand on the pressing issue of increasing our graduation rate while providing the experiences and the tools that our young people need to be successful in life."
Of the total funding amount, $5.3 million has been awarded based on performance in a national competition to the organizations below and an additional $2 million in grants will be announced in June based on a state level competition for additional AmeriCorps grants by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. Additionally, these grants will leverage millions in local private funding to support these projects as public/private partnerships.
"AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation," said CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer. "Building on Iowa's strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across the state. As they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves -- gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. As we mark the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, we salute AmeriCorps members for their dedication, and thank our outstanding partners who make their service possible."