The Children's Aid Society
The Children's Aid Society (CAS) is driven by a steadfast mission to improve the life outcomes of children and youth in New York City's highest poverty neighborhoods by providing comprehensive services at each developmental stage, from birth through young adulthood. As a multi-service organization operating a range of programs that address educational support, health, safety and opportunity, CAS is poised to engage AmeriCorps members in a rich menu of experiences that will, at once, offer civic minded Members an opportunity to improve the lives of others and greatly enhance CAS' capacity to deliver much-needed services. CAS AmeriCorps is a timely answer to two essential problems of our time: 1) how can youth-serving organizations use evidence-based practice to improve educational and life outcomes on a broader scale for low-income children when resources are diminishing; and 2) how can people find career advancement in a challenging employment market, when higher education is also difficult to afford for those without means.
CAS AmeriCorps proposes to address these needs by providing a career advancement opportunity for 60 Members of various terms (equivalent to 21 MSY) that are designed to support the healthy development of children. AmeriCorps members would directly impact the lives of, at minimum, 2,550 youth annually, or 7,650 over the course of the three-year grant period. More specifically, CAS has developed a portfolio of AmeriCorps opportunities that span seven CAS programs in three AmeriCorps Focus Areas:
* Education: a) After-school programming with targeted support for attendance improvement; b) Early Childhood learning with a focus on literacy using our proven Go!Book program; and c) College Preparation through our EXCEL program;
* Healthy Futures: a) Nutrition education through the CAS Go!Healthy program; b) sexuality and risk reduction education through CAS WISE Teens; and c) health care and health care access education through CAS' Health Care Access Program;
* Opportunity: a) Summer youth employment for inner city teenagers.
CAS is ideally suited to engage AmeriCorps Members in meaningful ways through a well-developed infrastructure, both locally at each site and centrally, a plethora of in-house and external training opportunities and an agency philosophy that values community service. As a current subcontractor of The After-School Corporation (TASC), CAS has had a very positive experience in engaging AmeriCorps Members, and is compelled to expand these opportunities to reach additional AmeriCorps Focus Areas by administering our own program. Furthermore, our approach is poised for replication through additional CAS sites and outside organizations adopting our models. We propose an AmeriCorps program budget of $534,242, in which we request $269,036from the Corporation and are prepared to provide $265,206 in matching funds.