YMCA of Greater Providence
The Providence Youth Services branch of the YMCA of Greater Providence (PYS) is requesting $210,816 of CNCS investment and will match $156,716 to host 16 AmeriCorps Members. These AmeriCorps Members will be working within the CNCS focus area of education, as Parent Engagement Coordinators in eight underserved elementary schools in the City of Providence, Rhode Island, which currently serve a combined 3,932 children with a service term from August 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. This program is based on extensive research showing that children whose parents are engaged in their education enjoy greater academic success, as measured by grades, standardized test scores, and attendance and graduation rates (e.g., Houtenville and Smith Conway 2008; Jeynes 2003, 2005). After comprehensive training throughout the month of August, two members will work out of designated Parent Zones in each school to build relationships with school faculty and parents and to connect parents to resources. AmeriCorps Members will also work out in the community through educational organizing efforts to build parent leadership and empower parents to be true leaders in their children's school. At the end of the three-year program period, parents will be more engaged as measured by an increase by 50% in baseline rates of participation in school events, school leadership committees, and volunteer opportunities; chronically absent children of parents who are engaged with the AmeriCorps Members will attend 50% more days and 80% of the children of engaged parents will also increase their math and literacy scores as parents will better understand the value of school attendance and how to support their child's education; and school climate will improve through development of deeper parent and teacher relationships and the increased success of students as 50% more parents report being satisfied with their child's school.