New AmeriCorps Program Boosts Turnaround Schools

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CNCS Staff

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and U.S. Department of Education announced a new collaborative effort today to strengthen and accelerate interventions in our nation's lowest-performing schools. The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps program will support a dedicated unit of AmeriCorps members that will provide additional support and resources in persistently underachieving schools.

Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer (left) and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (right) pose with two AmeriCorps members during the Grad Nation Summit in Washington, DC, on Feb. 25, 2013.

The three-year, $15 million grant program intends to increase student academic achievement, attendance and high school graduation rates, and college and career readiness in about 60 turnaround schools.

“Turning around our nation's lowest-performing schools is challenging work that requires everyone to play a part – from teachers, administrators, and counselors to business leaders, the philanthropic sector, and community members,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “This interagency collaboration will align national service and turnaround efforts in schools across the country.”

“Making sure that every child gets a quality education is a core value that unites all Americans,” said CNCS Chief Executive Officer Wendy Spencer. “This partnership will expand the role of AmeriCorps members in helping students, teachers, parents, and school administrators transform schools into models of achievement. We welcome new ideas that will result in the same outcome: schools that are putting children on the pathway to success.”

Organizations applying for grants will be encouraged to focus on strategies that increase parent and family engagement and student learning time; improve school safety, attendance, and discipline; address students' social, emotional, and health needs; accelerate students' acquisition of reading and mathematics knowledge and skills; and increase graduation and college enrollment rates.

Public or private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and other community groups; schools or districts; institutions of higher education; cities and counties; Indian Tribes; and labor organizations are eligible to apply, along with partnerships and consortia of these entities.

A notice of intent to apply must be submitted to CNCS by April 2, 2013, via e-mail at: americorpsgrants@cns.gov. Applications are due on April 23, 2013, and grants will be awarded by mid-July. For more information about the grant program, visit the School Turnaround AmeriCorps Notice of Funds Availability page.

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