November Update on Serve America Act Implementation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Nov 16, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

The Corporation remains highly focused on implementing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, and we want to update you on some of our key activities over the past month.

Staff from across the agency are working on implementation, from drafting rules and designing programs to conducting outreach and creating technology systems. While some steps are contingent on final enactment of our FY 2010 appropriation, we are moving forward on a wide range of components, consistent with deadlines, agency priorities, and consultations with Congress.

We will keep you posted through these monthly updates, and encourage you to visit our Serve America Act homepage for more information.

Rulemaking

We are currently working on a second in a series of rules to support implementation. This rule will focus on the provisions that affect the National Service Trust and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, including number of terms of service, the transferability of the education award for those 55 and over, and more. Other technical components, such as the Senior Corps theprovision for waiving the 80 percent benefits ratio for the Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs, are on track for publication in this rule, which we expect to issue for public comment in December.

Learn and Serve America

On October 27, we released the funding notice for our Summer of Service grant competition, a new Learn and Serve America program authorized under the Serve America Act. The new grant funding will support innovative summer service-learning programs focused on students in grades 6 through 9. Click here for more information. Learn and Serve America is also working on the initial design of the “Youth Engagement Zones” grant program, under which eligible partners will carry out school-based or community-based service-learning programs with secondary school and out-of-school youth to address specific community challenges. More information will be available in February.

AmeriCorps State and National

 

AmeriCorps program officers are continuing to conduct outreach and hold technical assistance calls about the 2010 AmeriCorps grant competition. Organizations that want to learn more about this funding opportunity can click here to link directly to the Notice, or you can email americorpsnational@cns.gov or call 202-606-7508 for more information. If you have questions concerning a single-state application, e-mail americorpsapplications@cns.gov or contact the State Commission. We will be holding a conference call on November 18 at 2:00pm with Senator Mark Warner (VA) about the FY2010 priority related to serving veterans and engaging veterans in service. To receive call-in instructions send an email to: ServiceInitiative@cns.gov. Finally, on November 6, we released additional information regarding fixed-amount grants for the FY 2010 AmeriCorps Notice of Funding Opportunity. Click here and select Section IV. Fixed-Amount Grant Pilot for 2010 – Amended Language to see the new provisions.

Social Innovation Fund

 

The Corporation held a briefing call and question and answer session about the Social Innovation Fund on October 15, and more than 600 people participated. To listen to or download a recording of the call, please go to the Social Innovation Fund section of the Serve America Act homepage. The Corporation is now drafting a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the first year of the Social Innovation Fund. Because this is our first process for allocating a relatively high level of funding in a new area of programming, we plan to solicit input on a draft NOFO that will be published in mid-December. We’ve been pleased with the high level of engagement from the public in helping to inform our work on the Social Innovation Fund – keep your ideas coming!

Other New Initiatives

The Serve America Act also authorizes two additional new programs -- the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program and the Volunteer Generation Fund. We have been meeting collaboratively and individually with key stakeholders, grantees and partners, nonprofit programs, foundations, evaluators, government leaders, and others to gather input to inform the design of these funds. More information will be released early next year.

We appreciate the feedback you have given during the various stages of implementation. There will be more input opportunities as we move ahead, and I hope you’ll participate. Thank you for your commitment and your ideas as we work together to fulfill the bold vision of this landmark legislation.

In Service,

Nicola Goren
Acting CEO
Corporation for National and Community Service

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775
sjwarfield@cns.gov

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