Special Initiatives

School Turnaround AmeriCorps

The School Turnaround AmeriCorps program supports the placement of a dedicated cadre of AmeriCorps members from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in persistently underachieving schools across the country. These AmeriCorps members will be serving in schools implementing school turnaround interventions as required by Department of Education’s (ED) School Improvement Grant (SIG) program or as required through Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility.

Members will help keep students on track to graduate by working to increase student academic achievement, attendance and high school graduation rates; improve college and career readiness; and provide college enrollment assistance and advisement.

The program supports organizations that serve low-performing schools around the country, including those in rural areas, and expands on the efforts of Together for Tomorrow, an initiative between ED, CNCS, and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

AmeriCorps logo

Each year more than 650 School Turnaround AmeriCorps members participating in the initiative will support a variety of intervention efforts aimed at addressing the unique needs of each SIG and Priority school. The 13 awardees will place members in approximately 70 SIG/priority schools in urban and rural communities across the country to support turnaround interventions in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

The School Turnaround AmeriCorps partnership reflects ED and CNCS’ commitment to increasing opportunities for students in disadvantaged communities by providing a high-quality education. Through the SIG program, ED has invested more than $5 billion in more than 1,400 of the country’s lowest-performing schools since 2009. Currently, CNCS programs have a presence in a quarter of schools eligible for SIG funding nationwide.

School Turnaround AmeriCorps will be supported by an initial investment of $15 million in public funds from both agencies and leverage an anticipated $18 million in grantee match funding during a three-year cycle. In addition, AmeriCorps members who complete their service in the program will qualify for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which could total $1.5 million a year for all participants.

School Turnaround AmeriCorps Grantees

Austin Independent School District (Texas) AmeriCorps members will provide dropout prevention services in Austin, Texas, through activities to increase learning time; improve community engagement; and support the social, emotional, and behavioral health of students, their families and the community. 

Berea College (Kentucky) Partners for Education, Knox Central High School, and Leslie County High School have created PartnerCorps, an AmeriCorps program that will support and sustain school turnaround efforts at both high schools by utilizing AmeriCorps members as mentors, college advisors, and family connectors to engage low-income and rural students. 

Blackfoot Community Center (Idaho) AmeriCorps members will serve as classroom facilitators for 280 seventh- and eighth-grade students from Snake River Jr. High, providing tools for family and community engagement, establishing a school culture and environment that improves school safety, attendance, and discipline, and addressing other nonacademic factors that impact achievement.

City Year (multi-state) AmeriCorps members will partner with schools in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia in support of turnaround strategies by improving conditions that help students persist in and complete school.  Members will tutor, mentor, and coach 1,900 targeted K through ninth-grade students, promote a positive school climate and family engagement, and provide extended-day learning. 

Communities in Schools of Miami (Florida) AmeriCorps members will provide tutoring, mentoring, and student support services to increase educational achievement at five low-performing Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Denver Public Schools (Colorado) will use AmeriCorps members to tutor students to increase math proficiency at five elementary and middle schools in the system.

Detroit Parent Network (Michigan) AmeriCorps members will be placed in six high schools in Detroit with the Project Graduation drop-out prevention program designed to improve student graduation rates and college enrollment.  Members will serve as academic coaches/advisors; provide individual and family coaching; organize parent/student academic and college nights; conduct workshops on graduation requirements, ACT preparation, and college selection; and aid in the completion of federal student aid and college entrance applications.

Duluth Area Family YMCA (Minnesota) True North AmeriCorps will place members in two SIG recipient elementary schools to support teachers in the classroom, connect in-school with out-of-school programs, and build site capacity to leverage volunteers for program sustainability.

LearningWorks (Maine) AmeriCorps members will serve approximately 1,800 elementary and high school students and more than 1,300 family and community members through providing extended-day learning, one-on-one tutoring, and fostering community and family engagement.

Minnesota Alliance with Youth AmeriCorps members will serve six schools in the communities of Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center, MN, to support 600 students in sixth through 10th grades at risk of dropping out of school. Members will leverage an additional 300 volunteers in this effort that is projected to put 1,800 youth back on track to graduate on time.

ReNEW Schools Achieving College Readiness through School Turnaround Support (Louisiana) AmeriCorps members will give academic support in six low-performing, high-poverty New Orleans schools. The members will target approximately 2,000 at-risk students from pre-K through 12th-grade with actions to boost academic gains in literacy and math, increase attendance, and improve student behavior.

The Springfield College School Turnaround Initiative (Massachusetts) will place AmeriCorps members in nine schools in Springfield, MA, serving 500 at-risk students to implement targeted interventions to improve attendance, academic achievement in literacy and math, behavioral/social-emotional health, and academic engagement.

Teach for America School Turnaround AmeriCorps (multi-state) plans to utilize 86 members as teachers in low-performing schools to improve the educational outcomes for more than 2,000 students in Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The AmeriCorps teachers will set high expectations for their students while building their commitment to educational equity.

Join AmeriCorps!

Do you want to help a kid succeed in school? Or protect a national forest? Or help a family rebuild their home after a devastating disaster?

When you join AmeriCorps, you use your energy, ideals, and talents to help others. Plus, you’ll earn money for education, learn to be a leader, and gain real job skills.

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